Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Slug and Bleed

Slug vs Bleed

The world of publishing has the terms and components “bleed” and “slug” to identify some particular areas of a printed document or work environment (like paper or other similar materials).

Both “bleed” and “slug” refer to a particular location or area of a document where the bleed or slug manifests. In these areas, the bleed or slug can be positioned while the document or project is undergoing construction or other processes. A bleed or slug can be printed or published by enabling some options in the application. At the same time, a bleed or slug can also be eliminated from the document if there is no need for the functions of either.

“Bleed” refers to partial texts or other objects that extend past the page line or boundary that is done purposely and accidentally. A bleed manifests the slight inaccuracy in any object or text or placements. It can also apply if there is a miscalculation in page size.
A bleed can be an object, text, or any kind of element that is placed in a document or paper environment that went beyond the page size and margin.

There are two types of bleeds, the intentional bleed and the unintentional bleed. As its name implies, the unintentional bleed is executed in order to test a particular project with a material and to test for printing inaccuracies. The result of an unintentional bleed is often regarded as a sample or a trial before remedying the mistakes or configuring the necessary settings for more accuracy or finish. The bleed is something that is not anticipated when the paper or project is published or printed. They are considered mistakes that should be remedied. Eliminating this type of bleed is usually remedied by using larger paper sizes or resizing the whole if not all of the object elements in the paper.

In contrast, an intentional bleed, as its name implies, are bleeds that are purposely done to be used as a design element and for aesthetic purposes.

On the other hand, a slug or slug line is a publishing component that is located in the outside area of a document or a page’s margin, usually on the edges or trim line. The slug contains relevant information like titles, names, dates, instructions, document comments, version and page information, and many others. It is also used as a tracking tool for the recipients and people concerned (like printers and vendors). The slug also contains information while the material or paper underwent various processes like revisions, editing, review, and organization.

The slug is removed when the final version of the paper is printed or published. In this state, the slug already fulfilled its function in the material.


1.Both “bleed” and “slug” are components in publishing documents or any publication material. Both “bleed” and “slug” are often mistaken for one another since they are very close in spacing with each other.
2.The main difference between a bleed and a slug is their respective functions. A bleed is often used intentionally and unintentionally. Meanwhile, a slug is used as a tool to impart various types of written instruction to the paper’s recipients.
3.A bleed usually consists of objects and texts while a slug is most often in text form. Also, a bleed (particularly an unintentional bleed) and a slug are intended to be removed before the final version is printed or published.
4.The bleed area can still be considered part of the document itself while the slug is almost part of the working interface where the document is related.
5.Unlike the intentional bleed, a slug is not a component that can be used as a decorative element in the document or material.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this! It was very helpful. I knew what bleed was but had no idea about slug.

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