[texhax] full bleed

Gabrielle Araj gabrielle_araj at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 10 23:58:51 CET 2009

Thanks for your response.
Do you have a *.tex example so I can adapt it to my situation.I use geometry. 
I found this example but unable to understand what to do to have color on the edge of my paper. EXAMPLE:

From: Pierre MacKay <pierre.mackay at comcast.net>
To: Gabrielle Araj <gabrielle_araj at yahoo.com>
Sent: Thu, December 10, 2009 2:54:44 PM
Subject: Re: [texhax] full bleed

 On 12/09/2009 03:45 PM, Gabrielle Araj wrote: 
>would like to put color on the border of my document. Can you help me
>with that.
It may depend on whether you are doing your own printing from a desktop
printer or using a commercial printer.  
If you are using a commercial printer, you need to take account of the
recently developed standards for PDF, such as PDF/X-3
(I have not yet explored PDF/X-5).  The Adobe Acrobat Pro distiller
seems at this time to be the only tool you can use to set the four
page-wide levels of boxing, of which you will need three.  They run
MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, and TrimBox, with the defaults being to
have the borders of all four the same.  If you use dvips with the -O
and the -T options, you will effectively be setting the MediaBox to
match the CropBox.  Then distiller will give you the (Advanced
Options) option to set the Bleed Box to the CropBox, and to specify the
offset of the TrimBox boundaries, which must lie inside the Bleed Box. 
(The amount favored by the presses I use is 9 Adobe points inside all
four boundaries of the Bleed box.  Unfortunately, Ghostscript seems to
be still at an experimental roll-your-own stage in offering these

This means that your basic colored underlay must be 18 pt wider and 18
pt deeper than your desired trim size, and must be moved into position
so that it extends outside the trim size in all four directions.  I
find it best to size the color underlay as needed and then immediately
declare that it has 0pt width and 0pt depth, so that it will not
complicate the positioning of other elements on the page.  

Sorry if this sounds complicated.  It is complicated the first
time through, and you will probably spend some time looking at the PDFs
and fudging dimensions until things come right.  I use a framework of
\vrules that can be turned on and off with an \if \fi construction so
that I can really see where the TrimBox will be aligned.  (The rules
are set into named boxes, and the boxes are given  a declared 0pt width
so that they will not affect the spacing of other elements.  The effect
is a sort of visible \strut.)

If you can get hold of a PDF that has BleedBox and TrimBox set, look at
it in something like emacs, and you will get a good idea of how and
where the values are set in PDF/X-3.

Good luck.  It works very well once you get the hang of it.

Pierre MacKay

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