Project 1: Word Basics

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Words: Word 2007,2010,2013,2016 or españolIcon: Change web

A ruler is used to measure distances, of course. Word and other word processors have built-in rulers. So, you do not have to hold a physical ruler up to the screen to try and figure out how big something is on the page you are creating. That would not work well anyway. Most monitors are a bit curved, so the ruler won't lay flat. Worst of all, the size on the screen is not the same as the size on the printed paper. It's enough to drive you crazy! Thank goodness for the built-in rulers.

Using a real ruler - not easy - not accurate

What distances might you need to measure in a word processing document??

  • page width and height
  • margins - top, bottom, left, right
  • header and footer heights
  • column widths
  • table cell width and height
  • tab indentions
  • image size or distance from other page parts

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Word97-2003

Before you start...

Project 1: Word Basics
   Interface To subtopics
       Standard Bar
       Formatting Bar
       Status Bar
       Task Pane Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003
       Smart Tags Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    FormatTo subtopics
    ImagesTo subtopics
    Pre-PrintTo subtopics
    Manage Printing
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: Auto ToolsTo subtopics

Project 3: BrochureTo subtopics

Project 4: ReportTo subtopics


The Ruler

Horizontal ruler - labeled

The horizontal ruler is used for more than just measuring the width of your page. With it you can set page margins, paragraph indents, tab stops, and column widths. If your pointer hovers over a part of the ruler, a popup tip will show you what the part does (but not in Word 95).

The vertical ruler is shown in Print Preview and Page Layout views. With it you can adjust top and bottom margins and row height in tables.

For precise measurements it may be easier to use the  Format  menu, choosing either  Paragraph , Tab , or  Columns , whichever is appropriate.

You cannot use the ruler to set everything about the layout of the page. Other settings are in the Page Setup dialog. To open this dialog you can double-click the ruler or select  File  |  Page Setup .

Pointer -resize verticalPointer - Resize horizontalMargins are set with a ruler by dragging the boundary between the gray and white sections.

Holding the ALT key down while dragging will display exact measurements.
Ruler showing numbers when resizing

Paragraph indentsParagraph indentions are set by dragging the pointers. The upper one, on the left of the ruler, sets the first line indent (the amount the first line of a paragraph is indented). The bottom pointer on the left of the ruler sets the left indent of other lines. Dragging the box below the pointer moves both pointers at the same time. The pointer on the far right sets the right indent. To see the full dialog box of settings, double-click one of the pointers. Be precise in where you click. This one is easy to miss.

A tab stop is a spot the cursor goes to when you press the TAB key. These are very useful for lining things up without having to create a table.

Tab stops are set by default at a half inch, or 1.25 cm. These are shown by tiny gray marks below the ruler marks. When you insert your own tab stop, the default ones to the left of yours are erased

Types of tab stopsTo insert your own tab stop, first select the type by clicking theTab stop button  at the far left of the ruler to toggle it through the choices:

  • Left justified at the tab
  • Right justified at the tab
  • Centered on the tab
  • Justified on the decimal at the tab.

Then click on the ruler in the white space at the point where you want your tab stop. You can move it by dragging it. Remove a tab stop that you inserted by dragging it off the ruler. You can bring up the Tabs dialog box from the menu  Format  |  Tabs…  or by double-clicking the tab or the gray bar under the ruler

[In Word 95 you would double-right-click to open the Tabs dialog. An unusual action!]