Showing the Ruler in Microsoft Word

The View tab has got a lot of neat tricks up its sleeve, but we’ll limit today’s tip to a simple one: how to show the ruler. The ruler will appear at the top and the right side of your window, and will give you the ability to visualize the page margins, paragraph indents and tab stops.

Steps to show the Ruler in Microsoft Word…

  1. Click the View tab.
  2. Put a checkmark beside Ruler in the Show group.

To get the most out of the ruler, be certain that you are viewing your document using the Print Layout view. You can choose Print Layout by clicking on it in the View tab, Views group, or by clicking on the icon in the task bar at the bottom of your screen.

As you can see in the attached video, the ruler will change to reflect the Paragraph settings whenever you click your mouse in a different paragraph. In fact, you can actually edit the Paragraph settings directly in the ruler, without having to open the Paragraph dialog box launcher.

How to edit your Paragraph settings using the Ruler

  1. Click your mouse in the paragraph you want to change.
  2. Click, hold and drag the parts of the ruler to represent the new settings you want to use.

If you want to affect more than one paragraph at a time, just select the various paragraphs.

Combined with the technique outlined in Show/Hide Invisible Characters, you now have better control over your document layout using visual tools and tips.