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What is the Ruler option in Microsoft Word?

Answer: Microsoft Word provides a Ruler option, which displays a ruler around the edge of the document. This ruler, which typically uses inches or centimeters as the measurement unit, shows how large the document will be when printed.

Since monitors vary in size and have many different resolutions, one inch on the screen is not necessary one inch on a printed document. That is why the ruler is necessary — to translate between the document size on the screen and the printed document size. Additionally, if you zoom in on the document, the ruler units will grow larger, and if you zoom out, they will shrink. By using the ruler as a guide, you can predict how the page content will fill the paper when printed.

Many graphic editors, like Photoshop, also include rulers to show how large the image is. These rulers can often be viewed in inches and centimeters, as well as pixels. In Photoshop, you can right-click the ruler to select the unit of measurement. Just like in Microsoft Word, the units will grow when you zoom in and shrink when you zoom out.

Most programs allow you to hide or show the ruler by selecting View → Ruler(s). I prefer to keep the rulers shown so I always know how large the document is.

Published: October 2, 2010 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center