How to Display a Ruler in PowerPoint

By Andrew Tennyson

Rulers are vital tools in PowerPoint if you want your content to line up properly. With rulers displayed you can adjust slide items freehand and more easily take advantage of PowerPoint's grid- and guide-based features. By default, rulers are turned off when you first open PowerPoint. So let's turn them on.

Display Rulers

To display rulers, start by clicking the "View" tab on the Ribbon in PowerPoint. The Ribbon is located along the top of PowerPoint and it is comprised of a series of tabs. The View tab is located on the right end of the Ribbon. Place a check mark in the "Ruler" check box to display the vertical and horizontal rulers. You can also toggle PowerPoint's rulers on and off by pressing "Alt-Shift-F9" on your keyboard.

Tips

If you only see the horizontal ruler, the vertical one may be turned off in PowerPoint's options. To turn it on, click the "File" menu and click "Options" to load the PowerPoint Options window. Click the "Advanced" tab on the left of the window, scroll to the Display group and place a check mark in the "Show vertical ruler" check box. Click "OK" to save your changes and close the PowerPoint Options window.Rulers only show up when you are editing slides. They are hidden automatically when you switch PowerPoint to slideshow mode.

Version Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to PowerPoint 2013. Procedures may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.