Trimming for Borderless


Today’s Question: Is there any advantage to actually making a borderless print, as opposed to making a normal print and then trimming off the edges to make a borderless result?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In my view the only real advantage to making a borderless print is convenience. If you’re using an inkjet printer to create the print, I actually recommend not printing with the borderless option, and instead trimming the print to create a borderless effect.

More Detail: There’s no question that if you want a borderless print, it is convenient to have the print come out of the printer borderless. In other words, with an image that goes right up to the edge of the paper, with no white border.

If you’re using a dye-sublimation printer to create borderless prints, then as far as I’m concerned the borderless capability is a great feature. That said, most photographers are using photo inkjet printers to create their own prints. When it comes to inkjet printers, I actually recommend against borderless printing.

As you can probably appreciate, it isn’t really possible to spray droplets of ink with such precision that they will go right up to the edge of the paper without spraying past the edge of the paper. For this reason there are components within the printer (typically employing a sponge) to catch the ink overspray.

With many photo inkjet printers, the components for capturing the ink overspray are not something that the user can replace themselves. In other words, you’ll need to take the printer to a service facility to have those sponges replaced when they get fully saturated.

This is why I prefer not to create borderless prints with photo inkjet printers. Instead I will print with empty space around the photo (such as printing an 8″x10″ image on an 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper). I will then trim the paper to create a borderless print.

By the way, I highly recommend the RotaTrim line of rotary paper trimmers. I have noticed that the 20-inch model is currently being offered at a significant discount from the list price on Amazon, and you can find that version of the RotaTrim trimmer here: