Document Size

&

Trim Size

 

Document Size

Why is Document Size so important in Printing?

The size of your print document is important because it directly affects the quality of the finished product. If your document is too small, some details may be lost in the printing process. If your document is too large, it may be difficult to fold or staple correctly. Always make sure to create your documents using the correct size settings to ensure the best possible print quality.

Pdf’s have the ability to have sizes embedded directly into the file. Unlike .jpg and png image files which are based on pixels, pdf’s can have multiple images and text formats placed within these documents.

Once the edges of the printed sheet are trimmed away you are left with the finished product. Being able to accurately start with a document sized to the correct trim size makes moving forward with printing without many problems.

What is a printed Document Size?

The document is the length and width measurement of a pdf document intended for printing. This measurement takes into account all the bleeding on the artwork that is necessary to properly created the desired printed artwork.

Printing with bleed so that your artwork goes right up to the edge of the trimmed prints or die cut is crucial to getting what you intended. Disc Pro Graphics checks for bleed on everything submitted for printed. 

Trim Size

What is Trim Size?

The documents Trim size is what size the finish printed piece will be after the excess edges are cut off. Making sure these are accurate will insure the printed material is trimmed and able to be processed through bindery with the most accurate binding as needed for your specific job. Making sure the pages have the accurate trim size is crucial to being imposition properly by digital software.

How are document and trim size different?

There are a few ways that these sizes will be different once you understand the purpose of both. The document size should go beyond the final trimmed size of a printed document. The Trim size will be the final cut size of workable print. I’ll use a business card and a standard letter as two relative examples so that it can be understood clearly.

A Standard business Card size is 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high. This 3.5” x 2” is the final trim size after the document. Printing up to the edge of the document we will create the bleed size also.

Depending on the software you use the Document size may need to be identified separately of everything else.

Setting up Document & Trim Sizes

Setting up Document sizes and Trim sizes are different with every software. We will go over the most popular software avenues to make sure you have the ability to check your documents before being sent in for printing to Disc Pro Graphics. We will go over Adobe Acrobat, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. There are pro’s and cons to each software for printing.

Adobe Illustrator

Setting up document / Trim sizes in Illustrator

Illustrator allows you to create files with trim size, and a bleed section that will go beyond the trim marks in every direction when creating the new document. Beginning with the correct document size is important in Adobe Illustrator because the save as size will be determined by your document during the setup process.

When creating a new document in Illustrator you will be given the ability to create a width and a height of the page / artboard for this example we are creating a standard business card size page of 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high. When saving a pdf from Illustrator this will be embedded into the document as the 

Illustrator allows you to set a bleed size independent of the document size. For printing Disc Pro graphics suggests a minimum of 1/8 inch, or .125 inch for bleed. If this is incorporated for both offset and digitally printed documents it can help streamline many other impositions your document might take up in the future.

Setting your unit standard to inches during the setup process can mitigate confusion with other dimensions in later printing processes. So once the print ready pdf is saved from Illustrator it should have a media box, and a crop box size of 3.75” x 2.25”, and a trim box size of 3.5” x  2”.

Illustrator New Document

Adobe InDesign

Setting up document / Trim sizes in InDesign

Adobe InDesign allows you to create files with trim size, and a bleed in distinct settings just like Illustrator. Beginning with the correct document size is important in Adobe InDesign because the exported size will be determined by your document during the setup process.

When creating a new document in InDesign you will be given the ability to create a width and a height of the page / pages. For this example we are creating a standard business card size page of 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high. When exporting a pdf from InDesign the artwork and text placed, will be embedded into the document with the proper media and crop box set here.

InDesign allows you to set a bleed size independent of the document size. For printing at Disc Pro graphics suggests a minimum of 1/8 inch, or .125 inch for bleed. If this is incorporated for both offset and digitally printed documents it can help streamline many other impositions your document might take up in the future.

Setting your unit standard to inches during the InDesign new document setup process can mitigate confusion with other dimensions in later printing processes. So once the print ready pdf is exported from InDesign it should have a media box, and a crop box size of 3.75” x 2.25”, and a trim box size of 3.5” x  2”.

InDesign New Document

InDesign Document Size New Document Setup Instructions

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Checking document / Trim sizes in Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC allows you to create files with trim size, and a bleed in distinct settings just like Illustrator. Beginning with the correct document size is important with a pdf.

When checking the pdf in Acrobat Pro DC, it is not as intuitive as other software, but can be done using the tool “Set Page Boxes“. For this example we are creating a standard letter size page of 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches high. 

The Crop / Media box

The Media Box is the same size as your default crop box when the margins are set to 0” on each side. When setting the page box for the crop box it should include the bleed section as apart of the crop size, or possibly larger. In this example of a letter size page you can see the Crop Box showing the increased area to allow the bleed to also be apart of the visible crop area. You can see the Crop box size underneath the boxes highlighted on the right set at 8.75” x 11.25”

The Trim Box 

The Trim box will show how far the margins come in from each side of the crop box. So in this example the letter size page you can see the 8.5” x 11” below the boxes highlighted on the right. Which also show how far away this box is from each side on the margins in the left column.

Setting your unit standard to inches during the pdf preferences can mitigate confusion with other dimensions in later printing processes. So once the print ready pdf is saved from Illustrator it should have a media box, and a crop box size of 3.75” x 2.25”, and a trim box size of 3.5” x  2”.

Acrobat Pro DC

New Document

Acrobat DC Print Production tools Set page boxes Document Size trim size instructions

Crop Box

InDesign Document Size New Document Setup Instructions

Trim Box

InDesign Document Size New Document Setup Instructions

Adobe Photoshop

Setting up document / Trim sizes in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop allows you to create Photo files, and allow you to saved as a pdf. Beginning with the correct document size is important in Adobe Photoshop because you typically have less control of its size once dealing with a .jpg file after being exported. When using these files to naturally place them in InDesign they can be resized once placed and then be exported from InDesign, creating a print ready PDF. Producing a print ready PDF from Photoshop is not as common for printing reasons but if you’re familiar with Photoshop and want to create print files this is the way it needs to be done.

When creating a new document in Photoshop you will be given the ability to create a width and a height of the page. For this example we are creating a standard business card size page of 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high. The PDF file needs to include the extra room for bleed and will initially need to be set to 3.75” x 2.25”. When exporting a pdf from Photoshop the artwork and text placed, will be embedded into the document with the proper media and crop box set here, the Trim box size will need to be added later to communicate to the printer as to what the desired trim size is.

Photoshop pdf’s do not create a bleed or trim size. To designate the bleed size it will also need to be done later once a photoshop pdf is saved. Once the print ready pdf is saved from Photoshop it should have a media box, and a crop box size of 3.75” x 2.25”.

Photoshop New Document

InDesign Document Size New Document Setup Instructions

Prepress Checklist

Disc Pro Graphics is proud to provide the best quality printing experience in Houston, TX. We have went through the first important step to preparing your files for going to print.

The next step in your Prepress checklist

The next step in this process is making sure you have bleed for your documents.