Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Detailed Measurements.

Detailed Measurements

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 23, 2019)

6

The ruler, when displayed in Word, is a very helpful tool. However, it would sometimes be very nice to know a bit more than what the ruler can quickly show you. For instance, you can see on the ruler that you have a tab set at three inches, but what if you want to know how far that tab is from the right margin instead of the left?

Word includes a nifty feature that allows you to see exactly where your tabs and margin settings reside on a line. To take advantage of this tool, click on a tab or margin marker on the ruler. Do not release the mouse button, however. Now, click on the right mouse button. You should now be holding down both mouse buttons.

If you move the mouse ever so slightly, you'll notice that the normal ruler measurements disappear and instead there are distance measurements. The measurements outside the margins show how far to the edge of the paper; those inside show how far it is from a tab to both margins.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7980) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Detailed Measurements.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Returning a Value Based on Text Color

Conditional formatting rules can be used to adjust the way in which information is displayed in Excel, such as the text ...

Discover More

Inserting a File

Need to combine several files into a single document? You can do it by inserting one file into another, as outlined in ...

Discover More

Diagonal Borders in a Conditional Format

Conditional formatting is a great tool for changing how your data looks based on the data itself. Excel won't allow you ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adjusting Bottoms of Pages

When you allow Word to naturally flow your text through a document, you may find that the text on each page ends at a ...

Discover More

Copying Formats

Want to copy a format from one place to another without taking your hands off the keyboard? It's easy to do if you apply ...

Discover More

Making a Signature Line that Doesn't Disappear

Do you need to add a line to your document that indicates where a signature should be made? If you don't want that line ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six minus 1?

2020-05-26 11:23:57

Cynthia

Allen,

Thank you so very much for all your helpful Word information. You're the No. 1 go-to for assistance.

I come from an InDesign/InCopy/points world and am so frustrated with Word. I simply want to know the exact measurement of a header rule but can't for the life of me, figure out how to measure it. Would you please help me?

Thank you.

Cynthia


2019-03-26 13:34:46

Allan

Now works ok in my Word 2007.


2019-03-25 13:01:06

Falk

I use Word 2010 at home and 2016 at work. Both seem to work the same. Surprised, it doesn't work in 2007...
The shift button restricts the mouse movements to remain axis-parallel only, which of course is quite unnecessary for this feature here. In positioning objects it is often rather handy.


2019-03-25 10:37:35

Maggie

You can also accomplish the same thing by holding down the Alt key as you slide the mouse.


2019-03-24 16:32:03

Allan

Left button +Alt+Sft does not work in Word 2007--at least not in mine.


2019-03-23 12:59:46

Falk

I just noticed that you can achieve the same thing by clicking and holding the left mouse button while holding down ALT and SHIFT. This feature exists in PowerPoint as well and helps a lot when fine-adjusting object positions. So you can use this feature in WORD to fine-position your autoforms, to.

Be careful though - ALT+SHIFT, at the same time, also switches through the available set of keyboard language layouts (above the SysTray of the Windows task bar, EN for English, DE for German etc.). So keep an eye out for typing "y" instead of "Z" afterwards. Hit the combination again as often as necessary to get back your desired language keyboard layout.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.