I have this very real situation. I have a 68 page brochure + cover. I'm working with facing pages, which is ideal for clarity and design of the brochure. But the problem is when I need to export the brochure for the printhouse.

The printer tells me he needs each page separately (as opposed to spreads) and each page has to have its own bleed area. This makes perfect sense. But when I work with spreads in InDesign, there is no inner bleed area. What happens during export, is that whatever is on the opposing page gets included in the other page's bleed area, on the inner side at the spine.

I needed to get the job done quickly, so I did it the dirty way. I converted the facing pages document into a non-facing pages document. Then I had to reposition some elements because they got moved, especially because the left and right margin of each even/odd page, were different. So I had to prepare new master pages, for the left and right page with appropriate margins, and assign the master pages to each even/odd page. This is a terribly error prone workflow. It got the job done, the printer accepted my file. Each page got its own clean bleed area. But this is just wrong (dirty) workflow.

Is there a clean and flexible way to do this in InDesign CS5.5 or CS6? A feature that does this? What I imagine would be appropriate, is a gap between the left and right page, so that there is space for the inner bleed. Then I could keep working in facing pages layout, but have the ability to provide the inner bleed.

Edit: This is not a dupicate question. In my case, I need to have different content on the left and right pages, hence I need different inner bleeds. The other question is for when I want one image to spread accross the facing pages, it's not the same situation.

  • I'm pretty sure Indesign Secrets (website) has a post about this.
    – Joonas
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 16:20
  • You want the single pages to contain the bleed area in the gutter from the opposite page. That's exactly the correct configuration. You aren't' doing anything incorrect from what I read. The only objects/images which will appear in this area are those which cross or butt against the gutter. This inner bleed on single pages is used to align such objects correctly for varying signatures.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 16:56
  • This answer may also help: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/86063/3270
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:00
  • @Scott, no, I need 2 different images on each left and right page. Hence the inner bleeds have to be different.
    – Aardo
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:02
  • No. If the images butt against the gutter the bleed will show the"other" image..check this answer: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/86063/3270 -- If you mean you want a 1p6 bleed on the left and a 2p0 bleed on the right, I don't follow the reasoning behind that. But you can adjust bleed amounts per side when exporting to PDF.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


This explains things much more clearly.
(Emphasis mine.)

I need each left and right page, each with its own content to have its own bleed all around. This is what my printer requires and he won't accept the spill from the neighboring page.

The only way I am aware of to do this is via single pages. That means you need to either work in single pages, or split your facing pages document into single pages. You can then extend any typical gutter content into the bleed area.

This will allow each page to have an independent bleed which is not automatically adjust content based upon gutters.

Step by step (this is CS6)...

  • Start with facing pages document
  • File > Document Setup and untick Facing Pages
  • Reposition the now single pages to recreate the spread view. You may need to choose Allow Document Pages to Shuffle in the Pages Panel menu
  • Use the Page Tool (enter image description here) and click one of the pages, holding Shift to constrain to horizontal movement, and create a gap between the two pages large enough for the bleed on each page.

This will allow you to work on single pages but view the pages as spreads with a gap.

enter image description here

As far as I'm aware, you can not add this gap in a "Facing Pages" document.

  • This solution is exactly what I asked for - a gap between pages. It is only a lot of work to do this for each spread in a multipage document. Is there a batch solution to create a gap on many pages in one go?
    – Aardo
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 7:21
  • @Aardo unfortunately the only possible way to automate any of it is via scripting.And I'm not 100% certain it's achievable via a script. I don't do a great deal of INDD scripting.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 7:30

The above solution won't work if you have right-left page numbers and master page headers/footers/folio lines. Best work-around I could do was to make a pdf with bleeds and then in Acrobat Pro DC mannually extend bleed in the spine area and/or delete fragments of bleeds from facing pages.

  • You can configure master pages properly with 2 pages spreads.. but use a single page document. You don't need the "Facing pages" option turned on - in fact, you need it off. I do this daily, multiple times.
    – Scott
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 17:32

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