In this practical guide, we've explained why it's important to have a slug area, especially when printing InDesign projects.
What is Slug in InDesign?
When a document goes to the printing press, there are a few technical marks printed outside the document area, and these are important for high-quality printing. The slug area is just one of these optional page marks. Essentially, the area is located outside of the normal printing boundaries, and it contains information about the printing job.
How to Print the Slug and Bleed Areas
1. InDesign has a Document Setup dialog box, which contains settings for the slug area, bleed area (i.e. extended images and objects that allow for trimming mistakes), and more. We recommend adjusting the options in Document Setup ("File" > "Document Setup") before printing.
2. When you're ready to print, select "File" > "Print" to launch the Print dialog box. Then, enable the "Marks and Bleed" option. Depending on your needs, it's possible to choose "All Printer's Marks" (so that all marks are included), or the individual marks (such as slug area). Select "Include Slug Area" to use the saved slug dimensions.
3. By default, your Document Setup settings will be applied to the print job. If you'd like to override these settings, uncheck the "Use Document Bleed Settings" box. Then, you can manually enter how many inches (from 0 to 6) each side extends past the document dimensions.
4. On the other hand, if you'd prefer all sides of the slug/bleed area to be identical, choose "Make All Settings the Same".
5. Finally, you can preview the slug/bleed area by selecting "Slug Preview Mode" and "Bleed Preview Mode". These blue and red icons are located in the Toolbox. Make sure that "Preview Mode" is disabled, or you may not see these alternate preview options.
How to Adjust the Slug Dimensions
At any point in the design process, you can change where the slug/bleed areas fall on the page. To do this, go to "File" > "Print" and find the Setup area in the dialog box. Then, start adjusting the Page Position options.
As you change the overall dimensions, you can see how the final document looks in the Preview section. Meanwhile, if you'd like to see the printer's marks while making adjustments, select the "Scale To Fit" option, so that the document stays centered.