How to Show and Hide the Rulers in Microsoft Word

418787 How to Show and Hide the Rulers in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word provides horizontal and vertical rulers to help you precisely position text, images, tables, and other elements in your documents. However, the rulers do not display by default. Here’s how to show and hide the rulers in Word.

Displaying the Rulers

To display the rulers in Word:

  1. Click the View tab
  2. Click the Print Layout button in the Document Views group (if it’s not already selected)
  3. Check the Ruler box in the Show group

This will display both a horizontal ruler across the top of the document and a vertical ruler along the left side.

Tip: You can also press Ctrl + R as a keyboard shortcut to toggle the rulers on and off.

Hiding the Rulers

To hide the rulers, simply uncheck the Ruler box in the Show group on the View tab.

You can also right-click directly on either ruler and choose Hide Ruler from the context menu.

Note: The vertical ruler only displays in Print Layout view. So if you switch to another document view like Draft or Outline, only the horizontal ruler will remain.

Changing the Ruler Measurements

By default, the rulers display measurements in inches. However, you can change the units to centimeters, millimeters, points, picas, or pixels.

To change the ruler units:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Under Display, choose your desired unit from the Show measurements in units of drop-down menu
  5. Click OK

The rulers will now reflect the new units.

Using the Rulers

With the rulers displayed, you can use them as guides to precisely position content in your documents. Here are some examples:

  • Set margins – Drag the markers on the horizontal ruler to change the page margins
  • Indent paragraphs – Drag the indent markers on the horizontal ruler to indent the first line or entire paragraph
  • Create hanging indents – Drag the hanging indent marker on the horizontal ruler
  • Set tabs – Click the ruler to add tab stops, then select the tab alignment style
  • Align images/text boxes – Drag objects to the position markers on the rulers to align them precisely

Using the rulers saves you time and effort compared to positioning elements solely by eye. They help ensure your documents retain their designed look when printed or viewed on different devices.

So if you need pixel-perfect precision, be sure to display the rulers in Word!

Showing Only the Horizontal Ruler

If you want to hide the vertical ruler but keep the horizontal ruler visible:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Under Display, uncheck Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view
  5. Click OK

This will hide the vertical ruler while keeping the horizontal ruler shown across the top of the document.

Disabling Rulers By Default

If you don’t use rulers and want documents to open with them disabled by default:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Under Display, uncheck Show rulers by default for new documents
  5. Click OK

Now new documents will open with the rulers hidden until you explicitly show them.

I hope this overview gives you a better understanding of how to display, hide, and configure rulers in Word to precisely layout your documents! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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