There are two ways to create crop marks in Illustrator.

In Method 1, first create a rectangle by using the Rectangle (or Marquee tool (M)) in your standard tool palette located on the left-hand side of your screen. Create the rectangle so that the box size is your piece’s final trim down size (e.g such as 5.5″ x 7″ for an invitation, etc). Next, while the rectangle is still selected, drag it to its proper position over the artwork. Crop marks will be created outside the corners of the box.

In CS4 or newer, select EFFECT>Crop Marks to create the correct type of crop marks in Illustrator. In CS3 or older, select FILTER>Create>Crop Marks.

In Method 2, If you created your design in illustrator and set up your artboard to measure the finished size of your printed piece, any crop marks created will be outside the artboard. You will need to save your file with an eps extension so the crop marks will be included. You may then save the file as a PDF and send us either EPS or PDF. Avoid saving as an AI extension, the crop marks will be left off outside your artboard and not included in the file.

While using Adobe InDesign, you will need to create the crop marks manually by creating line segments via the LIne Tool (L) to delineate what your trim down size.

Please note that your crop marks are considered line objects and must meet your plate type’s minimum line thickness to be guaranteed to hold on your plate type (Link to What is My Minimum Line Thickness For My Plate Type?). If you need to thicken the line weight, you will need to expand the crop marks by selecting OBJECT>Expand or OBJECT>Expand Appearance.

Please note that we do not add crop marks to any file at Boxcar Press, as we do not know where or what your intended trim down size is.

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Posted in: File Preparation, Platemaking