How to Show and Hide Ruler in MS Word

Word offers rulers for easily positioning text, tables, graphics, and other elements in a document. If you are using a small screen, hiding the rulers helps to gain some extra screen space. Word allows hiding and showing rulers very easily, just as and when it is necessary.

Word has two rulers, and you may use either the horizontal ruler alone, or the horizontal ruler in conjunction with the vertical ruler:

  • Horizontal Ruler—available for Print Layout and Web Layout
  • Vertical Ruler—available for Print Layout only.

Normally, Word does not display any of the rulers by default. You can enable the vertical ruler from the options menu, and control their visibility from the ribbon.

We will show you how to:

  • Show and hide the horizontal ruler
  • Enable the vertical ruler and show both rulers
  • Show and hide both rulers simultaneously

Let’s start.


Method #1: Show and hide the horizontal ruler

Step #1: Open a Word document

When you start Word for the first time, and open a Word document, no ruler will be visible.

Step #2: Show and hide the horizontal ruler

Click on the View tab on the top menu bar to change the ribbon. In the Views section, click on Print Layout.

Within the Show section, click on Ruler so that a tick-mark appears inside the small square on the left. Word now displays the horizontal ruler above the text.

You can see the ruler for Web Layout view as well (Click on Web Layout in the Views section). By clicking on Ruler repeatedly, you can show and hide the horizontal ruler.


Method #2: Enable the vertical ruler and show both rulers

Step #1: Open the Word document

When you start Word for the first time, and open a Word document, no ruler will be visible. Click on the File tab in the top menu bar to open the File menu.

Step #2: Open the Options dialog

In the File menu, click on Options to open the Options dialog. Click on Advanced to open the Advanced options for working with Word on the right.

Step #3: Enable vertical ruler

Scroll down to the Display section. Click on Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view, so that a tick-mark appears inside the small square on the left. Click on Ok to close the Options dialog and return to the document.

Step #4: Show both rulers

Click on the View tab on the top menu bar to change the ribbon. Click on Print Layout in the Views section. Click on Ruler in the Show section so that a tick-mark appears within the small square on the left. Word will display both rulers.


Method #3: Show and hide both rulers simultaneously

Step #1: Open a Word document

When you start Word for the first time, and open a Word document, no ruler will be visible.

Step #2: Enable the vertical ruler and show both rulers

Follow Method #2

Step #3: Show and hide both rulers simultaneously

You can show and hide both rulers simultaneously by repeatedly clicking on Ruler in the Show section, under the View tab in the top menu bar.


Conclusion

Word offers two rulers, horizontal and vertical, and they are a handy tool for accurate positioning within the document text. Follow the above instructions to show and hide the rulers as and when you want.

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