Getting an image ready to print and ran into a problem of cut marks/crop marks not appearing once the file is printed. Just to review the steps I took while working in InDesign to layout the image:

Step 1: Created a new document (11x17) Landscape

Step 2: Placed images and aligned them to the page

Step 3: Exported the file as a PDF and saved the file

Step 4: Clicked on Marks and Bleed in the Pop up Menu

Step 5: Checked Crop Marks under Marks and Bleed

Step 6: Exported Document.

After I took these steps and opened the PDF document to preview, the crop marks were visible but at the very corners of the page. Once I sent the file over to be printed, there were no crop marks visible at all. I went back to the file and there are also no crop marks visible while I am looking at the file. Curiously, I dragged out the "frame" to the outer corners of the page to see if they would appear and exported it as a PDF with crop marks again. No dice. Is there an easier way to put in crop marks? Did I miss a step?

Indesign Menu



2 Answers 2


You can avoid this problem by using Advanced Crop Marks script. It is free InDesign script that makes creating crop and registration marks very comfortable and intuitive, based on chosen parameters, see the following picture.

enter image description here

It can be downloaded for example at the following link: http://www.scriptopedia.org/en/js-indesign/122-advancedcropmarks-en.html. Downloaded file "AdvancedCropMarks.jsx" just copy into the script directory of InDesign, on Windows (InDesign CS6) it is typically "c:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS6\Scripts\Scripts Panel\". After restarting InDesign it appears among other scripts.


When you print on a 11x17, you don't really need to place all the crop marks and the 2up centered in the 11x17... The crop marks you're trying to use are the ones that will appear on the 4 corners of the "printed area". What you're trying to do is to apply them to the 4 corners of your 11x17.

Let's suppose you have a document of 10x7, and you want it 2up, on a 11x17:

1) You will first calculate the printed area, and include the bleed if necessary; then you will create your InDesign document to this size.

In this case, you know you can calculate 7" + 7" + 0.25" (bleed). So the height of your document will be 14.25" and the width will stay at 10".

2) Trace your middle crop marks that will be between the 2 up.

Crop marks InDesign

Use the line tool. You should use the registration color, and use the coordinates XY for this, to make sure it's perfectly aligned. Put these lines outside the document, as if itwas in the "bleed" area.

Use coordinates

3) Now you can print the same way you tried.

Don't forget to add your bleed.

Print setting

4) Your final print should look like this.

I used the PDF export on my example, but if you print directly on your own printer, you simply need to select your paper size and print the document you just created.

It will be perfectly centered in the 11 x 17 with the crop marks.

final crop marks 2up

If you need to send a PDF to a print shop and want to put it on a 11x17": simply export the PDF in the way above, and insert it on a new 11x17" document file in InDesign. And export that PDF again without any bleed and crop marks! But usually they don't require this.

  • Thanks for the information! I work for a print shop and my supervisor requested crop marks to make it easier for him to cut the images.
    – MisterCMYK
    Jul 24, 2015 at 18:52
  • Just prepare your file the way I described, and in your print settings, choose the papersize you need. That's the fastest and most precise way to get your crop marks... at least the ones on the 4 corners. You need to draw the ones between the "up" though. By the way, if your files are from Illustrator, there is a function to create "trim marks" around a selected shape; that could save you some time too (select a shape, for example a transparent rectangle of the size of your business card, and go in the menu "object" then select "create trim marks". Import your layout in InDD and do as above)
    – go-junta
    Jul 24, 2015 at 19:18
  • Yes! The files were originally in illustrator to begin with. I just prefer using InDesign for proportions. I will try this, I think this is what I was looking for. Thanks~
    – MisterCMYK
    Jul 24, 2015 at 19:35

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