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Fold lines on a brochure?


Senior Member
Hi everyone

I'm making a trifold brochure, and the printer says they need fold lines to be visible on the pdf. I had a look for tutorials and simply found that people just put a dashed line in a bright colour where they want their folds to be.

The tutorial said put the folds on a non printing layer in indesign. The printer says they need to see the fold on the pdf so they know where to fold.. But a bright colour dashed line that's visible on the end brochure isn't gonna look good.

So I'm pretty confused about this folding. Can anyone tell me what to do? It's a double sided trifold leaflet..

Thankyou very much people :)
A little diagram:

The white area is the crop area for your final product, anything in the grey area will be cut off, but still visible in the PDF if you export it right, meaning it can contain printer's marks and stuff. So if you draw your fold marks where the red lines are, say in a layer called 'fold marks', then they'll work it out.

Edit: Oh and make sure you put them outside of the bleed area of course.


Senior Member
by this i mean.. add that extra space around the document, so that the fold lines show, without of course changing my bleed measurement?? Sorry i am quite lost when it comes to print.. thankyou :)


Senior Member
I'm using inDesign - I think Mark Anthony meant to actually place dashed lines outside of the crop (printed/visible) area, and export them onto the pdf.

But im not sure how to set the printers marks so that there is a large enough area around the crop area to include the lines on the pdf -- I'm not sure what this mark is called (margin/trim/..etc etc) and if any size is too large/how to do this best.
Oh i see, unfortunately that singles me out as i don't use Indesign.

I know in Illustrator you can add your printer guides etc and then File>Document Setup>Edit Artboards>Presets, then choose your required size around cropped area.




Senior Member
no worries sa doesn't matter :) i read on an adobe forum you add the fold line in the slug area

Edit: So i did. and it worked. but i was just being silly and couldnt see it..

Yeah, the grey area in my pic (from Illustrator) is roughly synonymous with InDesign. If you draw stuff there it'll be in the PDF when you export, but trimmed off in the final print. Well technically the marks might not be printed at all, I guess it depends on your printers workflow. But the point is they'll be in your print files and the printer will be able to use them :)
The other thing you can do, which I used to do in packaging, is provided the artwork is CMKY, you can lay the dotted fold lines over the artwork as a spot colour, which you can simply remove in the output preview mode in Acrobat...