How to Show and Hide the Rulers in Microsoft Word

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Rulers in Word help you position text, graphics, tables, and other elements in your documents. To gain a bit of extra document space, you can hide both the horizontal and vertical rulers.

If you are working on a small screen, you may want to temporarily hide parts of the Word window to maximize the space used for your document. If you’re not currently using the rulers, you can hide easily hide them and then show them again.

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The rulers in Word only display when you’re in Print Layout view. So, if you don’t see the rulers, and you haven’t turned them off, click the “View” tab and then click the “Print Layout” button in the Views section.

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The View tab is also where you can hide or show the rulers. To hide the rulers, uncheck the “Ruler” box in the Show section. To show the rulers again, simply check the “Ruler” box.

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The rulers are removed from the document space and you gain a bit more space to work. To show the rulers again, simply check the “Ruler” box on the View tab.

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If you don’t use the vertical ruler that displays on the left side of the document space, but you want to show the horizontal ruler at the top of the document space, you can hide just the vertical ruler. To do this, click the “File” tab.

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On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

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Click “Advanced” in the list of items on the left side of the Word Options screen.

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Scroll down to the Display section and uncheck the “Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view” box.

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Click “OK” to accept the change and close the Word Options dialog box.

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Now, the vertical ruler is hidden. If the “Ruler” box is checked on the View tab, the horizontal ruler still displays at the top of the document space.

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RELATED: How to Quickly Show or Hide the Ribbon in Office 2013

Note that if the “Ruler” box in the Show section of the View tab is unchecked, neither ruler will display, whether or not you have the vertical ruler enabled.

You can also hide the ribbon in Word to free up more document space.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.