Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 October 28, 2015)

5

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, and 2013. 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

Deleting All Comments

Got comments in your document? Want to get rid of them all? The easiest way to do so is going to depend on the complexity of ...

Discover More

Spell-Check Won't Work

Having problems making spell check work on a portion of your document? There are two primary causes for such an occurrence, ...

Discover More

Moving Custom Formats to Number Formatting Categories

Moving your custom formats into a formatting category other than "custom" isn't something you can do in Excel. Here's ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Changing the Highlighting Color

You can highlight words and phrases in your document, much the same as you can mark printed words and phrases with a ...

Discover More

Formatting Fractions

Need to have a great looking fraction in a document? It's relatively easy to do if you apply the formatting techniques ...

Discover More

Automatic AutoCorrect Exceptions for Beginning Sentences

When automatically capitalizing the beginning of sentences, Word relies on how you historically have done your typing. This ...

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. 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 3 + 4?

2015-10-28 10:07:59

Kathryn

I am collaborating with about 7-8 folks on a large document. We use numbered headers and sometimes when I move the header below another section or promote or demote a header, it will not automatically update. Does anyone have a good remedy to handle the automatic numbering of headers?


2013-03-25 09:22:41

John Patrick

A slight revision to Harry's tip. You can hold down the ALT key and then click on various items to get precise measurements. This works for tables, cells within tables (if the cell is selected), tabs, paragraph margins, and probably other items as well, if I could think of them!


2013-03-23 23:50:15

Juan

Wonderful tip, thanks a lot Harry for enriching the trick, I tested with ALT key and now it works!


2013-03-23 07:59:49

Harry Stone

This tip also works by clicking on the ruler (and hold) then press the <Alt> key from the keyboard (rather than the R/H mouse). No 'ever so slight' mouse movement required - except for Word 2013 (strange).


2013-03-23 07:32:55

Lynn McDonald

This is brilliant - something I have needed to know many times and would never have figured out myself. Thank you so much for all your great tips!


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.