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.

Setting tabs, indents, and margins using the Ruler

The Ruler offers a visual tool that allows you to quickly view, create, and change your documents tabs, margins, and indents.


Click the small gray box to the left of the Ruler to move through the different Tab Settings.

  • Left tab Left Tab Button: This moves text toward the right edge of the page as you type.
  • Center tab Center Tab Button : This centers text around the tab.
  • Right tab Right Tab Button : This moves text toward the left edge of the page as you type.
  • Decimal tab Decimal Tab Button : This aligns decimal numbers using the decimal point.

Decimal Tab Example

For example:

  • Bar tab Bar Tab Button : This draws a vertical line on the document.
  • Indent Indent Tab Button : This inserts the indent marking anywhere along the ruler.
  • Hanging Indent Hanging Indent Tab Button : This inserts a hanging indent anywhere along the ruler.

To place a tab or indent on The Ruler:

  • Click the cursor anywhere in the block of text you want to format.
  • Click the tab selection button (upper left of the Ruler).
  • Click the Ruler where you want your tab or indent to be set.
  • If you set up a new tab, press the Tab key to move your text to the new tab.
  • If you set up a new indent, place the cursor at the new indent location.