How to add ruler in Word: A step-by-step guide

Adding a ruler in Microsoft Word is a simple task that can greatly enhance your document formatting experience. It allows you to set precise margins, tabs, and other layout elements. In just a few clicks, you’ll have a ruler displayed on your Word document.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add Ruler in Word

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what these steps will accomplish. By following them, you’ll be able to display the horizontal and vertical rulers in your Word document, which are essential tools for precise alignment and formatting.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word Document

Open the Word document where you want to add the ruler.

When you open your document, you may notice that the ruler is not displayed by default. This is a common setting that can be easily changed.

Step 2: Go to the ‘View’ Tab

Click on the ‘View’ tab at the top of the Word document.

The ‘View’ tab is where you can change how you see your document on the screen. It includes various viewing options and show/hide commands for screen elements like the ruler.

Step 3: Check the ‘Ruler’ Box

In the ‘Show’ group within the ‘View’ tab, find and check the ‘Ruler’ box.

By checking this box, you’re instructing Word to display the ruler. It’s a toggle switch, so clicking it again would hide the ruler.

After completing these steps, you should see the ruler appear at the top and side of your document. The horizontal ruler runs across the top of the document, while the vertical ruler runs down the side. These rulers can help you with layout decisions such as setting tabs, indents, and margins.

Tips: Enhancing Your Experience with the Ruler in Word

  • Familiarize yourself with the different parts of the ruler, such as the indent markers and tab stops, to fully utilize its capabilities.
  • The ruler can be used in conjunction with gridlines for even more precise placement of elements.
  • If the ruler is not appearing, make sure you’re not in ‘Web Layout’ or ‘Read Mode’ as these views do not support the ruler.
  • Double-clicking on the ruler brings up the ‘Page Setup’ dialog, where you can set more detailed layout options.
  • You can also use the ruler to quickly adjust the page margins by dragging the edges on the ruler.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add a ruler in Word Online?

In Word Online, the ruler is not available due to its simplified interface and features.

Can I customize the units of measurement on the ruler?

Yes, you can change the units of measurement by going to Word’s options and selecting your preferred unit under ‘Advanced’ settings.

Why can’t I see the vertical ruler?

The vertical ruler is only available in ‘Print Layout’ view. Make sure you’re not in ‘Web Layout’ or ‘Draft’ view.

Can I hide the ruler after adding it?

Certainly! Just uncheck the ‘Ruler’ box under the ‘View’ tab to hide it.

Does the ruler affect how my document prints?

No, the ruler is only a tool for on-screen formatting. It does not impact the print layout unless you make changes to the margins or other elements using the ruler.


  1. Open Microsoft Word Document
  2. Go to the ‘View’ Tab
  3. Check the ‘Ruler’ Box


Mastering the use of the ruler in Word can make a significant difference in the presentation and professionalism of your documents. While some may overlook this feature, it’s a powerful tool that offers precise control over your document’s layout and formatting. By following the simple steps laid out in this article, you’re now equipped to add and use the ruler in Word, enhancing your ability to produce well-structured, visually appealing documents.

As you become more familiar with the ruler, experiment with its various functionalities. Adjust margins, set tabs, and fine-tune indents to see how they transform the look and flow of your text. Remember, the ruler is your friend, assisting you in creating documents that not only meet but exceed formatting expectations.

So the next time you open Word to start a new project, don’t forget to bring the ruler into play. With this tool at your disposal, you’ll find that the once-daunting task of document formatting is a breeze. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, embracing the ruler’s capabilities will undoubtedly elevate your Word game.

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