How to Export Illustrator PNGs Without Bleed

When exporting Illustrator files as PNGs, sometimes the file doesn’t export in the way that we expected. If you’re getting your files ready for print, there are certain settings that need to be in place in order to get the result that you want. But what happens when your PNG is exported with bleed and that wasn’t your intention?

As a general rule, PNG files in Illustrator are automatically exported without bleed. However, if the artboard is set up with bleed in mind, or extending past the printing bounding box, then the file has the possibility of exporting with bleed.

It can be frustrating to work on an image or graphic and not have it export in the way you intend it to. Read on to learn how to make sure your PNG files exports without bleed in Illustrator.

» MORE: How Big Should a Bleed Area Be for Printing?

What Is Bleed in Illustrator?

Bleed is a highly essential term in the printing business that deals with the edges of paper and how it is printed or cut. It is the amount of artwork that extends beyond the printing bounding box. Essentially, bleeds allow you to run your artwork or image to the edge of a page.

This can be used as a margin of error in your artwork to guarantee that the ink is still printed to the edge of the page after the page is cut.

Bleed vs No Bleed

Because printers effectively take each sheet of paper by the edges and pass it through the printer, no printer can print all the way to the material’s outside edge.

When it comes to printing, there are numerous options for dealing with bleed.

The first is to simply leave an acceptable margin around the borders of the item you’re printing to allow for printing and cutting errors. This is what is called no bleed. The background elements or images do not extend beyond the edges of a page, creating a margin that surrounds the final printed document.

Bleed, on the other hand, extends images past the edges of the printing bounding box.

» MORE: How Large Can You Print a 96 DPI File?

How Can You Export Illustrator PNGs Without Bleed?

The easiest way to make sure your file exports without bleed is to have the artboard set up with no bleed. In other words, make sure your images and graphics do not extend beyond the edge of the artboard.

Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of how you can accomplish this with new and existing documents.

How to Create a New Document in Adobe Illustrator without Bleeds

Open Adobe Illustrator, go to the toolbar and pick File > New. A new document interface will be shown. Next, you’ll want to select More Settings. This gives you greater flexibility over how your content is formatted. With the More Settings tab open, begin by naming and sizing the project.

After you’ve chosen your basic document settings, you’ll move on to the bleed part of your document. Make certain that the link icon to the right of the bleed settings is chosen. This will maintain the same bleed on all sides of your document. Because your goal is to export a document without bleed, you’ll want to set each amount to 0.

After you’ve determined your bleed, click Create Document. This will open your Adobe Illustrator artboard with the document and bleed size you’ve chosen. When designing artwork with no bleed, make sure to keep your background colors within the artboard’s borders.

How to Remove a Bleed from an Existing Artwork in Illustrator

If you’ve already developed artwork and discovered you need to make sure there’s no bleed, don’t fret. It’s simple to add and remove bleed from an existing artboard in Adobe Illustrator.

To begin, open the file to which you want to remove a bleed. Select Document Setup from the File menu in the toolbar. This will bring up the Document Set Up menu.

In the bleed tab, enter 0 to indicate that your document has no bleed. To make all sides of your bleed the same, make sure the link icon is chosen. After you’ve entered your bleeds, click OK. The Document Setup menu will disappear, and your document will now be without bleeds.

Exporting a PNG File with No Bleed

Now that you’ve designed artwork with no bleed, now it’s time to save it. One catch, however, is that you won’t see the PNG format if you pick Save As or Save a Copy. Instead, you’ll actually need to export it rather than save it.

To export a file, select File>Export>Export As. Then choose your file location and name. In the format dropdown box, make sure to select PNG. You’ll now have a PNG file wherever you saved it on your computer.

» MORE: What Should Your Default Illustrator Color Setting Be?

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post has assisted you in resolving your image saving issue in Illustrator. You now know how to export a PNG file without bleeds. Keep in mind that it’s Export As, not Save As. Another important thing to remember is to keep your graphics and photos within the boundaries of the artboard, so they aren’t lost when printing.