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Perfect binding (books, manuals) - preparing PDF for printing

Main limitations for perfect binding

Maximal thickness of the document after the binding is: 50 mm
Maximal size of the print for binding: ISO A4

Preparing PDF for printing

The cover and content have to be prepared as two separate PDF documents. The best approach is by starting with the content as the size of the cover depends on the page count.

The content

The cut, the safe-zone and bleed

Red line is marking place, where your document will be cut. The cut is not always precise, so it is important do respect safety zone. (Check Blue line)

Blue line is marking safety-zone, and it shouldn’t be cross by texts or any other important graphics. Everything, what is outside of the safety zone can be cut or covered by binding. 

Pink area is marking the bleed. The bleed is zone that is added to the final format of the design. It is created by adding 2.5 mm, from every side. As you can see on the image, design is overpassing trough the cut. (Head of the person and the wheels of the chair are outside of the cut line, and they are creating the bleed.

Info for book printing with text content
If you are preparing book for printing that content has a white margin you don’t have to care about the bleed at all. All you had to be sure of is that all your texts are far enough away from the cut. (Check for Safety zone.)

Binding position on individual pages of the document

In document with binding, that will be printed double-sided every odd page will have binding on the left side (check attached image). Every even page has binding on the right side. Please be aware where will be the binding and check if your graphics isn’t covered by it. If it is, we recommend editing graphic design.

If you have page numbering in your document, think if you have aligned it correctly, due to the binding of the document. 

Tips how to prepare content of the book in Word

You can easily prepare the content of your book with Word or other text editing application, that can export to PDF. Here are recommended settings for your document: 

  • Font size: 11pt
  • Margin of the document:
    • Left: 18mm
    • Right: 10mm
    • Top: 10mm
    • Bottom: 10mm
  • Margin 18mm Has to be on the left on the odd pages, and on the right on the even pages. For this setting you have to set “Page Settings” to Mirrored Margins / Pages.
  • We recommend aligning page numbering to the center on each page.


  • The document can have larger bleed than 2.5 mm.
  • It is helpful if document has crop marks, but it is not necessary
  • For more info check also: General principles of preparing graphics for printing
  • We can print and bind document even without the bleed or safety zone. In this case the document will have white margins/frames. (Design will not be to the cut)

The cover

The cover is prepared as individual PDF, where is the front and back side of the cover together with the design of the spine. Important for creating the cover is to know the thickness of the spine. For calculation, we have 3 options:

A) Contact us, tell us how many pages your document has and what paper you are wishing to use. We send you the size of your spine for the cover. We can also provide to you our graphic designer, who will design a simple cover for you, or will finish your spine, to your existing front and back cover. 
B) Create template Online for your cover:

  1. Open website:
  2. Upload your PDF with content. 
  3. Select paper you want to use and final size of the document. 
  4. Continue to the Upload cover PDF page. 
  5. Our system will calculate size of the spine from selected paper and size of your document. It will show you a template you can follow, while creating your cover. After creating your cover, you can upload it here, and you check if you created it correctly. (And even order printing). 

C) Calculating thickness of the spine “the old way” with this:

  • Two-sided content
    Thickness of the spine = Page count of content / 2 × thickness of the paper. 
  • One-sided content
    Thickness of the spine = Page count of content × thickness of the paper. 

    You can find thickness in the name of the paper. For example: Office premium (0.1 mm / 80 g/m²)

If we know thickness of the spine, we can calculate complete size of the cover.

The last important step is to follow the safety zones and bleeds shown below. 

Our assurance

We control every PDF before printing, to ensure quality of final product. You don’t have to be worried that you made some mistake in the preparing the PDF. We will catch it and will contact you to help you with the correction. At the same time, our graphic designer is available to you, who can help you made your document suitable for printing.

Warning: While checking the document for printing, we do not check for grammar and content correctness. We only check if the PDF file is suitable for printing.


We are attaching PDF file suitable for print V2 Perfect binding. 

Here you can download templates for your use: