5.3 The ruler

You can adjust the width of margins, tabs, and indents in your document using the ruler.

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

Hiding and displaying the ruler:

  • Click View on the menu bar.
  • Select Ruler.
  • The ruler will appear at the top of the document.

The Ruler

If you switch to Print Layout view (Choose ViewImportant pointPrint Layout View), a vertical ruler displays along the left-hand side of the screen. To hide this vertical ruler, switch to a different layout view.

Setting tabs, indents, and margins using the ruler

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

Tabs

Click the small gray box to the left of the ruler to move through the 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.

Adjusting tabs and margins on the ruler

To move an existing tab or indent on the ruler:

  • Point the mouse on the tab or indent 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 or indent to a new location.
  • Release the left mouse button.

To remove a tab from the ruler:

  • Point the mouse on 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 of the ruler.
  • Release the left mouse button.

To adjust a margin using the ruler:

  • Point the mouse on the margin you want to move.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button once a double arrow appears over the margin or until a dotted line appears below.
  • Drag the mouse to increase or decrease the margin.
  • Release the left mouse button.

CompleteRemember that you can also increase or decrease your Indents by using the Increase Indent/Decrease Indent buttons on the Formatting toolbar.

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