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: Understanding Picas.

Understanding Picas

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 27, 2019)

A pica is a typographical term for a unit of measure. It is roughly equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Picas are understood and used extensively by everyone in the publishing trade, particularly in design, typesetting, and printing.

If you are familiar with picas, you can use them as a standard measurement in Word. When entering a measurement in picas, simply use the characters pi at the end of the measurement. For instance, if you want to specify the space to be left after a paragraph as 2 picas, you would enter 2 pi in the After box of the Paragraph dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9231) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Picas.

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

Setting Defaults in the Cross-reference Dialog Box

Some types of documents rely on cross-references quite a bit. Setting up the Cross-reference dialog box the first time in ...

Discover More

Linking to a Specific Page in a PDF File

The HYPERLINK function is great for linking to Web pages and some other resources, but it won't allow you to access a ...

Discover More

Understanding Unicode Characters

Unicode is a character-encoding scheme that works with a huge variety of characters. This tip explains what Unicode is ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Leaving Minimized Documents Minimized

If you have open documents minimized on the Taskbar and then open another document, all of the previously minimized ...

Discover More

Turning Off ScreenTips

All those little ScreenTips bug you when moving your mouse pointer over different parts of Word's interface? You can turn ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Page within a Section

In long documents it is often helpful to jump directly to a particular page. Word provides several tools you can use to ...

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 4 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.