How to Add Bleed in Photoshop CC

Learn how to add bleed in Photoshop CC using this quick and smart little tip, and prepare your file accordingly for print so that there are no surprises when it comes to putting ink on paper.

Add Bleed in Photoshop

How to Add Bleed in Photoshop CC

Video Tutorial

If you prefer watching someone when it comes to Photoshop, feel free to use my video tutorial below and follow along at your own pace.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Add Bleed to Document

Step 1 – With your document open in Photoshop, go to view > rulers if you don’t have them visible already.

Step 2 – Drag four rulers, 2 from the left and 2 from the top, across and down to line up with the four sides of the document. The rulers should snap into place.

Your document should look as follows.

Step 3 – Go to image > canvas size.

Step 4 – Decide how much bleed you would like to add. In my example, I want to add 3mm around the whole document. Hence, that would add 6mm to the width and 6mm to the height (3×2=6).

Hence, I changed my width from 209.97 to 215.17.

Then, I changed my height from 297.01 to 303.01.

Step 5 – Make sure your anchor is set to central (default option), and click ok.

Step 6 – You have now added 3mm around the document, and the rulers are where the cut lines and the actual size of the document are. If needed, extend your artwork beyond the cut lines as to not have white edges when going to print.

Export with Bleed and Cut Marks from Photoshop

Step 7 – This is difficult to do because, as you can see below, there are no crop or bleed options when you export as a Photoshop PDF.

In this tutorial, I guide you through doing this through InDesign, but if you are insistent on going through Photoshop, your options will be limited.

Step 8 – One option you can try is Photoshop’s print option, which you can access by going to file > print.

Step 9 – In the print settings under printing marks, you can turn on crop marks. However, this is for home printing and not for sending to a professional printer.

Export with Bleed and Cut Marks from InDesign

Step 10 – This is my preferred method, which is industry standard. However, you will need InDesign installed, which shouldn’t be a problem if you have a full CC account. Open up InDesign.

Step 11 – Go to file > new > document.

Step 12 – Create a new document in accordance with the size of your Photoshop document. My document is A4 size, so I created a print document at 210x297mm. I removed margins and added 3mm bleed on all sides. Once your document is set up, click create.

Step 13 – In the newly created document, go to file > place.

Step 14 – Locate your Photoshop file and click open.

Step 15 – Click to place the psd file into the document.

Step 16 – Go to your align panel and make sure align to page is selected.

Step 17 – Select the file with the selection tool and click align horizontally and vertically to align the psd file to the document. If you have set up the document correctly, your Photoshop document should align perfectly on the page, and you will be able to see the bleed area.

Step 18 – With the document in place, go to file > export.

Step 19 – Choose a save location, set the file name, make sure your format is adobe pdf (print), and click save.

Step 20 – Set your print export accordingly (I use PDF/X-1a 2001), and under marks and bleeds, make sure you use document bleed settings, then add any crop marks you like. Once done, click export.

Here is my saved file, and as you can see, it has been exported with crop marks, ready to be sent to the printer.

We are a little way off Photoshop being set up for print, but to be honest, it isn’t fully designed to be like that. InDesign should be your go-to for preparing a file for print.

However, if you do want to add bleed in Photoshop, this little hack should allow you to do it by expanding the canvas size. I hope it helps you out!

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