How to Hide the Ruler in PowerPoint 2013

The ruler in PowerPoint 2013 provides visual guides to help you precisely align and position text, images, shapes, and other objects on your slides. It displays horizontally across the top and vertically along the left edge of the slide.

While useful, you may want to hide the ruler at times to maximize screen space. Here are the steps to hide the ruler in PowerPoint 2013:

Display the Ribbon

  1. Make sure you are in Normal view in PowerPoint. The ruler does not display in other views like Slide Sorter.
  2. Click on the View tab in the Ribbon. This is where the ruler toggle button resides.

Uncheck the Ruler Box

  1. In the Show group on the View tab, locate the Ruler checkbox.
  2. Click the checkbox to uncheck it and hide both horizontal and vertical rulers.

Alternatively, you can press Shift + Alt + F9 on your keyboard to toggle the ruler display on and off.

Additional Ways to Show/Hide Rulers

Here are a few other ways you can show and hide rulers in PowerPoint 2013:

Show/Hide Vertical Ruler

The vertical ruler on the left edge of slides can be shown/hidden separately from the horizontal ruler:

  1. Go to the File tab > Options > Advanced
  2. In the Display section, check/uncheck the box for Show vertical ruler

Reset PowerPoint Defaults

If you want the rulers to default to being hidden in all new presentations:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Options > Save
  3. Under Save options, click the Reset button to restore default preferences
  4. Uncheck Ruler under the Show section

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Shift + Alt + F9: Toggle rulers on/off
  • Ctrl + R: Show/hide rulers

Why Hide Rulers in PowerPoint?

Here are some reasons you may want to hide rulers in PowerPoint presentations:

  • To maximize screen space for content
  • If you do not need to precisely align objects
  • When presenting slides to audiences
  • If the rulers are not currently being used
  • To follow company template guidelines
  • For cleaner slide appearance without visual distractions

When to Show Rulers in PowerPoint

Here are instances when displaying the rulers can be helpful:

  • Aligning text boxes, images, charts, and other slide objects
  • Adjusting indentation and tabs for bullet points and text
  • Measuring object dimensions like height and width
  • Spacing out elements like icons evenly
  • Creating guidelines to align groups of objects
  • Using guides to arrange content in columns
  • Viewing slide margins and boundaries

So in summary, the rulers in PowerPoint 2013 provide alignment guides that can assist with layout and positioning of objects. Hide them when not needed to maximize space. Show them when precision alignment is required. Toggling their display is easy using the Ribbon or keyboard shortcuts.

Other Related PowerPoint Display Options

Along with rulers, PowerPoint 2013 has other viewing aids like gridlines and guides that can assist with layout and alignment:


These display as dotted lines behind objects to help align items into columns and rows. Toggle their display on/off via the View tab.


These are customizable alignment lines you can drag from the rulers onto the slide area. Use guides to indicate margins or spaces between objects.

Object Boundaries

These view boundaries around inserted objects like text boxes and images. Toggle on/off via the View tab.

Customizing PowerPoint Rulers

You can customize display settings for the rulers in PowerPoint 2013:

Measurement Units

Change from default inches to metric units like centimeters or points:

  1. File tab > Options > Advanced
  2. Under Display > Ruler Units
  3. Select cm, pt, or other units

Ruler Guide Colors

Change the default blue guide colors to other colors:

  1. On the View tab, click Ruler & Grid
  2. Under Guides, choose a different Guide Color

Ruler & Grid Settings

Adjust settings like grid spacing, snapping tolerance, and more:

  1. View tab > Ruler & Grid dialog box
  2. Under Grid Settings or Guide Settings
  3. Adjust spacing, display, snapping and other preferences

So in summary, you can customize the PowerPoint rulers and related display aids to best suit your needs.


The PowerPoint 2013 rulers provide a helpful visual reference for aligning and spacing objects on slides. When precision placement is not needed, the rulers can be hidden to maximize screen space.

Toggling their display on and off is easy using the View tab or keyboard shortcuts. Customize ruler settings like units and colors to best meet layout needs. Use together with gridlines and guides for optimal slide arrangement.

Hopefully this gives you a good overview of how to hide rulers in PowerPoint 2013 as well as how to customize them for your needs. Let the rulers assist with layout and alignment, then hide them from view when done.