Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Precise Ruler Adjustments.

Precise Ruler Adjustments

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 31, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


You already know that you can precisely adjust items by using the various dialog boxes that Word makes available through the use of the menus. For instance, you can precisely adjust tab settings by using the Tabs dialog box, which is displayed by choosing Tabs from the Format menu.

There are times, however, when you may want to do some precise formatting using the mouse, instead of pulling up a dialog box. If the formatting element is displayed on the Ruler, you are in luck—Word provides a handy way to be very precise. All you need to do is hold down the Alt key as you use the mouse to drag different items around on the Ruler. When you do this, Word displays distances on the Ruler very precisely, allowing you to adjust positioning to a hundredth of an inch.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1729) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Precise Ruler Adjustments.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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