Affinity Publisher PDF files

Are you using Affinity Publisher to create a PDF to upload via our PDF Uploader? If so, the steps below will help ensure you create and upload a correctly-sized file

The most common error we see is an incorrect inner bleed setting for pages. The inner bleed setting must be 0 points, which is different than the top, bottom, and outer bleeds. 

Always carefully review your PDF before you upload it to Blurb. We don't review things before they go into production--that's up to you, as the author of the book.

1. Get Blurb's specifications

Go to our PDF Specifications page and find the required settings for your specific Blurb format, size, cover type, page count, and paper type. Leave that page open.

2. Set up your Affinity Publisher file

Ensure your Affinity Publisher document matches the specifications shown on the page above.

i. For new Affinity Publisher documents

a. For your pages

  • Under Layout do the following:
    • Under Layout>Page width and page height, enter the dimensions seen in the Page Specifications>Page size / trim line (w x h) section of our PDF Specifications page. Do not enter the Final exported PDF dimensions. 
    • Select your desired number of pages. (You can add or remove pages later, though you must have an even number of pages).
  • Under Pages do the following:
    • Check Facing pages.
    • Leave Arrange at the existing setting.
    • Choose Start on Right.
  • Under Margins do the following:
    • Check Include margins.
    • Note that our specification for the inner margin will be different than the settings for the other sides:
      • Set your Inner Margin setting to match our specification for Page Specifications>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (Binding Edge).
      • Set the remaining margins to our specifications for Page Specifications>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (Top, Bottom, Outside Edge).
      • You may need to click the link icon to make the inner margin different than the others. Otherwise you'll have the same value for all four sides, which is incorrect.
  • Under Bleed do the following:
    • Note that the bleed for the inner edge of your pages file will be different than the other bleed settings.
      • Set your inner bleed to 0 (zero). 
      • Set your Top, Bottom, and Outer bleed to our specifications for Page Specifications>Bleed (top, bottom, and outside edges).
      • You may need to click the link icon to make the inner bleed different than the others. Otherwise you'll have the same value for all four sides, which is incorrect.

b. For your cover

  • Be sure your document has its final number of pages before you create the cover. If you add or remove pages after creating the cover file it will be the incorrect size.
  • Under Layout do the following:
    • Under Layout>Page width and page height, enter the dimensions seen in the Cover Specifications>Page size / trim line (w x h) section of our PDF Specifications page. Do not enter the Final exported PDF dimensions. 
    • Make sure Number of pages is set to 1.
  • Under Margins do the following:
    • Check Include margins.
    • Unlike the pages, the cover margin is the same for all four sides.
      • Set all four Margin setting to our specifications for Cover Specifications>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (from edge of trim).
    • Under Bleed do the following:
      • Unlike the pages, the cover bleed is the same for all four sides.
      • Set your bleed to our specifications for Cover Specification>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (from edge of trim).

Once you've designed your pages and cover, continue on to step 3.

ii. For existing Affinity Publisher documents

a. For your pages

  • Under Spread Setup do the following:
    • Select All Spreads.
    • Select Set Dimensions of Page
    • Select Type: Print
    • Make sure the dimensions match what you see on our specifications page for Page size / trim line (w x h). Do not use the dimensions shown for Final, exported PDF.
    • Under Margins select Include Margins.
      • Set your Inner Margin setting to match what you see on our specifications page for Page Specifications>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (Binding Edge).
      • Set the Outer, Top, and Bottom margins to our specifications for  Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (Top, Bottom, Outside Edge).
    • Click OK to save your changes.
    Under Document Setup do the following:
    • Make sure your  Top, Outer, and Bottom bleed settings match our specifications for Bleed (top, bottom, and outside edges).
    • Set your Inner bleed to 0 (zero). You may need to click the link icon in order to use a different setting for your Inner bleed versus the Top, Outer, and Bottom bleed settings.
    • Click OK.

b. For your cover

  • Be sure your document has its final number of pages before you create the cover. If you add or remove pages after creating the cover file it will be the incorrect size.
  • Under Spread Setup do the following:
    • Select All Spreads.
    • Select Set Dimensions of Page
    • Select Type: Print
    • Make sure the dimensions match what you see on our specifications page for Cover Specifications > Total Page size / trim line (w x h). Do not use the dimensions shown for Final, exported PDF.
    • Under Margins select Include Margins.
    • Set all four Margin setting to our specifications for Cover Specifications>Inset for Margins / Safe boundary (from edge of trim).
    • Click OK to save your changes.
  • Under Document Setup do the following:
    • Under Layout, select Facing Pages.
    • Select Start on Right.
    • Under Bleed, make sure all four bleed settings (Inner, Top, Outer, Bottom) match our settings for Cover Specifications>Bleed (all edges). 

Once you've designed your pages and cover, continue on to step 3. 

3. Review your file within Affinity Publisher

Review your file carefully within Affinity Publisher to make sure everything looks the way you want it. Blurb does not review your file before it goes to print.

4. Export your PDF

Create a PDF by going to File>Export PDF.

  • Select the PDF option.
  • Select Include Bleed.
  • For your pages, select Area>All Pages.
  • Select Preview export when complete.

5. Review your exported PDF

Once your exported PDFs open you should now have one PDF for the cover and another PDF for the pages. 

  • Make sure you are viewing them in Adobe Acrobat Reader, using our recommend settings:
    • In Adobe Reader, select View > Page Display > Two Page View.
    • Also select Show Cover Page in Two Page View.
  • Use CMD-D/CTR-D to view the dimensions in Reader.
    • Compare the size of your pages PDF to our specifications shown in Page Specifications  Final, exported PDF should measure section.
    • Compare the size of your cover PDF to our specifications shown in Cover Specifications  Final, exported PDF should measure section.
    • If your files don't match our specifications, go back and compare the settings mentioned above.
    • Also view your PDF at 200% to check the quality of the images, and give it one final look for typos, content too close to the edge, and anything else.

6. Upload your PDF

After you're reviewed your exported PDF upload it to Blurb via our PDF Uploader.

  • Review the book after you upload it, using the online preview available immediately after you upload. Pay attention to the trim and bleed areas.

7. Final notes

Blurb does not review your file before it goes to print. The content and layout of your book is entirely up to you.

  • Be sure to preview your PDF carefully before uploading it and again--online--before ordering it.
  • We recommending ordering and reviewing a single Blurb-printed copy before you place a large order or make it available for sale.
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