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Rulers in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn about viewing and using rulers in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.

When working with multiple slide objects, you should have a visual cue about where you are placing slide objects. You can get exact coordinates of your slide objects using the positioning options in PowerPoint, but most of the time, you just need an approximate idea of where your objects are placed, and this can be easily obtained by using the Rulers option available in PowerPoint. Turning on this option shows you the rulers in PowerPoint. These rulers are located on the top and left parts of the active slide, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.


Figure 1: Rulers in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Rulers are not only useful for placing slide objects, but they make other PowerPoint features like the guides more effective In this tutorial, you will learn how to show and hide rulers in PowerPoint 2016. You will also explore some of the settings that influence the measurement units in the rulers, as explained in the following steps:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, and open an existing presentation, or create a new one, as shown in Figure 2. Note that there are no Rulers visible by default.

  2. Figure 2: Default PowerPoint interface with no Rulers visible
  3. To make the Rulers visible, select the View tab of the Ribbon, and make sure you select the Ruler check-box, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

  4. Figure 3: Ruler check-box selected
  5. This will bring up the rulers placed horizontally and vertically within the Slide Area, as shown in Figure 4. If you want to hide them again, just deselect the Ruler check-box (refer to Figure 3).

  6. Figure 4: Rulers made visible
  7. If you see only the Horizontal Ruler, and no Vertical Ruler, as shown in Figure 5, you need to make sure that the Vertical Ruler's visibility has not been turned off.

  8. Figure 5: PowerPoint interface with only Horizontal Ruler visible
  9. To check these preferences, access the PowerPoint menu and choose Preferences option as shown in Figure 6.

  10. Figure 6: Preferences option within File menu


  11. This opens the PowerPoint Preferences dialog box that you can see in Figure 7. Make sure you choose the View option (highlighted in red within Figure 7).

  12. Figure 7: PowerPoint Options Dialog box
  13. This brings up the View dialog box as shown in Figure 8. Within this dialog box, select the Show vertical ruler check-box that you can see highlighted in red within Figure 8. Conversely, you can also deselect this check-box to turn off the vertical ruler.

  14. Figure 8: Show vertical ruler check-box selected
  15. Now you will be able to see both the Vertical and Horizontal rulers, as shown in Figure 4, earlier on this page.
Tip: If you want to know how to change the measurement unit from one to another in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, look at the Change the Unit Of Measurement in Mac tutorial.

See Also:

Rulers in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Rulers in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Rulers in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Rulers in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows