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How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

The ruler tool in Word is sometimes overlooked by many when trying to align and position text and other objects. It is used to control the left and right indentation of your Word document. It also controls first-line indentation and tabs. The advantage of using the ruler is that you can use the mouse to manipulate the controls and get instant visual results.

In this guide today, you’ll learn how to show the ruler in MS Word when hidden. And how to use the ruler to indent your content in your Word document.

How to show ruler on Word

The ruler may not appear in your document window. Therefore, you’ll need to take some steps to display it.

Obey the instructions below to get the ruler on your Word document:

  • Click on the View tab.
  • In the Show group, click to check the Ruler item.
  • As soon as you place the checkmark by the Rulercheckbox, the ruler will appear in your document’s window.
  • To hide the ruler, uncheck the Ruler item.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

This is how you may show and hide the ruler in Microsoft Word.

Using the ruler for indentation

Using the mouse, you can create indents with the horizontal ruler. It makes it easy for creating the first line and hanging indents. A hanging indent indents all lines in a paragraph except the first line. A first-line indent, on the other hand, indents only the first line of a paragraph.

Lori Kaufman
How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft wordLori Kaufman
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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business. Read more.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Rulers in Word help you position text, graphics, tables, and other elements in your documents. To gain a bit of extra document space, you can hide both the horizontal and vertical rulers.

If you are working on a small screen, you may want to temporarily hide parts of the Word window to maximize the space used for your document. If you’re not currently using the rulers, you can hide easily hide them and then show them again.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

The rulers in Word only display when you’re in Print Layout view. So, if you don’t see the rulers, and you haven’t turned them off, click the “View” tab and then click the “Print Layout” button in the Views section.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

The View tab is also where you can hide or show the rulers. To hide the rulers, uncheck the “Ruler” box in the Show section. To show the rulers again, simply check the “Ruler” box.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

The rulers are removed from the document space and you gain a bit more space to work. To show the rulers again, simply check the “Ruler” box on the View tab.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

If you don’t use the vertical ruler that displays on the left side of the document space, but you want to show the horizontal ruler at the top of the document space, you can hide just the vertical ruler. To do this, click the “File” tab.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Click “Advanced” in the list of items on the left side of the Word Options screen.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Scroll down to the Display section and uncheck the “Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view” box.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Click “OK” to accept the change and close the Word Options dialog box.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Now, the vertical ruler is hidden. If the “Ruler” box is checked on the View tab, the horizontal ruler still displays at the top of the document space.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Note that if the “Ruler” box in the Show section of the View tab is unchecked, neither ruler will display, whether or not you have the vertical ruler enabled.

You can also hide the ribbon in Word to free up more document space.

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How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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Every Microsoft Word Document has rulers, they are set to a default size of one-inch.

You may be looking to create custom margins or rulers which allow you to see more text on your page or change the layout of your document. To create custom margins check out our post here.

Once your rulers are set to the desired size (hey, we love the default one-inch most of the time so maybe you don’t even need to customize), you are then given the option to hide the rulers.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

If you are working on a smaller computer screen or would like more text and less blank ruler space, hiding the rulers is perfect for you.

Alternatively, you may have hidden the rulers to create your document and would now like to see them again to check the documents print layout before finalising. In this case, we will show you how to make all rulers visible.

In this post, we will outline how to show and hide all rulers in your Word Document in just a few short steps.

How to show all rulers in Word

  1. Open Word
  2. Click View Tab
  1. Under the View tab click Ruler – by clicking ruler, a small tick box should appear next to Ruler

The page rulers will now be visible for you.

How to hide all rulers in Word

  1. Open Word
  2. Click the View tab
  1. Under the View tab, untick the box next to the word Ruler

By unticking the box next to the word ruler, you have now successfully hidden the rulers around your Microsoft Word Document.

Searching for a better way to collaborate in Microsoft Word?

You’re not the only one, so we’re here to help!

When you have just sent off the latest version of a document, hoping it will be the last while knowing deep down that it will come back and require another round of edits/changes or updated.

Your email inbox is full of emails with the subject like ‘Updated file attached’ or ‘report update’ and you can hardly stay on top of the emails to find the most recent file let alone check your company shared drive to make sure they have all been saved and tracked.

It’s an ongoing battle, that too many of us face.

With so many of us collaborating in Microsoft Word daily, facing similar pain points. Companies such as Simul Docs decided enough is enough, there has to be a better way.

The amazing team at Simul Docs built a tool with collaboration in mind, to solve all of the common issues we face as members of a small or large team that are trying to collaborate together.

While you don’t need a collaboration tool, because you can continue running your version control, changes, merges and more manually. Think about the time and frustration you will save by enlisting the help of a professional, a professional such as Simul.

Simul works seamlessly with Microsoft Word as an add on and allows you to work in Word, as normal, with Simul helping in the background.

When you open a Microsoft Word Document with Simul, the document is automatically given a version number. Simul will then save every new version in an easy to use versions list to make referring back to old versions or changes simple.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

If you forget to press save or forget to ‘save as new file’ before you start making changes to the file don’t stress – Simul has already created a new file. They will never let you save over an old version (unless you want to) or lose any changes made.

Simul automatically saves your document as you go and manages version control for you, without you even having to think about it.

Another common issue we face when collaborating is when two team members unknowingly open a file at the same time and start to make changes. Leaving you as the document manager with two different versions of the same document and no way to merge them together without either losing the changes or going through the slow and manual ‘Word Merge’ process.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

If two team members start editing a document at the same time in Simul, no worries!

Simul will save each document as a new version, track the changes made and alert the document owner that there are now two updated versions of the document that require review.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

As the document owner reviews the changes, accepting and rejecting them Simul is creating an updated master document in the background with all of the accepted changes to make merging easy.

Both old versions are still saved and kept for future reference, but a new version is now placed above them, so everyone knows that is the most recent file and no-one in the team accidentally starts editing an old version. Because we have all been in the situation where someone accidentally opens an older version, thinking it is the most recent, makes their changes or suggestions and presses save. Leaving you to merge the documents together, again.

Once you have finished collaborating, Simul gives you the option to save your file in any shared drive, email it directly to a manager or send it on to anyone outside of your organisation.

If you send the file on in its Word Format, the reader can also make changes and all of Simul’s tracking features will work for them as well. Even if they are outside of your organisation, because it is the file that lives in Simul and Simul will make collaborating on that file easy for anyone who wants to join the party.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

So, if you are looking for a better way to collaborate you can’t go past Simul.

If you don’t see the ruler at the top of your document, go to View > Ruler to display it.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Set a tab stop using the ruler

Select Left Tab at the left end of the horizontal ruler to change it to the type of tab you want.

Choose one of the following types:

A Left tab stop sets the left end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the right.

A Center tab stop sets the position at the middle of the text line. As you type, the text centers on this position.

A Right tab stop sets the right end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the left.

A Decimal tab stop aligns numbers around a decimal point. Without regard to the number of digits, the decimal point remains in the same position. See Use decimal tabs to line up numbers with decimal points.

A Bar tab stop doesn’t position text. It inserts a vertical bar at the tab position. Unlike other tabs, the bar tab is added to the text as soon as you click the ruler. If you don’t clear the bar tab stop before you print your document, the vertical line is printed.

Click or tap the bottom of the horizontal ruler where you want to set the tab stop.

Drag the tab stop down off the ruler to remove it.

The left indent sets the position of the left side of a paragraph. When you move the left indent, your first line indent or hanging indent are moved in sync.

Select the text where you want set the left indent.

On the ruler, drag the square marker on the lower left side of the ruler to the place you want the left edge of the paragraph.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

The right indent marker controls the position of the right side of a paragraph.

Select the text where you want set the right indent.

On the ruler, drag the triangular marker on the lower right side of the ruler to the place you want the right edge of the paragraph.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

With a first line indent, the first line of a paragraph is indented and the following lines of a paragraph are not.

Select the text where you want to add a first line indent.

On the ruler, drag the triangular marker on the top left of the ruler to the place you want the indentation to start, for example to the 1″ mark.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

With a hanging indent, the second and all the following lines of a paragraph are indented more than the first.

Select the text where you want to add a hanging indent.

On the ruler, drag the upper triangular part of the lower marker to the place you want the indentation to start, for example to the 1″ mark.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Turn on the ruler

If you don’t see the ruler at the top of your document, go to View > Ruler to display it.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Set a tab stop using the ruler

Select Left Tab at the left end of the horizontal ruler to change it to the type of tab you want.

Choose one of the following types:

A Left tab stop sets the left end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the right.

A Center tab stop sets the position at the middle of the text line. As you type, the text centers on this position.

A Right tab stop sets the right end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the left.

A Decimal tab stop aligns numbers around a decimal point. Without regard to the number of digits, the decimal point remains in the same position. See Use decimal tabs to line up numbers with decimal points.

A Bar tab stop doesn’t position text, it inserts a vertical bar at the tab position. Unlike other tabs, the bar tab is added to the text as soon as you click the ruler. If you don’t clear the bar tab stop before you print your document, the vertical line is printed.

Click or tap the bottom of the horizontal ruler where you want to set the tab stop.

The ruler tool in Word is sometimes overlooked by many when trying to align and position text and other objects. It is used to control the left and right indentation of your Word document. It also controls first-line indentation and tabs. The advantage of using the ruler is that you can use the mouse to manipulate the controls and get instant visual results.

In this guide today, you’ll learn how to show the ruler in MS Word when hidden. And how to use the ruler to indent your content in your Word document.

How to show ruler on Word

The ruler may not appear in your document window. Therefore, you’ll need to take some steps to display it.

Obey the instructions below to get the ruler on your Word document:

  • Click on the View tab.
  • In the Show group, click to check the Ruler item.
  • As soon as you place the checkmark by the Rulercheckbox, the ruler will appear in your document’s window.
  • To hide the ruler, uncheck the Ruler item.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

This is how you may show and hide the ruler in Microsoft Word.

Using the ruler for indentation

Using the mouse, you can create indents with the horizontal ruler. It makes it easy for creating the first line and hanging indents. A hanging indent indents all lines in a paragraph except the first line. A first-line indent, on the other hand, indents only the first line of a paragraph.

Sometimes when you’re working with a document in Microsoft Word, the physical size of some of the elements on your page can be important. This can be difficult to determine on the screen, as what you see on your computer usually doesn’t reflect the actual size when it’s printed.

One way to solve this is to display the ruler on the screen. This lets you determine how large an image, table, column, or other document elements will be when it’s printed. Our tutorial below will show you how to display the ruler in Microsoft Word if it’s not currently visible.

How to Show the Ruler in Word

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Word for Office 365, but will work in many earlier versions of Word as well. When you’re done with this article, find out how to hide comments when printing in Word if that’s an issue you’ve encountered before.

Step 1: Open your document in Word.

Step 2: Select the View tab at the top of the window.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Step 3: Check the box to the left of Ruler in the Show section of the ribbon.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

You should now see a ruler at the top and left side of the screen, like in the picture below.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Are you working on a document with other people, and the comments in the document keep printing with the document text? Find out how to hide comments when printing in Word if you don’t need them on your physical copy of the document.

Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.

His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

It is easy to display and hide a ruler on the word. This ruler is a feature of Microsoft word whose work is to help you create a perfect layout work in word. The ruler helps create brochures, forms, cover letters, resumes, and all word documents where it’s crucial how big and where graphics or type objects are.

The ruler is displayed differently depending on the document view you are utilizing. If you are using Draft view, the ruler will only emerge horizontally, but if you are using a print layout view, it will be vertical and horizontal.

Sometimes the ruler is not visible when you are working on a document, and in such a case, it’s possibly switched off.

The Work of Microsoft Word Rulers

Do you desire to know the size of your headline or how the text box will be after printing your document? Or you need help in setting tabs? The ruler helps you do that. Using the ruler, you can determine where you want your elements to appear and how big you desire them to be on a printed document. Placing and altering tabs and margins is also possible using the ruler. All you do is drag them.

Getting Ruler in Print Layout View

  1. Ensure your document is opened in a print layout view if you want to get a vertical and horizontal ruler. Once that is done, go to the ”View” tab on the menu above your word document and choose ”Print Layout.”
  2. Adjacent to the ruler text situated as the first option above ”Navigation Pane” and Gridlines, there is a checkbox. Ensure it’s checked.
  3. A ruler will appear on the left side of your document and above it from the above step. This is only in the case of the Print Layout.

Now you can go ahead and use the ruler.

Getting ruler in Draft Layout View

Perhaps you prefer opening documents in draft layout view instead of the print layout view. In such a case, the ruler works the same way, although you will only get a horizontal ruler. However, the horizontal ruler will function the same way as one in Print Layout.

  1. Open your document in a draft view by simply opening the ”View” tab and choosing ”Draft.”
  2. On the Ribbon, ensure the ruler checkbox is ticked. It’s located above Navigation Pane and Gridlines. Now you can go ahead and use the ruler.

Conclusion

If you are not seeing a ruler when working on a Word file, you can get it irrespective of whether you have happened the document in draft view or print layout view. In the case of the former, you will only get a horizontal ruler, and in the case of the latter, you will get both vertical and horizontal ruler. However, in both views, the ruler works the same way.

This ruler will help you know how your work will appear after printing. Besides, it will assist you in placing and altering tabs and margins.

In Microsoft Word, Ruler is a useful tool for typesetting. But it’s not always shown by default. It’s better to toggle it on if you want to adjust the layout more intuitively. So, how to enable the horizontal ruler and vertical ruler in Word?

How to Enable the Horizontal Ruler

It’s very easy to add horizontal ruler to your document.

1. First, Switch to View tab

2. Select Ruler in Show section .

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

How to Enable the Vertical Ruler

with only horizontal ruler, it may also cause inconvenience to users in typesetting. To enable vertical ruler in Word, just follow these steps:

1. First, open the document, click FileOptions.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

2. Choose Advanced. Stroll down the page to find Display section, then check the option of Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

3. Check your document, the vertical ruler should have been added on the edge of the page now.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

How to Hide the Ruler in Word

If you’ve done editing the layout and want a pure page without any added ruler, just go to View tab again and uncheck Ruler option in Show section.

In this article we’re going to learn how to (temporarily) hide the toolbars, taskbars, rulers and whatnot in Word. Note that these processes will also work for other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Why would I want to hide the taskbars in Word?

There are various reasons why you might want to have just a blank white screen in front of you when using Word. If you’re trying to write, write, write, you might want to remove all distractions. If you’re displaying Word on a large screen using a projector, there are many reasons why a plain screen with no additional information might be useful.

In fact, the second reason, wishing to display just some text and images via an overhead projector, is why I was asked to write this article in the first place.

How to hide taskbars and toolbars in Word

This works for Word 2007, 2010 and 2013: I’ve used Word 2010 in the example because it’s what I use most of the time, but the principles remain the same.

How to minimise the ribbon in Word

You might just want to minimise the ribbon. If this is the case, first right-click anywhere on the actual ribbon, then select Minimize the Ribbon from the menu that displays:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

How do I reverse minimize ribbon?

To reverse the minimize ribbon action, you can either …

1. Right-click anywhere on the small ribbon headings that will appear and click again on Minimize the Ribbon: the tick will disappear and the ribbon will reappear:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

2. Click on the small down arrow that appears at the top right of the screen when the ribbon is minimised:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

How do I remove wording and symbols from the lower task bar

If you’re fed up of seeing your word count or document language in the lower task bar, you can right-click on the taskbar, at which point a list of all items you can display pops up, and you can untick the ones you don’t want:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

You will see the displayed items at the bottom start to disappear until you’re left with just one:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

How do I reverse clearing the lower task bar?

To add items back on to the task bar, right-click on the taskbar and click on the features you want to see – the tick will reappear next to the items you select, and the information will display in the lower task bar.

How do I hide the rulers?

For instructions on hiding the rulers in Word, please see this article.

How do I hide all of the toolbars in Word and other Office applications?

If you want to go further and just have a blank screen, you can use the shortcut Alt+V, U

Note that you must follow this process to do this:

  • Press down the Alt key and keep it pressed down
  • Press the V key and release it (keeping Alt pressed down)
  • Press the U key and release it (you can then release the Alt key)

Pressing both letters together does not have the same effect. Once you’ve pressed this key combination, you will have just the document, no toolbars, taskbars, menus, etc. However, you are still likely to have the Windows taskbar showing.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

So you’re not quite there, but first …

How do I reverse Alt+VU?

The first time I did this, I got a bit panicky because I assumed that you needed to press AltVU again to get back to the menus, but that’s not what you do.

To reverse Alt+VU and get back to seeing your taskbars, hit the Escape key on your keyboard. Phew!

How do I hide the Windows taskbar?

You’ve got your lovely clean document showing but you want to get rid of that Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Here’s what you do:

First, unlock the taskbar (if it is locked) by right-clicking on the lower task bar and seeing if Lock the taskbar is ticked. If it is, click on it to untick it.

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

This dialogue box will disappear, so right-click on the taskbar again and this time choose Properties:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

This will give you a new dialogue box:

How to show and hide the rulers in microsoft word

Making sure that you’re in the Taskbar tab, click on the tickbox to Auto-hide thie taskbar.

The taskbar will now disappear, leaving you with a lovely clear screen containing only your document.

How do I reverse hiding the Windows taskbar?

To show the Windows taskbar, move the mouse to the bottom of the screen (assuming your Windows task bar is usually there), at which point it should appear. Then right-click at the bottom of the screen and select Properties, then untick Auto-hide the taskbar.

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. If you’ve enjoyed the post or found it useful, please use the sharing buttons below to share it via your social media networks – thank you!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Other useful posts on this blog

Find all the short cuts here … and see the full resource guide here.