What you are dealing with is the 'nonprintable' area of your printer's margins. Each printer has a default print area the it doesn't like to print outside of. I'm having the same problem. Some printers allow you to adjust these margins through print preview or Options. Others, particularly those that are not photo printers, or that do not allow photo printing bleeds, will not. Drives me crazy when I'm trying to print a proof of a newsletter. There are some workarounds that might help. My printer, an Epson 1260 will take custom paper dimensions. I tell it I'm using a custom paper with dimensions larger than the actual paper. You adjust paper sizes in Options. Sometimes I tell it I'm using photo paper (because it won't bleed unless it is photo paper). None of these work perfectly. That's the reason why the dimensions given are larger than 8 1/2 X 11 inches (1/4 " all around). They assume you'll print to larger paper and then cut because printers don't like to print to the edges. Messes up the print paper feeder wheels.
Even when I do that, it's still not perfect because it messes up the fold. So, if anyone has any better suggestions, we'd both love to hear it.
Ok, I'm a total newbie to print design. I am trying to design a brochure for our home business. I downloaded a generic 3 fold template for Photoshop. The dimensions for the brochure are 11.25 x 8.75. Now from what I understand is that this allows for the safety line and the bleed or cut line. The front panel of my brochure has a background gradient, while the other two panels are white backgrounds. I have scaled the gradient background past the bleed guide in order for it to print the background to the full length of the paper. However, when I either print directly from PS or export as PDF, it still does not print the bleed. I have white margins around this graphic. Can anyone help me figure this out. I'm really wanting to understand this and get it right. Any suggestions? Thank you.