Trim guides and page bleed in Lightroom

The following article explains the page bleed and safe area guides in Adobe Lightroom. This example uses Lightroom 4 but the guides are similar in subsequent versions. 

Lightroom guides

This is what you'll see in Lightroom when using the Book module. Ignore the Photo Cells and Filler Text options for now.

guides_crop.png

Guides turned on

Here's a book page with the guides turned on. Notice the opaque grey shaded area on the very outer edge (the Page Bleed) and the inner, thin black line (the Text Safe Area). 

blank_guides_enabled.png

 Guides turned off

And here's the page with the guides turned off (by deselecting Show Guides).

blank_bleeds_off.png

Page bleed guide

The page bleed guide indicates where your full bleed image must reach to in order to completely fill the printed page. Here we deselected Photo Cells and left the page blank to more easily show the opaque grey area that makes up the page bleed.

blank_cells_off.png

 

And here's the same page with an image placed in it.

page_bleed_with_pic_close.png

If you want your image to completely fill the page (a "full bleed" image) then you must ensure that the edges of your image reach all the way to the outer edges of the page bleed. Here's an incorrectly placed image.

not_to_bleed.png

 

Here's a close up of the incorrectly-positioned image. The printed book would likely have a hairline white edge at the top.

not_to_bleed_zoom.png

 

Here's a close up of a CORRECTLY positioned full bleed image in relation to the page bleed. Notice how the image edge goes all the way to the page edge.

bleed_edge_with_pic_zoom.png

Text safe area

This line should really just be called just the "safe area" because it doesn't apply only to text.

  • Do not place any important content (text, faces, etc.) on or over the Text Safe Area line.
  • Any content on/over the trim line might be trimmed off or lost in the gutter.

 tsa.png

 

Good layout example: important content does not cross the grey trim line

Here's a close up of the earlier image. Notice how the cat's ear does not cross the safe area line. 

 in_safe_area.png

Bad layout example: important content crosses the grey trim line

Here we incorrectly positioned the image so that the cat's ear crosses the safe line. It could be trimmed off in the final printed, trimmed and bound book. 

across_safe_area2.png

 

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