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 October 25, 2014)

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. ...


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