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How To Change Ruler Units In Microsoft Word

You can add graphs, tables, images, and text boxes to a document in Microsoft Word. It doesn’t have a snapping feature like PowerPoint does however there is a ruler that allows you to align items. The ruler, by default, is scaled in inches however, if you’re not comfortable working with inches, you can change the ruler units in Microsoft Word.

The ruler units help not just with aligning different elements in a document, and managing the width and height of cells, columns, and rows in tables.

Ruler Units In Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word, and go to File>Options. This will open the Microsoft Word options window. Go to the Advanced tab, and scroll down to the Display section. In this section, open the dropdown next to ‘Show measurements in units of’, and select the units you want the ruler to measure in.

You can choose inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, and picas. Once you’ve selected the units, click Ok and return to the main Microsoft Word interface.

Go to the View tab, and select the Ruler checkbox to show the ruler in your document. It will reflect the new units that you’ve selected.

Changing the ruler units will not upset the alignment of the different objects that you’ve already set in the document. This change will impact all documents that you open in Microsoft Word however, when you share a document, and someone opens it using the same app, the ruler will show up in the units they prefer.

Again, this will not impact the alignment of items in the document. The alignment is only upset if the system that a document is being viewed on has set up defaults that override the document’s own formatting. Additionally, if the document was converted using other apps or services, like Google Docs, the alignment may be upset but again the ruler and the units it uses will not be to blame.

You can change the units any time you need to and doing so frequently will not damage the document. The changes you make in Microsoft Word will not change the ruler units used in other apps of the Office productivity suite. If you need to change the ruler units for other apps e.g., PowerPoint, you can do so in much the same way. For example, if you open PowerPoint’s options (File>Options), and go to the Advanced tab, you will find a Display section. The section will have the same ruler units setting as Word does. Excel doesn’t have this setting and doesn’t need it.

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