How to Remove Crop Marks & Bleeds From a PDF

By Michelle Castle

Crop marks are added and document bleed settings are specified when designers export artwork and documents as PDFs using graphic design software. You can create a new PDF that doesn't include crop marks or bleed if you have the original file and the appropriate software. If you don't have the file, you can use Acrobat Professional, Adobe InDesign or the free Scribus desktop publishing software to crop the document to remove the crop marks and bleed.

Step 1

Use the program you designed the document in to export a PDF that doesn't include crop marks or bleed if you have the original file. Open the file in a program such as InDesign or Scribus and click on "Export" in the file menu. Choose to export the document as a PDF. Click on the "Marks and Bleeds" tab in InDesign or the "Pre-Press" tab in Scribus and disable the crop marks and set the bleed to zero.

Step 2

Create a new document in InDesign that matches the size of the PDF without bleed if you don't have the original file. Click "Place" in the File menu and place the PDF into the document. Use the Selection tool to size the frame to take up the entire page. Drag the sides of the frame in to keep the crop marks and bleed from being visible. Click on "Export" in the File menu, choose to export a PDF and disable the crop mark and bleed options in the Marks and Bleed section of the PDF export dialog box.

Step 3

Open the PDF in Acrobat Professional, point to "Advanced Editing" in the Tools menu and click on "Crop Tool." Draw a rectangle around the portion of the PDF that you want to save, keeping the crop marks and bleed outside of the rectangle. Double-click on the cropping rectangle to open the Crop Pages dialog box, and click "OK" to crop the PDF.

Step 4

Create a new document that is the size of your PDF not including its bleed in Scribus if you want a free alternative to InDesign and Acrobat. Click on the "Insert Image Frame" button in the toolbar and draw a frame the size of your page. Double-click inside the frame and select your PDF to insert it. Right-click on the frame and select "Adjust Frame to Image" to enlarge the frame to show the crop marks and bleed. Drag the edges of the frame inward to hide the crop marks.