[texhax] Margins/Cropmarks [was ... Pagination ...]

pierre.mackay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Thu Apr 13 00:15:29 CEST 2006

Uwe Lück wrote:

> Phil,
> At 18:59 10.04.06, Philip TAYLOR wrote:
>>> As to "camera ready": I have recently seen some
>>> .tex files, especially what margins were set, and
>>> compared it with the ready book (my job is to make
>>> another book in the same style.) I found that the
>>> publishers chose their own margins, irrespective
>>> of the margins they received. (Indeed, I have the
>>> the printout that was sent to the publisher, it has
>>> the margins that I found set in the files.) So forget
>>> about your margins ...
>> Did the "printout [] sent to the publisher" contain
>> cropmarks ?  If not, he/she had no way of knowing what
>> the intended margins were ...
> first, I hope it is clear that the point was: if the authors
> intended any margins, those intentions were entirely
> ignored by the publishers. 

Unfortunately, crop marks are no longer acceptable to many printers.  I 
have received firm instructions from publishers NOT to include crop 
marks unless they are there to insure bleed to beyond the limits of the 
page dimensions.  I spend several years of frustration trying to place 
front-matter on the page in the locations intended by the document 
designer---all to no avail.    The printer would invariably move the 
page as close to the upper left corner as could be managed without 
actually losing text, whether or not there were crop marks.  The most 
exasperating result of this "misunderstanding" is that the designer 
instinctively blames the compositor for the resultant mess.  (Editorial 
and design offices are professionally trained to think of compositors as 
incompetent, illiterate and antiaesthetic boors, and this training is 
not always misguided.) The one way I have found to control placement on 
the page (where this is a possibility) is to offer PDF output already 
clipped to exactly the dimensions of the page, with David Fuchs's 
classic one inch down and one inch right margins explicitly suppressed.

dvips --> ps2pdf does this effectively and reliably and I have had no 
serious disasters since I began submitting pre-cropped PDF (the crop 
marks are left in the DVI file, but they fall one point outside the 
limits of the cropped output).

Pierre MacKay

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