I have an A4 PDF document that has content all the way to the border and I want to print it out.

Hence I print out on A3 sized paper (i.e. I print on paper twice the size) and then cut it to the actual size.

Is there an easy way to add crop marks to the document when printing it?

4 Answers 4


If it’s a simple PDF document, you could possibly open it with Inkscape and then add crop marks with Extensions > Render > Printing Marks…. Or maybe Scribus, with Print… > Marks.

Very hacky but might help somebody in a tight corner.


If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, this is easily done: File > Print > Advanced > Marks and Bleeds > Trim Marks

This may also be possible under Acrobat Reader, if someone would care to test it.

  • 1
    Thanks. And it is not available with the free Acrobat Reader. Aug 22, 2011 at 8:34

I have not found any way to do it on the free version. I was hoping there was, so that Sales would not have to come back to Prepress all the time to have us print out a proof with marks, but I'm not finding any way for them to do it in the free version (i.e. Acrobat Reader).


Realistically, printed matter that extends to the paper's edge needs to go further than that! This is what is known as 'bleed'.

The page is normally printed on a larger sheet, with crop marks, and the colour objects extend over the cropped area, so that the trim line is within the inked area.

If the edge of an inked area is on the trim line, this invariably leaves a little white line where the blade and the ink don't quite meet. Cutting through the inked area guarantees no white lines.

To create a page with crop marks and bleed, of course, you need to go back to the original artwork in a competent application.

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