Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Using the Ruler

Have you tried to set a tab in a Word document? Most new users do lots of clicking before they find the Tabs button on the Paragraph dialog. Using the ruler is another way to handle the task.

Display the Ruler

--In Word 2003, click Insert, and then click Ruler.
--In Word 2007 or 2010, click the View tab, and then click Ruler on the Show pane.

A ruler appears above the document with another ruler running down the left side of the document. The ruler above the document is the one of interest. The sample below is from Word 2010.




The white area of the ruler is the typing area on your page. The grayed portion is outside of your margins. Also, in Word 2010 only, you can click the Ruler button on the far right to display or hide the ruler.

Set Tabs

If you already have text and you want the tab to be set for existing text too, hold down the Ctrl key and type the letter A (Ctrl + A) to select the entire document.

Click the Tab Types button on the far left of the ruler to display the type of tab you want to set. The three following tab types are the ones you are most likely to use.



Move your cursor to the place on the ruler where you want the tab to be, and then click the location. Word adds a marker to the ruler that matches the tab type; the tab stop is set.




To move a tab stop, point your cursor at the marker on the ruler (a tool tip might pop up). Click your left mouse button to grab the marker (a line appears below the marker). Continue to hold down your mouse button, and move the tab to a new location on the ruler.

To remove the tab stop, point your cursor at the marker on the ruler (a tool tip might pop up). Click your left mouse button to grab the marker (a line appears below the marker). Drag your cursor down toward your document and release your mouse button.

In addition to setting tabs, you can also use the Page Margin and Hanging Indent buttons to move page margins and hanging indents.

In a document that you don't care about, experiment with adding items to and removing items from the ruler. Move items around to see what they do. You may not use the ruler on a regular basis; however, knowing it's there and knowing how to use it can save you lots of time and trouble when you need to make changes on the fly.

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