Using Crop Marks with a PostScript Printer

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 18, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003

Crop marks are used by printers to determine where the page boundaries of your finished product occur. They are used as a guide for trimming pages. Word does not provide a way to add crop marks to your document, but if you are using a PostScript printer, you can add crop marks easily by using a PRINT field code in your header or footer. Every page that uses the header or footer will show the crop marks.

The following code, when placed in a field in your header or footer, will print the crop marks:

PRINT \p page " /Crop .5 def /Left .5625 def
/Right .5625 def /Top .875 def /Bottom .875 def
/Lside Left 72 mul def /Rside 8.5 Right sub
72 mul def /Tside 11 Top sub 72 mul def /Bside
Bottom 72 mul def /Lsize Crop 72 mul def 1
setlinewidth Lside Tside moveto 0 Lsize rlineto
stroke Lside Tside moveto Lsize neg 0 rlineto
stroke Rside Tside moveto 0 Lsize rlineto stroke
Rside Tside moveto Lsize 0 rlineto stroke Lside
Bside moveto 0 Lsize neg rlineto stroke Lside
Bside moveto Lsize neg 0 rlineto stroke Rside
Bside moveto 0 Lsize neg rlineto stroke Rside
Bside moveto Lsize 0 rlineto stroke "

There are a few variables in this code that you should adjust. These are the values assigned to Crop, Left, Right, Top, and Bottom. Crop represents the length, in inches, of the actual crop marks. The values right after the variable names Left, Right, Top, and Bottom (.5625, .5625, .875, and .875, respectively) represent the number of inches to leave from the paper edges to the crop marks.

To use the field, just insert a pair of field braces (Ctrl+F9) and then add all the above directly into the field. Since this is a single field, everything should be entered contiguously, instead of on separate lines as shown above.

Also, remember that this technique will only work with a PostScript printer and only if you are using a PostScript printer driver with that printer. (Some printers understand multiple languages, and it is therefore possible to use a non-PostScript printer driver with a PostScript printer.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (403) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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