How To Work With The Rulers Option In MS- Word?





Microsoft Word is the one-stop solution for all the tasks related to texts, articles, blogs with all the features like pictures, links, etc.

Formatting is one of the key elements of the final touches to make a perfect document. Rulers in Word is the measuring tool that helps in:

  • Align the texts
  • Adjust the margins
  • Place the pictures and graphics
  • To keep alignment on the screen and print the same.

To know more about rulers, click here.

Activate rulers in Microsoft Word

  • Open Microsoft Word.
  • Select the ‘Print layout’ located at the bottom – corner of your screen or, you can find it under ‘View’ in the ribbon at the top.
  • Select the ‘View’ option on the ribbon with tools.
  • Check the box of ‘Rulers’ to activate it.
  • In the case of early versions of Word 2007 and 2013, to activate rulers follow these steps:
    • Open ‘Menu’ to view its options from the Ribbon.
    • Find Rulers from View options in case of Classic Menu.
    • Otherwise, click the View tab > Show group > Select the Ruler option

Basic types of rulers

Here are the basic types of rulers you should know about

1. Horizontal rulers

  • It shows the left and right margin spaces, the length of your line and is used to adjust the indents.
  • Use Web-layout or Draft View option.

2. Vertical rulers

  • It shows the top and bottom margin spaces and change the heights of the table.
  • Use the Print Layout View.

Read this: How to add line numbers in MS word?

How to use the Rulers

  1. After activating the rulers in word, tap on the space at top of your page to open the ‘Page Setup Window’. Check this out to find out other ways to open this window.
  2. Use this dialog box to change the layout of the page such as margins, extra spaces, etc.
  3. Use the Ruler bar to drag the fly on the top by sliding it. The fly is the hour-glass shaped cursor to adjust the ruler measurement.
  4. The grey colored bar is the space occupied by the margins whereas the white portion denotes the active part of your document.
  5. You can change the measurement units to change the units in the ruler by following the steps:
    • Open ‘File’.
    • Click on the ‘Options’ menu.
    • Select ‘Advanced’.
    • Change the measurement units in ‘Show measurements in units of’.
    • You choose from centimeters, millimeters, points, and picas.
    • This changes the unit of measurement throughout the document along with the rulers.

Features of rulers in Microsoft Word

  1. The fly is used to align or indent the lines in the paragraphs. Each part on the fly has a particular function.
  • Select the particular lines, paragraph, or, multiple paragraphs that can be indented with the fly all together or individually.

1. Left indent marker

  • The Left indent marker alters all the lines of the paragraph and shifts it to the new position. The new position can be set by dragging the marker horizontally.
  • The other two indent markers also move along with the left indent marker.

2. Right indent marker

  • The right indent marker is used to adjust the right-side margin of the document.
  • This is located at the right side of the Ruler, opposite to the Left indent marker.

3. First-line indent marker

  • This changes the indentation of the first line in the paragraph, that is, the positioning of the first line could be changed.

4. Hanging indent marker

  • By adjusting the hanging indent marker, you can position the entire paragraph or lines except for the first line.
  1. Use the Tab Stop button
  • Using this you can choose where your cursor stops when you press the ‘Tab’ button.
  • By default, the ‘Tab’ pushes forward to eight characters. This can be altered by the following steps:
    • The ‘Tab stop’ button has different features that can be accessed by clicking on it repeatedly as the options repeat in a cycle.
    • The features are:
      • Left tab
      • Center tab
      • Right tabs
      • Decimal tabs
      • Bar tab
      • Indents (First-line and hanging indents)
    • Place your cursor on the tab to know the name of the current tab stop option.
  • After choosing the required tab option click on that point on the ruler (white part / active part) to fix the point.
  • The symbol of the particular tab appears on that point in the ruler.
  • Once you set the tab points, the cursor would shift the line exactly there when ‘Tab’ is pressed.
  • For example: If you have chosen the first-line indent tab at 3 inches distance from the margin then when you press ‘Tab’, the first line of your paragraph will shift to that fixed point.

Click here to know more about Tab stop options.

  • To remove the tab stop points from the ruler, left-click the tab stop and drag it down it turns grey. Then leave the mouse cursor to remove the tab stop.

The procedure to show and hide rulers in Microsoft Word is the same:

  • To hide the rulers, open View from the Ribbon of options on the top.
  • Make sure that the Print Layout is opened.
  • Uncheck the ‘Ruler’ option.

How to show and hide the rulers in Microsoft Word tips

  • Apart from the mentioned methods, here are the tips to enable or disable the ruler:
    1. Press Alt + V.
    2. A dialog box with a message would appear. Then press ‘L’.
    3. To cancel it, press Esc.
  • To open the Tab dialog box, double click the Tab Marker.
  • To open a paragraph dialog box, double click any Indent Marker.
  • To open the Page Setup Dialog Box, double click on Vertical Ruler.

This is how you can show and hide the rulers in Microsoft Word. All the steps and tips to use rulers in Word have been summarized in this article. To learn more about the use of rulers do check out this! Hope this helped you to utilize the features of Microsoft Word to create much efficient word documents.

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