I have made a business card in InDesign that is 3.5 x 2 inches with a 1/8" bleed (as per the printer's guidelines). So the document (including bleed) should be a total of 3.75" x 2.25". I have double checked these dimensions many times. My bleed is set at 0.125" all around, my offset is at 0.833, my crop marks are set at 0.25. However, when I export the document as a pdf, the dimensions are too large - in acrobat they are 4.08" x 2.58". Only when I export it WITHOUT the crop marks do the PDF dimensions come out correctly in acrobat (3.75" x 2.25") - but I need to provide the crop marks.

If I set the offset to 0, it does make the PDF document dimensions smaller but it only changes them to 3.92" x 2.42". When I open the PDF image, it shows more space beyond the bleed... so if I have made a black border around the card that extends through the entire 1/8" bleed, the PDF shows a white border around the black border... so it is extending past the bleed.

How can I make the document be the correct dimensions as a PDF and only have it go up to the 1/8" bleed edge rather than beyond it?

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Why are you concerned about the crop marks extending beyond the bleed? That's usually quite normal. These get cut off anyway. See this typical example
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 2, 2020 at 0:40
  • I've honestly never had this issue before - but I received this message from the printer: "Your provided artwork has size of 4.08 x 2.58, this needs to be adjusted to 3 3/4" x 2 1/4" (includes 1/8" bleed)." So they are seeing the size of the artwork with the cropbox as a problem so I was trying to see if there was a way to provide the artwork with just the bleed.
    – Freedie
    Mar 2, 2020 at 2:58
  • Thank you for your help. Maybe there's just an issue with this printer.
    – Freedie
    Mar 2, 2020 at 3:01
  • honestly I think you should probably ask your printer about this. It sounds really odd to me.
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 2, 2020 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


This is normal and not a problem. The PDF has the correct size. It doesn't matter that there is a white border.

The document size and the bleed size is saved in the PDF as the so-called "boxes" so the PDF "knows" its own dimensions.

In Acrobat you can double-check (and alter) the boxes with the Set Page Boxes tool:

Here is an example where I've chosen to see the TrimBox which is the final size the document gets after cutting:

The dimensions you see when hovering the mouse over the Acrobat window is the CropBox which includes the whole PDF including the white border and the bleed.

  • Thank you SO much! This was a HUGE help!
    – Freedie
    Mar 2, 2020 at 3:00

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