Perfect Bound Cover Including Spine (InDesign 14 and higher)

The optimal technique for creating the spine for a perfect bound cover is to include it as the left bleed margin of cover 1.

Start by ensuring your document is setup properly as outlined here , then incorporate your spine content into the front cover following the steps below. If you have not already determined your correct spine size, click here for our spine calculator.


1. Create a new Rectangular Frame using the publication height as the Width and the spine value obtained from our spine calculator as the Height.

2. Right-click on the Rectangle and define as text under the Content selection.


3. Right-click again on the Rectangle and choose Text Frame Options…

4.  In the General section, set the Vertical Justification to Align: Center. An optional left and right margin can also be set if desired.

5. In the Baseline Options section, set the First Baseline Offset to Cap Height.

6. Next, set the control panel reference point to upper right, the X and Y reference point to 0 and rotation to 90 CW (-90 degrees). This will position the spine text box on trim and extend beyond the page the thickness of the spine.

7. If your design requires a background element to the spine, extend the cover image beyond the left trim the same distance as the spine width or add a colored-fill rectangle beneath the spine text box created in the steps above, remembering to stretch top and bottom to provide bleed.

8. Once completed, export your cover using the same method as the other pages in your publication following the steps here with one exception… unlike the other pages of the publication with 0 inner bleed, the front cover requires the inside bleed margin be defined to the calculated spine width during the export process… within the export dialog box, navigate to the marks and bleed tab and set the inner bleed margin to the calculated spine width.

9. Lastly, open the resulting PDF In Adobe Acrobat to ensure the desired result has been achieved. Using the crop pages function, you can verify the margins of the trim box are accurate and expectations have been met.