Word's ruler system enables you to keep an eye on the layout of objects on your page, denoting the page's editable area and making it easier to see how far down the page a given object is located. In addition, you can use Word's static guides in conjunction with the vertical ruler to get a fully accurate reading of an object's vertical position. These guides are horizontal or vertical lines that will not print on your finished Word document.

Step 1

Open Word, click the “Word” toolbar option, and then select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu to open the Word Preferences pane.

Step 2

Select “View” from the "Authoring and Proofing Tools" section of the pane, and then check the “Vertical Ruler” box. Press "Enter" to confirm your changes and close the Preferences pane. Word's vertical ruler appears to the side of your document.

Step 3

Click “View,” and then select “Publishing Layout.” Static guides only appear in the Publishing Layout document view.

Step 4

Click on the blue part of the document's horizontal ruler, and then drag your cursor down to create a horizontal guide line.

Step 5

Move the guide line down to the object you want to verify the vertical positioning of; the object's precise vertical position, measured in inches from the top of the document, displays over the vertical ruler as a tooltip.


  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Word for Mac 2011. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • To remove a static guide, click and drag it to the top of the screen.