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Set Up Bleed in Publisher 2010


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Bleeds and Bleed Allowance
Business Card With Bleed Elements

This business card has elements (the background gradient and the white grid) that bleed off the page. However, the white grid has not been set up with a bleed allowance. It stops right at the edge of the document.

© Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com
A bleed is any element of a page design that extends right to the edge of the document. It could be a photo, an illustration, a rule line, and even text. It can extend to one or more edges of the page. In the above illustration, the gradient background and the grid lines are bleeds. They go right up to the edge of the business card.

However, printers (both desktop printers and commercial printing presses) are imperfect devices. Paper can shift ever-so-slightly during printing or during the trimming process when cutting a document printed on larger paper down to the final size. This shift can leave tell-tale white edges where there should be none. Photos that are supposed to go right to the edge now have a little unintended border on one or more sides.

A bleed allowance helps to compensate for those tiny shifts by extending photos and other artwork a tiny amount beyond the edges of the document. If there's a slip during printing or trimming whatever was supposed to go to the edge, still does.

A typical bleed allowance is about 1/8th of an inch (.125 in) or 3mm. For commercial printing, check with your printing service to see if they recommend a different bleed for their presses or printing method.

In Microsoft Publisher 2010, if you use Page Design > Page Background to give your page a solid, gradient, or other fill the program will automatically set a bleed allowance when printing to your desktop printer (that's how the background was done in the example). But for anything else you put on the page — text, shapes, pictures — you'll need to manually extend that item beyond the edge of your document.

Tutorial Steps

  1. This page Bleeds and Bleed Allowance
  2. Printing Without Bleed Allowance
  3. Create Bleed Allowance: Method 1
  4. Create Bleed Allowance: Method 2
  5. Printing With Bleed Allowance

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