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Setting crop marks and trim marks

    Crop marks define where the artwork is trimmed after it is printed. You can place crop marks directly into your artwork using the Object > Crop Marks > Make command. If you select Japanese Crop Marks in the General Preferences dialog box, any crop marks you create in your file will appear as Japanese-style crop marks.

    Like crop marks, trim marks also define where a printed image should be trimmed; however, you use trim marks to create multiple marks inside your artwork. The Trim Marks filter creates trim marks based on an imaginary rectangle drawn around the imageable area of the object.

    Illustrator does not recognize trim marks created with the Trim Marks filter as special objects when creating color separations. As a result, trim marks do not affect the printing bounding box around the artwork. Trim marks are useful, therefore, when you want to create several sets of marks around objects on a page--for example, when you are creating a sheet of business cards to be printed.

To set crop marks directly in the artwork:

  1. Draw a rectangle to define the boundaries of where you want the crop marks to appear. (It doesn't matter if the rectangle is filled or stroked.)
  2. Select the rectangle.
  3. Choose Object > Crop Marks > Make. If you have selected a rectangle as the border, the crop marks replace the selected rectangle. If no rectangle has been selected, crop marks are placed at the corners of the artboard.
  4. Once you've set crop marks, you cannot directly select or edit them. To indirectly edit crop marks, you can choose Object > Crop Marks > Release, edit the rectangle that defines the crop marks boundary, and then remake them using the Object > Crop Marks > Make command. If you want to delete the existing crop marks, you can use the Object > Crop Marks > Release command.

    TipYou can use the Make Crop Marks command without first creating and selecting a rectangle to define the boundaries of the crop marks. The crop marks are set at the outer corners of the document.

    If you plan to separate a color Illustrator file, you should first set crop marks in the artwork. If you don't set crop marks, by default Illustrator sets them around the bounding box of all objects in the artwork.

    For more information on setting crop marks in color separations, see Step 4: Set the printing bounding box and place crop marks around the image to be separated.

To eliminate crop marks:

    Choose Object > Crop Marks > Release. The original rectangle reappears to define the bounding area of your artwork. The rectangle may then be deleted or moved.

To specify Japanese crop marks:

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows and Mac OS 9) or Illustrator > Preferences > General (Mac OS X).
  2. Select Japanese Crop Marks, and then click OK.

To create trim marks around an object:

    Select the object, and choose Filter > Create > Trim Marks.

    Trim marks created with the Trim Marks filter do not replace crop marks created with the Color Separation Setup dialog box or with the Object > Crop Marks > Make command.

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