How to use bleed (crop marks) correctly?

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I have a scribus document that is 160 x 227 mm that I want to print on A4 paper with crop marks that are 1cm from the left, 4 from the right, 4 from the top, and 3 from the bottom.

Therefore, I set a bleed of 10mm, 40mm, 40mm, 30mm.

Unfortunately the output pdf is not A4 (210 x 297mm) as i expected but rather 224 x 311mm. The reason seems to be that scribus adds an additional 7mm margin in which it prints the crop marks?

How can i get the desired result with A4 output and crop marks at the right place?

EDIT: Of course I can just subtract 7mm from each bleed, so set the bleed to 3, 33, 33, 23, but since I don't understand where the 7mm come from that seems like a dirty workaround and I am not sure if I can trust the result?


The problem arises because you (or more the program you use to print the PDF) are not using the PDF boxes correctly.

A correct use would be to adhere to the PDF boxes (trim box and bleed box), that fact that Scribus adds space outside the bleed area should not matter if the boxes are used correctly.

If you do not want to tweak in Scribus, what you have to do is use another application to crop the PDF to the right size for print.

It could probably be done by printing to 100% scale (instead of "fit to page", which you seem to be using), but I'm not sure the centering will be correct.

I should add that you are probably using the bleed figures incorrectly. Bleed should only be as much as is needed to compensate for cutting variations, so 4-6 mm should be enough. You are instead trying to use it to place the content on the sheet, which is Not The Right Way.


Oh, thanks for your reply.
Actually I am not printing at all so far. I try to generate a pdf that I can give to a print shop.

What I did was looking at the document properties in Acrobat Reader and then it gives me the 224 x 311 mm paper format, which I thought was wrong.

If I understand you correctly this shouldn't matter as long as the print shop does their job correctly?

But the crop marks are only at the edges of the pdf, so if it is printed to scale on A4 paper, wouldn't that mean that the crop marks are not on there at all?


I think the crop marks are outside the bleed area, so if you set your bleed smaller it will probably be closer to the edge.

If I were you I would make the PDF from Scribus "to small" to fit the A4, then use another application to add margins.

Ask the print shop if they can handle the trim box of the PDF or not. If they can, you should be able to tell them to "place the content 10 mm from the left edge and 40 mm from the top edge". If they can't, you need to fix that part yourself.

An easier solution: Create an A4 document. Add guides at the "margins" you want. Place your content within the guides. Draw crop marks with the help of the guides (can be done on a master page or separate layer).


Ok. Found out that I can just give the file to the print shop in the final format i want and they can print it. So problem resolved - somehow.