InDesign Setting up a Document Part 1

Slugfest and Bleeds: The Ring Match of InDesign

Ready to tackle InDesign? While it might seem really painful, keep in mind that if you work at it and you patiently go through the lessons, you will be able to get around this program and, with some talent and knowledge in graphic design, you will be turning out designs that are a knock out. But before people think that we are going to get into a violent subject, it’s better if I start explaining to you InDesign’s ring match … I mean InDesign document’s area. Look at this illustration

Slug is marked by blue guides, bleed is marked by red guides (enlarged version)

If you have ever dealt with a word processing application you will be familiar with the document’s page. However, Desktop Publishing applications differ from word processing applications as they also have a pasteboard (this is not the only difference though). The pasteboard is that white area around the page which you can use to put objects that you might need while you design, but that will not be printed out.

You then have the margins within your document’s page. Now we are getting to the harsh part … the bleed and slug. Jokes aside, here are the definitions of these two terms and an explanation of what they do:

  1. Bleed: Definition from the About Desktop Publishing Graphical Glossary
  2. Slug: The slug area is a space outside of your document page which you can use to write comments about the document you are using.

In the illustration I have shown you I have set the bleed to 3 mm and I have set the slug at the bottom of the document. But you can change these settings or not have any bleeds or slug at all. If you are printing to your desktop printer you do not need any bleed allowance. I will explain how to set bleed and slug in the next section.

This is a series of 4 articles.

1. Slugfest and Bleeds: The Ring Match of InDesign
2. Rulers and Spine
3. Setting up the page, grids and margins
4. Master Pages

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