Adding fold marks to flat pieces

Community Beginner ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Is there a way in Indesign CS3 to indicate a fold so that when you export with crops and bleeds, there is a registration mark indicating a fold? I frequently do two-sided flyers with off-center folds. I can't do them as page spreads because the pages would be different sizes, but since I upload press-ready PDFs to my printer, it would be nice to have registration marks indicating where the fold should be on each side. Any ideas?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Draw them by hand.

Bob

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Four words—not very helpful. How? Where?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Try this:

  1. In InDesign, set your slug area to be at least 0.5 inch around all four sides.
  2. Hold down the Cntl/Cmd key when dragging out guides to mark the folds. This will make them go off the page edges.
  3. Draw a small, dashed line from outside the bleed (typically 0.125 inch) to the outside edge of the slug area on the This will make the guides 0.375 inch long.
  4. When you export your PDF, include the bleed and slug areas.
  5. Make sure the printer knows that there are fold marks in your PDF. Supply a hand-folded example if possible.

 

Another option is to see if you can get a free template to your specs at:

https://foldfactory.com/template-builder/

 

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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LATEST

Old thread, question well answered, but —

When I've done pieces for hand/home production (such as community organization flyers, where volunteers might print and fold 20 or 50 for their own needs), I've found it useful to put tiny fold marks within the printing area. That is, the smallest, almost-invisible tick perhaps 0.33pt, 0.1 inch long, right at the left or right edge and blended into the design. It can speed up hand-folding, especially trifold, by a lot to include that first precise fold mark. All the volunteer has to do is line up the first fold corner on the mark, flatten, and then make any second fold to match.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (v2 now on Amazon!)

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Mentor ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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This is a job for a larger bleed or two slug areas.

Any marks that are in the bleed or slug areas will print when the bleeds and slug are selected when making the PDF.

A trick we used to do from my old XP days, was to draw the rule right across the live document area but then cover that area with a paper knockout.

That way the rule would definitely be correct on both sides of the page, but not be visible.

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Participant ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Often, I'll create a new layer named "Trim" or "Fold" and indicate with a Magenta dashed line or something of the sort the fold or die-cut line. Sometimes I mark "die-line do not print" just to be safe.

You can send a low-res pdf along with your high-res to the printer with this layer turned on to indicate the folds to them.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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What Dan says. I always layout a trifold on a larger sheet so I can show fold marks.

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Mentor ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Richard,

You don't have to layout a trifold on a larger sheet. There are many ways to avoid that confusion.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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The final file I remit for press is to size but I often send a 2nd PDF with the fold marks on it. Depends on the client. I have a digital printer and send to printer and correct at the rip until it folds just right.

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Mentor ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Richard,

You are working too hard and not efficiently.

You can keep the original ID file at the trim size and add fold marks without oversizing the document.

It feels like you are using 1970's mechanical workflows to do what could be done using modern electronic layouts.

And while I know your heart is in the right place, I worry about newcomers coming to this board and taking your suggestions as efficient ways to work.

You are so clever with certain things and so strange with others.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 12, 2009 Mar 12, 2009

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Totally. There is no reason not to make your document size the trim size. (Unless you're using Illustrator, and Gods help you.)

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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I would agree it's best to keep the document at trim size for a trifold brochure if it's an accordian fold, (or a 4 or 5 page for that matter). But for a barrel fold, one or more pages needs to be narrower than the cover, or it won't fold properly. This is an issue where an element must be exactly centered in one of the short pages, in this case, I would agree with Richard, unless I'm missing something.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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I'm not making myself clear which is my own fault. Late night brain fog. I oversimplified my answer.

When I design a brochure for a client I create an 11 x 8.5 document and do my thing. I create a layer with fold marks so client can see them on proofs. At press, I turn them off. I then send the job to the printer with just crops. I use the same handful of printers so they know my files are extremely consistent. Once in a while they will ask for a PDF with fold marks if an image or text appears too close to a fold.

For others, I dupe the file expand to 11 x 17. Put in my marks, fold marks, slug and any other pertinent information. Depends on the client. The vast majority of the time this is required by outside ad agencies who hire us for design work.

Sandee - your comment is about 70s workflow is odd. Almost without exception, any file I receive from an ad agency for printing is laid out on an oversize sheet. Drives me insane to get 7 business cards in 7 8.5 x 11 AI files. I may be exaggerating a bit but I would go as far as to say AI files outnumber ID files 10 to 1. Letterheads and envelopes in two separate 11 x 17 AI files. Additionally, as mentioned above, when I design for the agency they specify the files be AI with crops, slug, etc.

The only thing I ever use AI for is logos and vector art. The thing that made me switch to ID was that I didn't have to exit as often to use AI and PS as I did with Quark. Being a one man shop, the efficiency gains alone justified the switch.

If you are doing unconventional folds or if there are die cuts on the piece, it is extremely important to show this information clearly and precisely. This is where the oversize sheet comes in.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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Richard, that seems to be backwards. Normally my clients don't want to see [and are totally ignorant of the purpose] of fold marks. So PDF proofs are sent to them with no bleeds, no crops, no folds, etc. And the final print PDF will have bleeds, crops and folds.

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Mentor ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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Maybe I'm missing something, but in none of these cases does the artboard need to be oversized.

Use of a large bleed or slug will create a printable area for fold marks.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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Sandy, when you said "You can keep the original ID file at the trim size" I read that to mean the final size of the folded brochure, which would be fine in some cases, and not in others.

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Mentor ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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OK, this is how I would handle any folded project:

First, I look at the
b PAGE
as the trim for the piece of paper which will be folded to become the brochure. (We may think of the folded areas as pages, but I don't think of them that way.)

There are always two pages to a folder project: The
b front
and the
b back
pages.

I would set up my two pages as the final trim size.

Then, I would specify a bleed for the document.

I would probably use the master page to designate the fold marks (as guides) as well as safety areas for type.

I might use text frames on the master page if I needed text to flow from one folded area to another. It depends on the purpose of the brochure and the text layout.

Finally, if I needed to indicate where the folds were for the client I would specify to print guides in the PDF. Although if I had a particularly brain-dead client (I know, redundancy), I might draw dotted fold lines down the master page to indicate where these folds would be.

But that would not be what I would send to the print service provider. For them I would use the bleed and/or slug area to indicate where the folds should be.

Because the page is the size of the trim, these fold marks can float anywhere the proper placement should be. (I would have gotten the fold mark placement AHEAD of time from the print service provider. I would NEVER try to anticipate where those folds should fall by myself. I know better!)

I feel this workflow is the proper technique for a designer or production person and winds up with a document that is most adaptable for the needs of the print service provider.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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I'm with Sandee, it is the way I work (and worked for a long time). Use bleed and if needed slug.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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I would agree, except there are plenty of one sided pocket folders, and we call it "flat size" until folded and/or trimmed. I don't see the advantage of using the master page to indicate the folds, as they will not be the same for the front and back on a trifold, except as I mentioned previously.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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I think Richard [in one of his earlier post] is referring to "Large" as one document page that is constructed to flat size as opposed to multiple facing pages [as a spread] where the page represents a panel of a multi-fold piece. And "Large" is not oversized to flat size to accomodate fold marks.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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>Although if I had a particularly brain-dead client

Sandee: You obviously haven't dealt with off the street clients in your life. My clients range from the local deli to large corporations to ad agencies. There is an incredibly wide range of competency at the lower end. If I had a dollar for every time a client said (with great condescension and sarcasm) "am I supposed to guess how this folds" I would be retired by now. When you get down to local level: PTA's, schools, garden clubs, etc. you need to be very literal.

And if you've received the 100s of publisher files with text and/or images that runs to and often across the folds, you wouldn't have made such an uninformed remark about fold marks.

If it makes you guys feel better, all the jobs we design in-house for end users go to the printers with just crops. Though sometimes I add fold marks (in the bleed area, no less!). As I mentioned earlier, most of my vendors have been working with us for 10+ years and we have it down pat.

At the end of the day, different jobs have different requirements.

I've tried slugs and never liked it. Just my preference. I've used custom slugs for 20 years and am at the stage where certain habits are too deeply entrenched to break.

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Mentor ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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> Sandee: You obviously haven't dealt with off the street clients in your life. My clients range from the local deli to large corporations to ad agencies. There is an incredibly wide range of competency at the lower end.

Richard,

I don't "deal" with those clients. I'm the one trying to "teach" them how to do it properly. I don't call them clients. I call them students.

This is where I have problems with print shops that insist on doing it in somewhat non-standard ways.

My students come in with stories of how their print shops have told them to jump through amazing hoops trying to accomodate the print shops antiquated workflows.

It's hard enough teaching smart students. But when I get stupid ones who have been told to do all sorts of bizarre things, it's just impossible to teach 'em.

But you will be interested in the book I am currently working on. It is called "From Design into Print" and it's a revision of my old "Non-Designer's Scan and Print" book and has all sorts of information for exactly that deli owner who wants to print up menus, etc.

I will send you a copy in May when it is published so you can tell all those deli owners to read it!

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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Diane, try this fold mark scriptI use it all the time:

http://www.zenodesign.com/scripts/MakeFoldMarks.zip

Dialog asks you where you want the marks (in inches) and if they should be on the vertical or horizontal measure, and then draws them .125" off the page edge. The marks are put on their own layer. When you export set a .25" + bleed to include them in the PDF.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 13, 2009 Mar 13, 2009

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>This is where I have problems with print shops that insist on doing it in somewhat non-standard ways.

As a general rule, I tell my clients who don't know design (the publisher people) to give me the live file and all art/fonts. Professionals, I request a PDF. Surprising how many extremely talented, experienced designers send jobs without bleeds or crops.

> will send you a copy in May when it is published so you can tell all those deli owners to read it!

Thanks. I'm a design book junkie. My current fave is still Scott Citron's book. I'm awaiting Michael Murphy's book which is due out in a few months from what I've read on his site.

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