When working with multiple slide objects, you should have a visual cue about where you are placing them. 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. By default, the Rulers may not be visible, but when made visible, they 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
Rulers are not only useful for placing slide objects, but they make other PowerPoint features like the grid and guides more useable. 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:
- Launch PowerPoint 2016, and open a Blank Presentation as shown in Figure 2. Note that there are no Rulers visible by default.
Figure 2: Default PowerPoint interface with no Rulers visible
- 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.
Figure 3: Ruler check-box selected
- 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).
Figure 4: Rulers made visible
- 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.
Figure 5: PowerPoint interface with only Horizontal Ruler visible
- To check these preferences, access the File menu and choose Options (highlighted in blue within Figure 6).
Figure 6: Options within File menu
- This opens the PowerPoint Options dialog box that you can see in Figure 7. Make sure you choose the Advanced option within the sidebar, shown highlighted in red within Figure 7. This shows the relevant options on the right side of the dialog box (see Figure 7 again).
Figure 7: PowerPoint Options Dialog box
- Now, scroll down the Display group within the PowerPoint Options dialog box, and 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.
Figure 8: Show vertical ruler check-box selected
- Now you will be able to see both the Vertical and Horizontal rulers, as shown in Figure 4, earlier on this page.