I'm working with a custom class based on the article class. The paper size is 16cm x 24cm. After I send the output for print, I was asked to include cut marks and a 3mm bleed. So I need to add this elements to my output pdf. After going through several post here at stackexchange I am still not able to come out with it correctly. I always get it wrong (usually the text is not centered on the frame). Can anyone help with this?

I'm, using:


and the outcome is a page that is not centered, nor with the right margins.

  • Are you using asymmetric margins? Maybe your page (16x14) is centred on your paper (a4), but your text block is not centred on your page. Try \usepackage{showframe} for a clue Nov 6, 2015 at 9:58
  • Plus, if you're using the twoside class option, then the default margins for geometry are asymmetric (2:3). Nov 6, 2015 at 10:17

1 Answer 1


I don't know how the cut marks ought to look, but probably this will help you. I used the tikzpagenodes package to draw the cut marks at the corners of the current page text area node. I increased your paper measures by two times the bleed, and then restricted the document to your intended limits by addding a 3mm margin with the geometry package. According to the measurement tool of Arcobat Reader the measurements seem fine.


\usepackage[paperwidth=16.6cm,paperheight=24.6cm, margin=3mm]{geometry}
\usetikzlibrary {calc}


\begin{tikzpicture}[overlay, remember picture]
    \draw ($(current page text area.north west)+(-0.2,0)$) -- ++ (2.2,0);
    \draw ($(current page text area.north west)+(0,0.2)$) -- ++ (0,-2.2);

    \draw ($(current page text area.north east)+(0.2,0)$) -- ++ (-2.2,0);
    \draw ($(current page text area.north east)+(0,0.2)$) -- ++ (0,-2.2);

    \draw ($(current page text area.south west)+(-0.2,0)$) -- ++ (2.2,0);
    \draw ($(current page text area.south west)+(0,-0.2)$) -- ++ (0,2.2);

    \draw ($(current page text area.south east)+(0.2,0)$) -- ++ (-2.2,0);
    \draw ($(current page text area.south east)+(0,-0.2)$) -- ++ (0,2.2);


Output (with measuremnts done in Adobe Reader)

enter image description here

Edit 1: Noe you can define a lot of lengths like to influence the bleed, borders, paper and text width. The bleed marks are then put on every page with the background package. It should work fine with twopage mode, the paper size can be given directly or computed from text size, borders and bleed. For intersections to be snapable with Adobe Reader, I drew a few gray help lines, they can be turned off by commenting the appropriate lines.



\usetikzlibrary {calc}

% ====== Change these 



% ====== Modes
\newcommand{\ModePage}{onepage}% twopage or onepage
\newcommand{\ModeArea}{paper}% paper or text

% ====== DONT touch these
\pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseTop}{\BleedTop + \BorderTop}
\pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseBottom}{\BleedBottom + \BorderBottom}

{   \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseLI}{\BleedSide + \BorderInner}
    \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseRO}{\BleedSide + \BorderOuter}

{   \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseLI}{\BleedSide + \BorderLeft}
    \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UseRO}{\BleedSide + \BorderRight}

{   \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UsePaperWidth}{\PaperWidth + 2*\BleedSide}
    \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UsePaperHeight}{\PaperHeight + \BleedTop + \BleedBottom}

{   \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UsePaperWidth}{\TextWidth + \UseLI + \UseRO}
    \pgfmathsetlengthmacro{\UsePaperHeight}{\TextHeight + \UseTop + \UseBottom}

{   \usepackage[paperwidth=\UsePaperWidth, paperheight=\UsePaperHeight,%
                            inner=\UseLI, outer=\UseRO, top=\UseTop, bottom=\UseBottom,%

{   \usepackage[paperwidth=\UsePaperWidth, paperheight=\UsePaperHeight,%
                            left=\UseLI, right=\UseRO, top=\UseTop, bottom=\UseBottom,%

% ====== define the bleedmarks here

    {   \begin{tikzpicture}[overlay]
            \coordinate (NW) at ($(current page.north west)+(\BleedSide,-\BleedTop)$);
            \coordinate (NE) at ($(current page.north east)+(-\BleedSide,-\BleedTop)$);
            \coordinate (SW) at ($(current page.south west)+(\BleedSide,\BleedBottom)$);
            \coordinate (SE) at ($(current page.south east)+(-\BleedSide,\BleedBottom)$);
%   ====== helpers for visual aid
        \draw[gray, very thin] (SW) rectangle (NE);
        \draw[gray, very thin] ($(current page text area.south west)+(0,-\BorderBottom)$) rectangle ($(current page text area.north east)+(0,\BorderTop)$);
        \draw[gray, very thin] ($(current page.south west)+(\BleedSide,\BleedBottom)+(0,\BorderBottom)$) rectangle ($(current page.north east)+(-\BleedSide,-\BleedTop)+(0,-\BorderTop)$);
        \draw[gray, very thin] (current page.south west) rectangle (current page.north east);
        \draw[gray, very thin] (current page text area.south west) rectangle (current page text area.north east);
%   ====== lengths for the bleedmarks   
%   ====== actual bleed marks       
        \draw[black] ($(NW)+(-\BleedMarkOut,0)$) -- ++ (\BleedMarkLength,0);
        \draw[black] ($(NW)+(0,\BleedMarkOut)$) -- ++ (0,-\BleedMarkLength);
        \draw[black] ($(NE)+(\BleedMarkOut,0)$) -- ++ (-\BleedMarkLength,0);
        \draw[black] ($(NE)+(0,\BleedMarkOut)$) -- ++ (0,-\BleedMarkLength);
        \draw[black] ($(SW)+(-\BleedMarkOut,0)$) -- ++ (\BleedMarkLength,0);
        \draw[black] ($(SW)+(0,-\BleedMarkOut)$) -- ++ (0,\BleedMarkLength);
        \draw[black] ($(SE)+(\BleedMarkOut,0)$) -- ++ (-\BleedMarkLength,0);
        \draw[black] ($(SE)+(0,-\BleedMarkOut)$) -- ++ (0,\BleedMarkLength);  






Output (onepage, paper)

enter image description here

Output (twopage, text)

enter image description here

  • Doesn't this end up giving the red arrows as the text width/height? I'm not sure that is what the OP is after. It might be something similar to specifying a base stock size (the size plus the 3mm bleed) and then a paper size to be used by latex on top of this stock size. We typically use this method when making note covers that has to be printed to the edge, the everything is done in oversize and the printing people the cuts of the 3mm bleed. You ought to be able to do this using geometry.
    – daleif
    Nov 6, 2015 at 17:58
  • Yes. But if you would normally want e.g. a border of 10mm and 3mm bleed, you can specify the margin as 13mm. Then of cause you need to add this to the corner specifications, but this can also be automated. Let me get back to this, shouldn't be too hard Nov 6, 2015 at 21:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .