Multiple Artboards–Tips and Tricks Part 2
This section of Multiple Artboards Tips and Tricks is about use of crop marks.
Q: In Illustrator CS3, if you choose Object>Crop Area>Make, you get a Crop Area and Crop Marks at a distance of 9pt by 9pt from edges of the Crop Area. Now that Crop Area is not present in Illustrator CS4, can we still get crop marks in an EPS or PDF file without any offset error?
A: Yes we can still get the crop marks in an EPS or PDF file without any offset error by leveraging the Crop Marks Effect functionality.
In Illustrator CS4, create two rectangles, both these rectangles should have “No Fill” and “No stroke.”
The dimensions of first rectangle are equal to that of crop area you want. The dimensions of the second rectangle are less than the first rectangle by 18 pt by 18 pt. Both are placed concentrically, i.e., have the same center point. Select the first rectangle and choose Object >Convert to Artboards to create a new artboard. Then select the second rectangle and apply crop marks effect using Effect>Crop Marks. Crop marks will be created at a distance of 18pt by 18pt from the corners of the second rectangle and 9pt by 9pt from first rectangle, which you originally wanted for a crop area.
If you want to move these crop marks to a custom distance from second artboard, select the second rectangle and choose Object>Expand Appearance, or after drawing the first rectangle, use the attached action (Download file).
The Crop Marks Effect will be expanded, and using the Direct Selection Tool, you can move them wherever you want. The new artboard you created will work as a crop area (please refer to the previous section of Multiple Artboard Tips and Tricks) and the crop area effect will be used as crop marks. Caution: the length/width of crop marks created using the Crop Mark effect will be slightly more than what one would get in CS3 using Object>Crop Area>Make.
Please watch out for our next edition of Multiple Artboards Tips and Tricks to learn interesting ways of emulating Page Tiling in Illustrator CS4.