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Japanese and Chinese Crop Marks for InDesign

japanesemarks1I’m about to head off to The InDesign Conference in Tokyo, which should be a wild trip. And just in time, I received an email from a reader who found inspiration from my post on creating custom print marks. Dorothy Lindman at Uniden wrote:

Thank you very much for your article on custom printer marks in InDesign. This has been an ongoing issue with our Japanese and Chinese printers for at least 2 years now. They have been asking us to use the same style of marks that Illustrator and Framemaker do, which was not possible before now.

I used your information and the sample.mrk file to create “look-alike” mrk files for the “Japanese” style crop marks used by Illustrator and the “Tombo” style crop marks used by Framemaker. It took quite a bit of work, and they’re not 100% perfect (for example, Framemaker uses a “concentric circle” registration mark that I can’t replicate), but it’s much, much closer to the requested marks than the standard InDesign style.

This was very happy news, but then she followed with an even better kicker: She’s letting me post her mrk files so that anyone can use them!

(Note that the Japanese and Chinese versions of InDesign already let you create these kinds of printer marks; but if you use the regular, non-CJK version of InDesign and you’re printing documents in Asia, you might find these useful.)

You can download the file (which includes sample PDF files) here:

click to download

After you unzip the file, put the two .mrk files inside the PrintSpt folder. The location of that folder varies, so just do a search on your hard drive for “PrintSpt” and you’ll find it. Next time you print or export PDF from InDesign, you’ll find these new options in the Type pop-up menu, in the Marks and Bleed pane of the Print dialog box or Export PDF dialog box.

Thank you, Dorothy!

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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5 Comments on “Japanese and Chinese Crop Marks for InDesign

  1. David, thanks so much for the posts. I am an InDesign newbie who was put into the position to create a booklet for a rush job. Without Dorothy’s generosity it would’ve taken me forever to try to figure this thing out! Thanks so much!

  2. I like to change custom crop mark color. What will i do? I like to set as White color. Please help me.

    Venkatesan.S (diacriTech)

  3. i dont have the folder “PrintSpt”, so i create one, and pasted the mrk file to the fold. it show “PAGEMARKS DEFINITION FILE ERROR”, when output

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