"Bleed" is when you print to a page size that is larger than your finished piece with trim marks indicating the trim size, and is printed so that the image extends beyond the trim marks. When trimmed through the excess image, the remaining image extends all the way to one or more of the edges.
You want to use a positive number. The larger the number, the farther out past the trim area the bleed will extend. If you could use a negative number, I suppose it would contract the image onto the page, and you would get blank paper at the edges instead of image.
Are your crop marks on, and is the page you are printing to large enough to hold the page plus the trim marks and bleed?
I'm not having success, Michael. Using positive numbers for bleed increased the white border area. I went back to zero, the scaled the grouped images up 3%, and just chopped peoples heads off. When I go back to the document default (saved) I get a 3/8 border of white paper all the way around. i do thank you, sir, but I think I will put it away for the weekend. have a good one!
If you create a new document, you have the option of setting bleed. .125 is commercial standard for majority of offset print jobs though some printers prefer .25 bleed. Critical information, like text, may need to be .125 from the edge of the sheet. This area is your safety and you set this in margins. So when you make a new doc with defined safety and bleed, you should see 3 boxes: Black for the actual page, an outer red box indicating bleed area and inner red or magenta box indicating safety.
Other than photo printers, no laser, digital or offset printer can print edge to edge. No such thing as borderless printing in commercial printing.
<br />Here's a brief explanation of what bleed is. The middle image has trim marks. Everything outside the trim marks gets trimmed (cut off) leaving a finished bus cd (bottom image) that has art to the "edge" of the card.
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1v3uESkVXBNq9AQhXGEF1 oZZvhUoA" /></a>
<img alt="Picture hosted by Pixentral" src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1v3uESkVXBNq9AQhXGEF1oZZvhUoA_th umb.jpg" border="0" />
Actually, my old Xerox "Phaser" laser printer could print to the edge of the page -- or impressively close, anyway. But if that's what the original poster meant, it's printer specific and you need to go into the Page Setup dialog (ignoring Indesign's warnings) and look in the "printer features" pages for an "edge to edge" printing option. Xerox's logic in not making that on by default escapes me. Why would anyone would want an artificial margin when the printer is capable of edge to edge?
Thanks to everyone. It turns out that my printer lacks edge to edge capability. I was able to print a normal copy, then scan and copy it at 107%. That filled the page, but the picture quality suffered. I have reached the "acceptance" stage;-) In an effort to single handedly jump start the economy I will purchase a printer that will do edge to edge jobs. Thank you all very much for the comments.
One of the reasons why most digital printers either don't provide full edge-to-edge printing or if they have it, don't by default enable it, is the problem of bleed. In traditional offset printing, you handle edge-to-edge by printing to paper larger than your logical page size and trimming the excess off. That way, you don't have ink slopping off the edges on the press. But most laser printers and their users don't user such oversize papers and don't cut all output to final logical page sizes. (That option is often available, though, on B-size laser printers that accept 12x18 paper that can be used to print edge-to-edge - i.e. bleeds - for output to be cut to 11x17. Similarly, 9x12 paper could be used on such printers to bleed 8.5x11.)
>In traditional offset printing, you handle edge-to-edge by printing to paper larger than your logical page size and trimming the excess off. That way, you don't have ink slopping off the edges on the press.
This is a good point to keep in mind. If you do very much Borderless printing you will be spraying past the edge of the paper causing buildup on your rollers that can cause ink blotches and globs after a time. You would be better off getting a printer that will take an oversize sheet and trim it.
I've had a couple of Xerox laser printers over the years that would print edge to edge, but it was always more trouble than it was worth, due to toner buildup on the rollers. When we had to do it, we always had to open them up, wipe off the rolls and run a few blank sheets to clean the internals.