Misbehaving Rulers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 16, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2002


Subscriber David Smith wrote concerning a problem he is having with Word 2002. It seems that every time he opens a document, the rulers don't show up. When he displays the rulers, they don't show measurements in inches, as he wants.

This problem seems to be one that Microsoft is aware of. It occurs primarily if you recently upgraded from Word 2000 to Word 2002. The measurement system you see displayed on the rulers is "character units," which is the default unit of measurement used when Word is configured for East Asian languages.

There are several ways you can solve this problem. The first is to enable an Asian language so that you can actually turn off the character units setting. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Programs from the Start menu, and then choose Microsoft Office Tools.
  2. Run the Microsoft Office XP Language Settings program.
  3. Using the language settings tool, choose a language such as Chinese (Traditional) or Japanese, then click on the Add button. Make sure you leave the default version of Microsoft Office set to the one you normally run.
  4. Exit the language settings tool. If you are asked if it is OK to shut down applications, say No.
  5. Start Word 2002.
  6. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  7. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  8. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  9. Clear the Use Character Units check box.

You can, at this point, close Word and if desired repeat steps 1 through 4 to remove the Asian language you selected.

Another option is to turn the setting off from within Visual Basic. This is very easy to do; just follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor.
  2. If the Immediate window is not visible, press Ctrl+G to display it, or choose Immediate Window from the View menu.
  3. In the Immediate window, type the following and press Enter:
  4.      Options.UseCharacterUnit = False
    
  5. Close the VBA Editor.

If neither of the above fixes work, you may have a corrupted Word Data key in the Registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Exit Word.
  2. Start your favorite Registry editor.
  3. Locate the following data key:
  4.      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Word\Data
    
  5. Rename the entire key to something else, or simply delete it.
  6. Close the Registry editor.
  7. Restart Word.

Information on this particular problem with Word 2002 can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, at this address:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q299/3/39.asp

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1807) applies to Microsoft Word 2002.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Renaming a Macro

Got a macro that doesn't have quite the right name? You can rename the macro by following these simple steps.

Discover More

Creating a Hyperlink to a Specific Page

Most people add hyperlinks in a document to reference pages on the Web. You can, however, create hyperlinks to other Word ...

Discover More

Checking if a Workbook is Already Open

Knowing if a workbook is already open can be a prerequisite to your macro working correctly. Here's how to check it out.

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Missing Top and Bottom Margins

You get your document set up just the way you want it, and then notice that all of a sudden Word doesn't show any top or ...

Discover More

Moving Found Text Down On a Page

When you use the Search feature to find information, if the information is not on the visible page, then Word displays ...

Discover More

Using the Function Key Display Toolbar

Need to know what various function keys do? One easy way to find out is to use the Function Key Display toolbar, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.