[XeTeX] Placing .pdfs w/ crop and trim boxes

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Wed Jun 14 15:54:31 CEST 2006

On 14 Jun 2006, at 12:57 pm, William Adams wrote:
>> Should xetex also consider the trim box of a PDF it's including? If
>> so, how would that interact with the crop box?
> Sorry, guess I should've explained the different boxes:
>   - media box --- this is the total output area which the .pdf takes
> up (for printing, often a number of files will be imaged on a single
> sheet of film --- this allows the whole thing to image w/ crop marks
> &c.)
>   - bleed box --- this is the minimal amount of defined
> ``bleed'' (elements which appear at the edge of the trimmed page and
> go beyond it)
>   - trim box --- this is the desired physical page area after all
> folding and trimming
>   - crop box --- this is how much of the .pdf displays on-screen ---
> sometimes a graphic design shop will set all of the afore-mentioned
> boxes appropriately, then crop down to slightly smaller than trim so
> as to get a design down beneath the threshold at which Acrobat's
> ``reduce to page'' feature will be activated so a job can be sent out
> to a client for proofing w/o having to worry so much about it
> printing at the wrong size.
> I'd typically want to place an object by its bleed box (so that
> things which bleed can be placed so as to allow this), but a typical
> user would probably want the trim box, but the na{\"\i}ve user will
> probably be confused if anything other than the crop box (matching
> what's shown on-screen) is used. But, a graphic design company which
> didn't use English as its primary language could well want to build
> an imposition system using XeTeX which allowed it to place images
> according to their media box and have Unicode-encoded typeset notes
> about workflow (quantities &c.)....
> So, support 'em all!

OK, OK.... :)

If you update to the latest code from Subversion, \XeTeXpdffile now  
supports new keywords 'crop', 'media', 'bleed', 'trim', and 'art'.  
These must be placed after the (optional) 'page <n>' and before any  
keywords for transforms (scaled, rotated, etc), and tell xetex which  
of the various PDF boxes you want to use. Thus,

	\XeTeXpdffile "myfile.pdf" page 2 bleed scaled 2000

will include the second page, using its bleed box, at double size.

If no box keyword is present, the default is to use the crop box;  
therefore, 'crop' is redundant, but you're allowed to include it for  

Note that the drawing of the included PDF will respect its crop box,  
even if placing it according to a larger box from the source. (Is  
that what you'd expect? Seems right to me.)


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