Adding bleed to a Photoshop Document (Updated)

Robert LaneResources, Tutorial

Back Story: My SOP(Standard Operating Procedure) for files for print is one InDesign document and two Photoshop documents. One Photoshop file for the front and the other for the back. I usually name the InDesign file the name of the item that I am designing. For instance, if I am working on a brochure, then my file name is brochure.indd. Simple enough. I then name my Photoshop documents, that are afterward placed into my InDesign document, front.psd and back.psd. Now, InDesign will allow you to add bleed fairly easily with each new document, but in Photoshop it takes a little more brain power. For my self personally I was making the document a quarter(.25″) of an inch larger and then painstakingly adding guides an eighth(.125″) of an inch from each edge to give me a reference for keeping critical portions of my design away from the trim edge at final production. That is four guides for each document and eight times total selecting the command from the View menu in Photoshop. It gets a little old and tedious.

Why did you say all that, Robert? Well, one. I am a long winded person. And, two! I have a solution for not going through all the trouble with adding guides in my Photoshop document any more. I have created an action. You may download the Photoshop Action. You will need to open the .zip file and load the action into the actions panel in Photoshop. I knew I needed one for a really long time, but I couldn’t quite figure it out until today. Here is what you do to use the action:
Once you have the actions loaded you will see a group of actions named Documents Sizes. Inside of this group you will see several different actions for different size documents. All you need to do is select the document size that you would like to create and and click play. You will be prompted to name and save your file somewhere on your harddrive.
1. Create a new document the exact size of your final printed piece. If you are designing a postcard that is 4″x6″ then create your Photoshop document that exact size.
2. Run the action. Basically that is all it will take till your done, but I will add a third step just because I can and because I am a long winded person!
3. You will see guides that reference the trim edge of your printed piece and this will give you an indicator of how far to keep critical information away from the edge of your document.

If you have any questions about this action, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you. If you can use the action great. I am glad that I could help. Comments are always appreciated.