Help please : What are various boxes in a pdf

mulo_g

Well-known member
Newbie question. I Wish to know about various boxes in a pdf. Media, crop, trim, art and bleed. Googling has not helped, just one line cryptic answers same as names.
1) Can someone tell the significance and usage of these boxes?

2) If I am making a portrait book whose final size after cutting is 150 mm x 225 mm, and before cutting it is 155 x 235 (5 mm cutting margin on each of 3 sides), and I use paper for printing 4 up, cut to size 310 mm x 470, and uncut plain paper for printing 316 x 476, then where do/should these boxes appear? And their names?

3) what is the difference between trim and crop?

Thanks for any help.
 

mulo_g

Well-known member
If there is a crop box in a pdf file with say 4 pages. And I send this file for offset printing, what box/size will the imposition software (preps or other) pick up for imposition / printing /offset plate? crop box or media box?
And, is media box always equal or larger than crop box?
 

abc

Well-known member
Normally Trim Box, the Media Box is always (or should be) the biggest box.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We generally only use the Media Box and the Trim Box. Don't see much use for the others in day to day work.
 

akalaray

Well-known member
Trim Box and bleed box are usually the go to boxes for prepress - Without these they will fail at the rip
 

jdr999

Well-known member
What is the bleed box used for?

If I have a postcard at 5" x 7" with 0.25" bleed my media box would be 5.25" x 7.25" and my trim box would be 5" x 7", correct? Isn't a bleed box redundant?

And in actuality if I know I need to use 0.25" bleed then all I really need is a media box -- no marks, no trim/crop/bleed boxes.. Just an oversized media box to account for bleed.

But I'll admit I'm pretty new at this -- what am I missing?
 

abc

Well-known member
When you are designing a document the originating application sets the bleed using the bleed box. Your approach would technically work, but maybe rejected by a printer no bleed box exists.
Best to do it right!
 

Joe

Well-known member
Agree with abc. Do it right.

That 5" x 7" document with .25" bleed would be 5.5" x 7.5" (.25" bleed on all 4 sides). And if you put marks on it when outputting the bleed box would be 5.5" x 7.5" and the crop and media box would be whatever it takes to include the marks. Those boxes tell the printer a lot of information if they are the correct sizes. If they aren't the correct size it tells the printer a lot of misinformation.
 

jdr999

Well-known member
We use 0.25" bleed (0.125" per side). I generally prefer to receive an oversize pdf (without marks) and let fiery impose handle the crop marks. If someone wants a 5" x 7" and supplies us with a 5.25" x 7.25" we assume proper bleed is included. Is that a bad assumption?

We are strictly a digital shop though and don't do much in the way of pre-flight / pre-press. I use Pitstop to add bleed (if not supplied) and to set the correct sizes.
 

abc

Well-known member
If it works for you, then it works.
I guess the key part is the word 'assumption'.
If you've got a trim box and a bleed box you don't need to assume. The intention is clear. It's all about communication.
 

Joe

Well-known member
We use 0.25" bleed (0.125" per side). I generally prefer to receive an oversize pdf (without marks) and let fiery impose handle the crop marks. If someone wants a 5" x 7" and supplies us with a 5.25" x 7.25" we assume proper bleed is included. Is that a bad assumption?

We are strictly a digital shop though and don't do much in the way of pre-flight / pre-press. I use Pitstop to add bleed (if not supplied) and to set the correct sizes.

Just wondering why you wouldn't want ALL of the page boxes in the PDF? The page layout application puts them in there so it seems like it would be more work to remove them than just leave them alone. Plus they aren't hurting anything being in there.
 

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