Using the Ruler

When using Word Ruler functions let you manipulate margins, tabs, and indents. Learn how to use the Ruler Word feature to format text.

Introduction

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Format text using the ruler

Formatting text manually: Aligning text with the ruler


You can adjust the width of margins and tabs in your document using Word’s ruler.

The ruler is helpful when you need to create several columns, show column placement, or show the distance between columns.

To hide and display the ruler:

  • Choose ViewactionRuler.

If you switch to Print Layout view (Choose ViewPrint Layout View), a vertical ruler displays along the lefthand side of the screen. To hide this vertical ruler, switch to a different layout view.

Setting tabs with the ruler


Word offers five types of tabs you can set on the ruler. These tab buttons are located to the left of the ruler:

  • Left tab Left tab icon : Moves text toward the right edge of the page as you type
  • Center tab Center tab icon : Centers text around the tab
  • Right tab Right tab icon : Moves text toward the left edge of the page as you type
  • Decimal tab Decimaltab icon : Aligns decimal numbers using the decimal point


    For example:

    Example of numbers aligned by their decimal points
  • Bar tab Bar tab icon : Draws a vertical line on the document

To place a tab on the ruler:

  • Click the cursor anywhere in the block of text you want to format.
  • Click the tab selection button (upper-left next to tab).
  • Click the ruler where you want your tab to be set.
  • Press the Tab key to move your text to the new tab.

Did you know?

To move an existing tab on the ruler:

  • Point the mouse to the tab you want to move.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button until a dotted line appears below the tab.
  • Drag the mouse to move the tab to a new location.
  • Release the left mouse button.

To remove a tab from the ruler:

  • Point the mouse to the tab you want to remove.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button until a dotted line appears below the tab.
  • Drag the mouse off the ruler.
  • Release the left mouse button.