If you’ve printed documents from InDesign or exported them to PDF you’ve, no-doubt, come across the Marks and Bleed settings in the print/export dialogue box. Here we configure the amount of document bleed and which of the various marks to include.
There is one often overlooked setting here which can cause problems in certain print workflows. The Offset: controls how far our marks are offset from the trim edge. The default here is 2.117mm which is a conversion from 6 points, a US default.
Printing or exporting with these settings will mean the inner edge of your crop marks will sit inside the bleed area as below – I’ve turned on the PDF guides so the trim line is shown in red with the bleed edge in blue. Clearly this doesn’t give a full 3mm of clear bleed as the crop marks encroach into the bleed area.
In some print workflows this may not be a problem but if you find your files are being flagged for insufficient bleed this is one possible cause.
To ensure the bleed is completely free make sure the Offset matches the Bleed and your crop marks will butt-up to the bleed edge without encroaching, as below.