Adding crop marks and white margin to PDF


New Member

I wonder if anyone can solve this issue I have?

A former employee at my company created a PDF (its a 4 page leaflet) in A5 without crop marks or bleed for an event last year. I was asked to amend it with this years event so I edited each page in Illustrator which worked fine.

I sent it to the printer and asked if he could print it without the crop marks/bleed and he said he can't. So I have opened each page in Photoshop and resized each page with a 3mm margin on each side. Saved each page as a separate PDF and then merged them into 1 PDF using Adobe Acrobat. So now I have a 4 page PDF which is slightly bigger than A5 - I guess in practice it does now have a bleed area. But it has no crop marks.

I tried using Acrobat and going Advanced > Print Production > Add Printers Marks but nothing happened. And I'm not sure if that is the answer because how would Acrobat know I want printers marks to A5 size?

Basically I'm stuck and any help would be appreciated. :icon_confused:
This is a bit of a dogs dinner way of doing it but... Open a new doc in indesign, A5 size and then add a 3mm bleed. Separate the pdf pages and place in the indesign doc centrally on each page this will mean you will be able to export it as a pdf with bleeds etc and should be fine to export.

Adding a white border is not the same as adding bleed, unless you want a white border on the finished job.

If it was that easy, the print guy could do it in a jiffy!

Is it a solid coloured background, or plain white? Does it have any coloured areas that run to the page edges? Is the centre spread one big design, or two separate pages?

All these things will determine whether bleed can be added after the fact, or whether you'll effectively need a re-design to incorporate bleed.

Or you could just do the hack job - at worst you may end up with random, slim white edges on some of the page edges (if indeed the pages are solid colour)

A screenshot of the pages could help me to tell you more!


Margins within the design permitting, the printer ought to be able to scale the artwork up slightly, no?
Yep, can also be possible - as ever, it depends. Easier to do at A4, getting more tricky at A5, as the bleed takes up an increasing proportion of the overall page size.
Can you open the pdf in Illustrator ? You may be able to add the bleed and crops there... or then do as Moomin says drop the pdf into Indesignand add the crops there.