How to Print Full Bleed on your Color Copier



Can I print full-bleed pages on my color copier/MFP?

The answer is yes… and no. Let’s explore.

The “YES"

This is actually a “Yes, but” answer. Full bleed printing will require you to print your file on a larger sheet of paper and cut it down. Full-bleed printing is a hot topic for me. At least once a week, I’m asked if we sell a printer that can print all the way to the edge of the paper. I get asked this question in a variety of ways. Most often, I am asked if our systems will print full bleed. The answer to that question is “YES.” The next question is usually, "up to what size can I print full bleed," which gets a little trickier.

Most questions are about letter size (8.5”x11”). This can be accomplished on most of the office equipment we provide -- Canon , Xerox, Lexmark, Okidata, and Intec copiers and printers – by printing a single brochure on 11”x17” size paper and trimming it down to the correct size. We can also print 2 files on a 12”x18” sheet, cutting it in half and then trimming it down to size to get the full bleed.

New call-to-action


How can you more easily cut paper to size for full bleed? This can be done with a paper cutter similar to the MBM Triumph 4300. MBM offers several different paper cutters to accommodate different sizes of paper and stack thicknesses. Pairing a printing solution, like a black and white or color copier, and a paper cutter similar to the MBM Triumph 4300, and full-bleed in-house printing becomes affordable and easy.

Can I create booklets with my copier?

If you’re in need of a copier that can print, trim, fold, and staple, so that you can create booklets, there are a few out there. The new Canon C800 imagePRESS offers inline trimming, allowing you to print a professional looking full-bleed folded in half and stapled booklet just like you pulled it off the magazine rack. Multifunction printers can do a lot these days. 

So, yes, you can print full bleed on your Canon, Xerox, Lexmark, Okidata, and Intec copiers and printers. You just need to cut it down to size.

The “NO"

Can my color copier/printer print full bleed automatically?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. I have discussed this with several different copier and printer service technicians over the years and it is quite simple. The toner-based copier/printer uses a fusing system to melt the toner. This fusing system needs to have an area with no toner to feed the paper through reliably. If the edges of the paper have toner too close to any edge it can cause feeding or quality issues on the next pages printed. Basically, the rollers that move the paper through the copier need a clean surface of the paper without any toner on it, so printing full-bleed isn’t possible automatically.

There you have it. Go head and start printing "to the edge!" 

Do YOU have a print policy? Print rules save money. Download 14 print rules you can use now.

About The Author

Mike is Advanced Systems' Print Production Specialist. He's been in the printing industry for over 18 years. His in-depth expertise in the production printing business has helped countless businesses discover the benefits of in-house production printing, and which system is right for each customer's unique business. He's also just a really great guy. New call-to-action