Crop Marks (updated for CS4)


1. Crop marks are useful guides to use when you are printing it out and cutting it out with an xacto knife, sending it for printers, for projects with bleeds, etc. What I have as an example is a business card for my work. Let me show you how to apply crop marks on this project.

2. Now I am going to select the shape outside of the business card, and go to OBJECT > CROP MARKS.

3. Thats it! But we’re not done yet. Next we are going to another method.

Crop Marks in Illustrator CS4

4. In CS4, there is a new feature called the Artboard tool and conversion. We are going to use this new tool to create crop marks instead of using effects. For this example, we are going to select the shape that creates the border and size of the business card and go to OBJECT > CONVERT TO ARTBOARD menu command.

5. Once you do that, the object you had selected turns into an artboard. As you can see on the screenshot above, Illustrator also creates bleed lines for me.

6. To change the size or margins of the bleeds, you simply have to adjust the page setup menu in Illustrator. Once you do that, the changes will take effect immediately.

7. Now we are going to create crop marks. Now there really is no reason to create crop marks if we are not going to print it out. With CS4, you can just turn on crop marks right when you are going to print, so we are going to do just that. In the print dialog box, you want to set the range to 2 for my example. The reason why we want to do this is because the 1st artboard is the actual white background that the business card sits on. We don’t need crop marks for those. After you set the range, you want to go to the MARKS AND BLEED settings in the print dialog box. Check off TRIM MARKS and REGISTRATION MARKS. You can set the other 2 that I didn’t check, it really depends on your printer or your project.

8. After you set all that, you can look at the preview and see that crop marks are all set up for you. We’re done!

9 Responses to “Crop Marks (updated for CS4)”

  1. Jmacvrs said:

    FYI to the rest of the world who uses PC’s (better), on Windows Version of Illustrator, “Trim Marks” is actually “Crop Marks”

  2. Synergy said:

    These tutorials are a bit old and hasn’t been updated with the latest software version. I will be working on that asap. And in terms of PC and Mac formats, I use both so I don’t argue about which OS is better. Computer is just a tool for design, whatever gets the job done.

  3. saher said:

    yeah “Jmacvrs” stop bothering ppl with useless comments.. i use a pc too and it was pretty simple to find out what synergy was trying to say!! duh!

  4. Krystof said:

    This is a quality tutorial thank you!

  5. Muhammad Raheel Kayani said:

    I like this tutorial. Now I understand the print ready file. Please carry on to post new tutorials.
    Thanks

  6. Chris Goyette said:

    Thanks a TON, man! I’ve been looking for a while for this, and most other sites tell you how to edit the bleeds in Illustrator, but they don’t tell you WHAT to click on, or where the option is in the menu. But you did, that you!

  7. Chris Takakura said:

    @Chris Goyette: You welcome :)

  8. Forest said:

    @saher: What’s your problem, and how was Jmacvrs post useless? I have a mac, but I guarantee that there are tons of people with Windows who wouldn’t be able to figure that out, or at least not figure it out as quickly as someone just telling them. If you are that awesome, why did you even need a tutorial at all?

  9. Shahana Akter said:

    hey ..it’s really awesome and informative post here ..thanks

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