How to Show the Microsoft Word 2016 Ruler: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you struggling to find the ruler in Microsoft Word 2016? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble locating this handy tool, which is crucial for aligning text, setting tabs, and adjusting margins. Here’s a quick guide: To show the ruler in Microsoft Word 2016, go to the ‘View’ tab at the top of the page, then check the box labeled ‘Ruler’ in the ‘Show’ group. And voilà! The ruler should now appear at the top and left side of your document.

Step by Step Tutorial to Show the Microsoft Word 2016 Ruler

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s clarify what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you’ll be able to see the horizontal and vertical ruler in your Word document. These rulers are super helpful for managing your document’s layout.

Step 1: Open your Microsoft Word 2016 document

Open the document where you need the ruler.

Opening your document is the first thing you need to do. It can be a new document or one you’re already working on.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View’ tab

At the top of the page, you will find the ‘View’ tab. Click on it.

The ‘View’ tab is part of the Ribbon in Word 2016. It’s where you can adjust various view-related settings for your document.

Step 3: Locate the ‘Show’ group

Within the ‘View’ tab, find the group of options labeled ‘Show.’

The ‘Show’ group contains options for what you can display or hide while you’re working on your Word document.

Step 4: Check the ‘Ruler’ box

In the ‘Show’ group, you will see a checkbox for ‘Ruler.’ Click on it to check the box.

By checking the box, you’re telling Word that you want to see the rulers. It’s as simple as that!

After completing these steps, the ruler will appear at the top and to the left of your document. This will help you adjust your document layout with precision.

Tips for Using the Microsoft Word 2016 Ruler

  • Make sure you’re in ‘Print Layout’ view, or the ruler might not show up.
  • If you need to adjust the ruler’s units (inches, centimeters), right-click on the ruler and choose ‘Ruler Settings.’
  • Double-clicking on the ruler can bring up the ‘Tabs’ dialog box for more control over tab settings.
  • The vertical ruler will only show if you’re in ‘Print Layout’ view and if your version of Word supports it.
  • If you’re working on a laptop with a smaller screen and the ruler is taking up too much space, you can hide it when not in use by unchecking the ‘Ruler’ box.

Frequently Asked Questions About Microsoft Word 2016 Ruler

Why can’t I see the ruler in Word?

If you can’t see the ruler, you’re probably not in ‘Print Layout’ view. Switch to this view and follow the steps above.

Can I change the units on the ruler?

Yes, you can! Just right-click on the ruler and select ‘Ruler Settings’ to choose between inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, or picas.

The vertical ruler isn’t showing. Why?

The vertical ruler only appears in ‘Print Layout’ view. Additionally, some smaller laptop screens may not have the vertical ruler due to space constraints.

How do I set tabs using the ruler?

You can set tabs by clicking on the ruler where you want the tab to be. For more precise control, double-click on the ruler to open the ‘Tabs’ dialog box.

Can I move the margins using the ruler?

Absolutely! Just click and drag the edges of the gray area on the horizontal ruler to adjust the margins for your document.

Summary of Steps to Show the Microsoft Word 2016 Ruler

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Click on the ‘View’ tab.
  3. Locate the ‘Show’ group.
  4. Check the ‘Ruler’ box.


In conclusion, the ruler in Microsoft Word 2016 is a fundamental feature that enhances your document formatting capabilities. It’s a pity to miss out on such a powerful tool simply because you didn’t know where to find it. But now, with this guide, you can easily display the ruler and take full advantage of its functionality. Remember, the key is to be in the ‘Print Layout’ view and to check the ‘Ruler’ box under the ‘View’ tab. Once you have the ruler up, your document editing will become more efficient and precise. So go ahead, give it a try and watch how much easier it is to manage your document layouts. And if you’re ever in doubt, refer back to these tips and FAQs. Happy formatting!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy