TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Word layout question From:Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net> To:kimber_miller -at- acs-inc -dot- com Date:Thu, 04 Nov 1999 21:14:03 -0500
Word certainly will not let you bleed a graphic past the printable area
of the page. Neither will any other program that keeps track of what
printer you are using.
The trick to bleeds is understanding what a bleed is and what it is not.
A bleed is a printed area that extends past (not just to) the _trimmed_
edge of the page. It is not an area that extends past the edge of the
paper being fed through the printer/press/whatever. (Remember when Miss
Grindle, your ninth grade typing teacher, taught you not to type past
the edge of the paper directly on the platen because it would damage the
platen? Well the same principle applies in printing presses and laser
printers. You don't want to deposit ink or toner onto blankets, rollers,
or other surfaces besides the paper.)
So, in real-world printing, where multiple pages are imposed on a form,
a printed sheet is folded to make a signature. The signatures are
gathered to make a book (if there are multiple signatures), and at some
point in the binding process the edges are trimmed off the folded
signatures, thus elimininating the folded edges.
The trim area is figured in when the pages are laid out on the form.
Generally an eighth of an inch is allowed. A bleed extends into this
trim area (to allow for slight variations in folding and trimming).
Now how does all of this help you?
Simple. If the page size you are looking for is 8.5 x 11, then you need
a printer (somewhere in your office or available offsite) that can
handle paper at least 9 x 12, with a printable area at least 8.75 x
Next you need to obtain some 9 x 12 cover stock (call your distributor).
You could also get 12 x 18 stock if you are doing 11 x 17 bleeds. Adjust
all the other dimensions in these instructions accordingly.
Now set Acrobat Distiller as your default printer (before you launch
Word). Then, in Word, define a custom paper size, 9 x 12. Lay out your
cover (with no text, just the graphics). Be sure to include crop marks
outside the 8.75 x 11.25 area.
Print to a file an Distill the PRN file.
Okay, now you have a PDF that wants to print on 9 x 12 paper. Print the
covers or send them to your outside partner.
Send the printed covers to a bindery or small printer who can trim them
to finished size for you.
Now, whenever you need a cover for one of your internal documents, run
the pre-printed covers back through your laser printer to add the text.
Yes, this is a lot of work for internal docs and your manager will
probablyl throw a fit. But you asked how to do it, and that is how to do
kimber_miller -at- acs-inc -dot- com wrote:
> I am trying to design a coversheet for internal publications. I'd like to use a
> graphic that bleeds to the left and bottom edges of the page.
> Word won't let me.
> Or am I setting something wrong?
> I've tried to futz with the margins, to no avail.
> Ideas? Or should I just shrug disgustedly?