Working With Tables: The Ruler

Previous posts showed you how to align table cells and numbers in columns using the ruler. It’s also possible to set margins, an indent, a hanging indent, and more on the ruler! Watch the demo at the end to see how, or just drag the related element where you want it.

With the cursor placed in a table, we can see table-specific elements on the ruler:
a. the waffle marking the gutter or edge of a column,
b. the left margin for the second (and subsequent) lines,
c. the left margin,
d. the first line left indent,
e. a tab (left) mark, and
f. the right margin.

To remove tab marks, just pull them off the ruler.

Note you want to do this for all affected lines at once; select the lines in the document before changing the ruler.


Can’t see the ruler? Select it in the Show group on the View ribbon.

If you can’t see the margin markers on the ruler, try Draft view and scroll wayyyyy over. Or, change which style that paragraph is in, then change it again (do not “undo”).

Moving the waffle that marks the column border changes only that column. The other columns stay as they were, so the right margin will get pushed around and may go outside of the page margins. Adjust all the columns until they sit right. (See also table resizing.)

Too many tab marks? Or, having trouble selecting them? Double-click on a tab mark to open the Tabs dialogue, then delete or change the tabs there.

a map "locator pin" styled as the MS Word logo

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and learn all about them in the multimedia ebook self-study course!

Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.

Learn with us! Join a course today.

© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Leave a Reply