How to Set Your Document Size


How to Set Your Document Size




Document Size

The default document that appears on your opening Inkscape screen is A4 size

The measurement in millimetres is 210mm wide x 297mm high
Converted to pixels that is 744.09px wide x 1052.36px high


When laying out your book pages the first thing you have to do is set your document size. This must be done exactly. It will need to include the bleed margin allowance nominated by your printer’s template.

Bleed Allowance

You should have already downloaded the template and filed in in a folder labelled TEMPLATES. Have all the size information on hand as you are going to need to change your screen document in Inkscape, to reflect this same size. Check the measurement of the external bleed margin which is the furthermost outside line on the template. Go with your printing company’s guidelines. I had to add the bleed margin and then set my document size overall to accommodate the bleed as required.

See diagram. The blue line is the external bleed margin


The reason your book page must include the external bleed margin is because when your book is trimmed, the background colour and images etc all go right to the edge of your page as required.

For full details on templates and bleed layout refer to Step 07 Print Ready PDFs

When you have checked the size on the PDF template, proceed with further instructions.

For the example I will be using my book page template details:

A5 size
148.5mm x 210mm
Add Bleed Allowance of 5mm all the way round

If you apply the method I’ve used below, along with your template measurements, you can be assured you will be able to set your document size correctly.

To change the document to a different size:

Click on File  >  Document Properties


The Document Properties module will appear:


The default Units setting for the width and height of your document is displayed in pixels (px) so it has to be changed to millimetres (mm)

This is because most template measurements are referred to in millimetres.

Click on the Units display box to change the measurement type


Click to change from pixels (px) to millimetres (mm)

As mentioned, the bleed allowance must be included in the document size

So with my example, the A5 size page my template requires me to allow 5mm extra all the way round

My Book Page Size is 148.50mm x 210mm
I add the Bleed Allowance of 5mm
I must allow 10mm extra overall to both the width and height of my document.

Therefore, the finished document size should be 158.5mm x 220mm

Highlight the Width and Height text, then enter new measurement


Enter the new size for the document


The new size is now set

Save this as a Book Page Master File to work from:

File  >  Save As 


Select File to save as dialogue box will appear

FILEselectfiletosaveasOChoose a File name and enter

FILEsaveasmasterfileO.pnge.g. “01BookPageMasterFile

Click on Save

It will be saved as an .SVG file

ie. “01BookPageMasterFile.svg

Further Additions 

You can add to this master file with the template guidelines and text margins etc as you go along. To resave:

Click on Save

This will save straight over the top of existing file with new additions or changes

Or you can also:

Click on Save as  >  Select the saved file from folder

or create a new file name

Dialogue box will appear to give option to replace existing file with that one


Click on Replace

Close or Exit Inkscape

Go to next stage IMPORT PDF TEMPLATE

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