Graphic Design Print Basics Quick Tips

Adding Bleed & Safety Margins in Microsoft Word for Your Next Print Project

Need to know how to properly add bleed and margins in Microsoft Word? It’s an important step and makes a world of difference for your print. Proper bleed and safety margins ensure your images and text extend to the edge of the page to create a seamless print without borders.

Let’s learn how to do this in Microsoft Word!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Bleed & Safety Margins in Microsoft Word

Adding bleed and margins to your Microsoft Word document is easy! Here’s a quick guide to get print-ready results. For a visual walkthrough, check out our YouTube tutorial at the bottom.

  1. Start Your Project: From the Microsoft Word document options menu create a new document.
  2. Layout Settings: Click the “Layout” button in the top menu to open our design options.
  3. Setting Page Size: Click the “Size” dropdown and select “Custom Size” at the very bottom.
    • Length: Final length of your project + 0.25 inch of bleed
    • Width: Final width of your project + 0.25 inch of bleed
    • Bleed is set✅
  4. Setting Margins: Click the “Margins” dropdown and select “Custom Margins” at the bottom
    • Top: 0.125 inch
    • Bottom: 0.125 inch
    • Right: 0.125 inch
    • Left: 0.125 inch
    • Margins are set✅
  5. Upload Your Image: Drag and drop your images into the page and create text.
  6. Save Your Print-Ready File:
    • Click “File” in the top left corner.
    • Select “Save As”.
    • Choose “PDF Print” as your file type.
    • Name your file
    • Click “Save” to download your file to your desktop.

You now have a print-ready file with perfect bleed and safety margins!

See footer for definitions of terms: bleed, safety, margin.

Watch the Video Tutorial

To watch our tutorial on these steps, check out our YouTube video here:

This video is about adding bleed and safety margins in Microsoft Word for perfect print ready files.

Still can’t picture your final print? Use our free file review tool to get a better idea! Need help turning your design vision into a reality? PrintingCenterUSA offers a variety of printing and design services for any print project.

Quick Definitions:


  • Definition: The area of your design that extends slightly beyond the intended final cut line (trim line) of the printed product.
  • Purpose: Provides a buffer during the printing and cutting process. Ensures that background colors and images fully extend to the edge of the page, preventing unintended white borders.

Safety Margin:

  • Definition: The area within the trim line where important text and visual elements are placed.
  • Purpose: Creates a comfortable visual buffer, ensuring key content isn’t accidentally cut off due to slight variations during printing and trimming.


  • Definition: The general term for the space between your design elements and the edge of the page.
  • Purpose: Improves readability and makes your design look balanced and professional.
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