Is there any way of creating a document with a full page bleed on single pages but retaining inner and outer margins?

I'm creating a wire-o-bound book so need the inner margins to be larger than the outer margins to accommodate the wire.

Is there a way of setting up a master page for rectos and another for versos and manually applying the relevant masters to all odd and even pages?

So I want this:

enter image description here

Not this:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I think you just need to Google "How to set up facing pages in InDesign."
    – 13ruce
    Jan 22, 2020 at 13:07
  • 1
    @13ruce, that doesn't allow all-round bleed, only on the outer edges. You can't put bleed in the centre of the spread as it would go over onto the next page. Jan 22, 2020 at 13:12
  • Bleed is a document setup function. It has nothing to do with single or facing pages. Google "How to add bleeds in InDesign." Otherwise, please let us know what you have tried so that we can help further.
    – 13ruce
    Jan 22, 2020 at 14:14
  • It might just be that the problem isn't clear. Can you provide an example of what you are trying to achieve, and where you are running into trouble?
    – 13ruce
    Jan 22, 2020 at 14:15
  • I know how to add bleed, I know about single and facing pages. What I want is to have all-round bleed like with single pages, but have some way of having inner and outer margins like with facing pages. I need to do this to print it so that I don't have a white line on the inside edge if the backup isn't 100 per cent. I couldn't find a way to add examples in my reply so have amended the question with examples Jan 22, 2020 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


There is a way to achieve what you want, but it's a little tricky.

  • Create a document with single pages (disable Facing Pages).
  • Double-click the A-master in the Pages panel.
  • Right-click the A-master in the Pages panel and select Master Options for "A-Master".
  • Set Number of Pages to 2 and click OK.
  • Select the left page of the master with the Page Tool.
  • In the Transform panel, move the page two times your bleed to the left (for example 2 * 3 mm = 6 mm).
  • In the Pages panel you can select both pages of your master and drag them down to add them to your document.

Now you have a gap in the middle of your spread like a wire-o has in real life. When you export single pages the gap makes sure that you get a bleed all the way around your page and that the image won't bleed into the opposite page.

There are some downsides to working like this as you will experience:

  • The two pages of the master isn't truly recognized as a spread. For example when setting the margins InDesign doesn't offer the Inside/Outside feature as with normal spreads. You will have to set the margins on the right and left page separately.
  • You probably have to make separate masters for the front and back, as InDesign doesn't automatically understand if your single pages are left or right side.
  • When exporting a PDF as spreads the bleed area between the pages is visible. I sometimes make a top layer for previewing where I draw a white rectangle covering the gap. I usually also draw the punched holes and perhaps the wire to be able to take account of this in my design.
  • Objects won't snap to the middle of the two pages and you can't place a guide outside pages, so you'll have to manually make sure that your images get the correct bleed size.
  • My colleague just suggested making the page artificially 6mm bigger on the width and then just trimming it down 6mm in from the inside crop mark. So you have 'bleed' in effect on the inside edge, but not as far as the document is concerned. The simplest options are often the best! Jan 22, 2020 at 17:15
  • True, you could do that. But if you send PDFs out in the world it's always nice to be able to send a file with the correct physical dimensions without having to explain with words. You might also be asked to do a reprint in a couple of years, forget about that tiny detail and end up with a wrong size book with no inner bleed.
    – Wolff
    Jan 22, 2020 at 18:50
  • @ Wolff, true. Interesting to know about that feature whatever the case. Thanks Jan 23, 2020 at 11:17

I believe you may be cropping your image so it splits at the center of the spread. By extending your images by the bleed amount across the center from each side of the spread, you should be able to fix the issue. See the attached facing pages master set up and see how the bleeds work on export in the image below. See how the bottom color bars bleed as expected, but the top ones do not show the blue bar.

enter image description here

  • This isn't an image that sits across two pages in a spread. It is an image that is full page on one page only. It's a cookery book with a picture of the dish on the verso and the recipe on the recto. If I pull the image across onto the opposite page then the image will appear on that page (as in your example), I don't want that, apart from looking weird, it'll double the printing costs :D Jan 22, 2020 at 16:15
  • @DanielJamesSmith How will the book be bound? Saddle stitch, coil, or perhaps in a binder of some kind?
    – 13ruce
    Jan 22, 2020 at 16:49
  • As I said in the original question, it's wire-o-bound, which is why you'll be able to see the inside edge Jan 22, 2020 at 16:59
  • @DanielJamesSmith Would it work for you to increase the width of the pages by your bleed amount, then simply trim over the spine edge by that amount? That should allow you to benefit from facing pages, and isolate the bleeds to individual pages. The only problem is that the trim lines for the spine will not be accurate, so your production team will need to be notified.
    – 13ruce
    Jan 22, 2020 at 17:15
  • 1
    We just came to that conclusion ourselves! Thanks. I am also the production team, so no problem Jan 22, 2020 at 17:18

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