How to show ruler in Microsoft Word 2013?

I just installed Word 2013. I am looking for the “ruler”, it seems to have got “lost”. I have turned on the Advanced Option, in the Display section “Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view”. Sounds good, but it doesn’t appear! I looked for the “view ruler” icon that has “lived” at the top of the vertical scroll bar, it is gone! How could I get back my Word 2013 ruler?

nguyen's answer

We know that the Ruler function helps align the text, graphic, tables or other elements in Word document. But in Microsoft Word 2013, no ruler shown up. Did Microsoft remove their ruler? No, actually, the ruler is still with us, but the View Ruler icon is gone. The reason is by default, Microsoft hide Word 2013 ruler. Maybe they think it will help clean up your Word screen and makes it look like tablet screen. In my mind, Microsoft should never have turned it off by default! It’s prettier I suppose, but much less useful.

You have to go to VIEW tab to enable it. However, if you’re in Outline View, the Ruler box will be grayed out. So do switch to one of the other views (Print Layout, Web Layout, or Draft) before go through the steps.


Step 1. Look at the Ribbon bar, then click on tab VIEW. You can see many command buttons here.

Show-ruler-microsoft-word-2013 step 1 image


Step 2. Move your eyes to the left of the bar, you can see command group named Show. First of this group is unchecked Ruler option. Click on the check box to enable Word 2013 ruler.

Show-ruler-microsoft-word-2013 step 2 image


Step 3. Perfect, you will see the ruler come back.

Show-ruler-microsoft-word-2013 step 3 image

Damn simple but that helps me a lot when working with Word document! Poor Microsoft!

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Category: Microsoft Office   (Answered Hai Nguyen)
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47 comments on “How to show ruler in Microsoft Word 2013?
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  38. Patty H says:

    Just did a little more research, and I found out how to make the vertical ruler show up! Click on the File tab, then click Options. The Options window will pop up. Click on Advanced on the left side list of options. Then, scroll down about halfway until you see the Display section. There is a check box that says “Show vertical ruler in print layout view”. Make sure that box is checked and you will have your vertical ruler in addition to your horizontal one!

  39. Patty H says:

    This information was very helpful; however, my vertical ruler never showed up – only the horizontal one. In previous versions of Word, I always used the vertical ruler to adjust the top and bottom margins. Is there a way to make the vertical ruler show up?

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  42. Ashan Menuka says:

    Thank you.I also had this problem.After reading this post I got my ruler again.thank you

  43. Bryan Jackson says:

    My bar tab button is greyed out though. I can’t set tabs no matter what document I’m in or if I start from a blank document. My ruler is on.

    • Johnathan P says:

      I also can’t see the tabs! I can see the ruler just fine, but the tabs and stops are completely ‘invisible’ (I can still move them if I guess their position and click and hold..) Can anyone pls help??

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    you have no idea how annoying and frustrating it has been for me…i almost smashed my laptop until it occurred to me to google it. THANKS SOOOOO MUCH! this was indeed helpful. although i felt silly when i saw it because i had checked there before but some how, i didnt see it! HA!

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