What are Crop Marks for Printing?
Crop marks are referred as trim lines that are placed at the edges of the documents to be printed. A graphic designer, while designing any document keeps the thin lines at the corners which makes it easy for the printing companies to trim the final piece.
It’s entirely up to the designer whether to add the crop marks digitally or manually. Adding the crop marks digitally are usually preferred due to the automatic application through the software whereas manual trim lines are hard to add for each individual document. While printing the several documents on one sheet of paper, crop marks are mandatory.
Need of Crop Marks
Suppose, every company needs to print the business cards but due to the small size, it is not possible to print each card separately. In that case, the printing press run a single sheet of paper with multiple business cards to reduce the work. At last, it is the company’s job to trim the business cards in the finishing department and this can be done only when there are crop marks.
Add Crop Marks to a File
Software such as Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Publisher, CorelDRAW, and QuarkXpress etc. has almost the same criteria to add crop marks to a document. With the image open in Photoshop, choose Print>Printing Marks and then select corner crop marks to add the trim lines to the document.
In the other software also i.e. Indesign, crop marks are chosen from the Marks section of the PDF export bleed and slug area. Now because there are little variations in the software on how to add the crop marks, usually the option is present in the Print or export section.
Add Crop Marks Manually
Crop marks are added manually as well because in some cases, digital crop marks are not as helpful as manual are. If the document contains signature, envelope and a letterhead, digital trim lines turn out to be less helpful. It is because; the printer doesn’t get to know where to trim the page as all the items need to be printed on a different paper.
Be very precise while putting the crop marks at the corner of the document to indicate to the printer how to and where to trim each element. So this was all about adding the crop marks in the document but what to do if the files are already converted into PDF files for printing?
Perform this method to remove the crop marks:
- Go to Tools in the menu bar and then click on Advanced Editing Tools.
- Go to Crop Tool option located in the fly-out menu and then place the cursor in the upper left corner of the PDF. Make sure it is inside the margin area that contains the crop marks. Drag the mouse to create a rectangle while leaving the outer margins. Release the mouse and the PDF will be cropped with no crop marks at all.