Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Precise Ruler Adjustments.

Precise Ruler Adjustments

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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You already know that you can precisely adjust items by using the various dialog boxes that Word makes available through the use of the menus. For instance, you can precisely adjust tab settings by using the Tabs dialog box, which is displayed by choosing Tabs from the Format menu.

There are times, however, when you may want to do some precise formatting using the mouse, instead of pulling up a dialog box. There is a way to get the precision you want if the formatting elements—including margins, indent markers, and tabs—are on the Ruler. All you need to do is hold down the Alt key as you use the mouse to drag different items around on the Ruler. When you do this, Word displays distances on the Ruler very precisely, allowing you to adjust positioning to a hundredth of an inch.

Another way to accomplish the same task is to hold down both mouse buttons (left and right) as you drag a margin, indent marker, or tab. When you release the buttons, the element is left at that position and the distance indicators disappear.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10596) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Precise Ruler Adjustments.

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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Comments

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What is five more than 6?

2022-08-13 17:19:18

Kate

These are good tips but I'm not only a visual learner - I do graphic arts.
I'd be grateful if you revamped some of these posts & added a screenshot of the word.doc page - in this case, a screenshot of how the text box looks after it's all set & in place within the document (not an in-progress image).
Otherwise these little hints are great & I can use a few.


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