PDF Boxes : mediabox, cropbox, bleedbox, trimbox, artbox

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An EPS has only a single BoundingBox but a PDF contains a MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, TrimBox and ArtBox.

For a detailed description, see http://www.prepressure.com/pdf/basics/page-boxes

For an advertisement,

  • ArtBox is the content of the ad;
  • TrimBox is the size that an application like Scribus should use to place the ad;
  • BleedBox is the size that applications like Scribus should clip to;
  • CropBox is the size for proofing the ad for viewers but is not supposed to be used by applications like Scribus;
  • MediaBox is for complete pages including items that will be physically trimmed from the final product like crop marks, registration marks, slugs, etc.

Some viewers like "gv" have an option to let you override the displayed area.

The poppler package has the capability also, for example, pdftops crops to the CropBox by default but has a -nocrop option to use the MediaBox instead.

On Linux, you can check the values with pdfinfo in the poppler package with the -box option.

$ pdfinfo -box 20185846-crop.pdf 
Producer:       Acrobat Distiller 3.0 for Power Macintosh
CreationDate:   Thu Dec 11 16:40:22 2003
ModDate:        Fri Dec 12 13:09:10 2003
Page size:      415.79 x 1009.81 pts
Page rot:       0
MediaBox:           0.00     0.00   432.00  1152.00
CropBox:            7.89    16.19   423.68  1026.00
BleedBox:           7.89    16.19   423.68  1026.00
TrimBox:            7.89    16.19   423.68  1026.00
ArtBox:             7.89    16.19   423.68  1026.00
File size:      464073 bytes
Optimized:      yes
PDF version:    1.4