How to Hide the Ruler in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hiding the ruler in Google Docs is a simple task that can help you have a cleaner workspace and focus better on your content. To achieve this, you just need to navigate to the “View” menu and uncheck the “Show ruler” option. After doing so, the ruler will disappear from the top and left side of your document, providing a distraction-free environment.

After you hide the ruler, you will not be able to see the margins and tabs set up for your document, which might be useful for precise formatting. However, you can always show the ruler again if needed by following the same steps and checking the “Show ruler” option.


Google Docs is a powerful online word processor that allows you to create and edit documents directly in your web browser. One of its many features is a ruler that helps you measure and align text, images, and other elements in your document. But sometimes, the ruler can be more of a distraction than a help. Maybe you’re presenting a document on a screen and want to eliminate unnecessary clutter, or perhaps you’re working on a simple text document that doesn’t require precise alignment.

Whatever the reason, Google Docs gives you the option to hide the ruler with just a few clicks. This feature is particularly useful for those who prefer a more minimalistic interface or for teachers and professionals who want to display documents without the added distraction of the ruler. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to hide the ruler in Google Docs and why you might want to do so.

Related: How to Change Paper Size on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial: Hiding the Ruler in Google Docs

The following steps will guide you in hiding the ruler within your Google Docs document.

Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs

After opening your document, you will see the ruler at the top and left side of your page.

Step 2: Click on the “View” menu

The “View” menu is located at the top of the page, in between the “Insert” and “Format” menus.

Step 3: Uncheck the “Show ruler” option

Clicking on the “Show ruler” option will toggle the ruler on or off.

After completing these three simple steps, the ruler will no longer be visible, allowing you to work in a cleaner, less cluttered space. If at any point you need the ruler back, simply repeat the steps and re-check the “Show ruler” option.


Cleaner WorkspaceWith the ruler hidden, your document will have a cleaner and more streamlined appearance, which can help minimize distractions and keep your focus on the content itself.
More Screen Real EstateWithout the ruler, you gain a bit more screen space, which can be particularly beneficial on smaller screens or when working with multiple windows open.
Focus on ContentEspecially for writing-heavy tasks, hiding the ruler allows you to concentrate solely on your words without worrying about formatting until later.


Loss of Quick FormattingThe ruler provides quick access to set margins, indents, and tab stops, which can be helpful for precise formatting tasks. Without it, you may need to use alternative methods.
Potential for MistakesWithout the visual cue of the ruler, it’s possible to overlook formatting inconsistencies, which could lead to mistakes in the document’s layout.
InconvenienceIf you frequently switch between needing and not needing the ruler, constantly toggling it on and off could become tedious.

Additional Information

While the above steps are straightforward, there are a few additional details you should keep in mind when hiding the ruler in Google Docs. For instance, if you’re working with a document that was shared with you, make sure you have the proper editing permissions, as view-only access will not allow you to alter the ruler settings. Furthermore, if you’re using Google Docs for detailed layout work, such as creating a newsletter or a customized resume, you might find that keeping the ruler visible is more beneficial. It’s also worth noting that if you’re working on a shared document, hiding the ruler in your view does not affect how other collaborators see the document; each user can choose their preferred setting individually.

Remember, the ruler is a tool designed to enhance your productivity in Google Docs, so consider the nature of your work before deciding to hide it. And if you ever find yourself needing the ruler after it’s been hidden, it’s just a couple of clicks away.


  1. Open your document in Google Docs
  2. Click on the “View” menu
  3. Uncheck the “Show ruler” option

Frequently Asked Questions

Does hiding the ruler affect printing?

No, hiding the ruler does not affect how your document will be printed. It only changes the display within Google Docs.

Can I still set tabs and indents without the ruler?

Yes, you can set tabs and indents without the ruler by using the “Format” menu, but it might be less intuitive.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to hide the ruler?

As of now, there is no designated keyboard shortcut for hiding the ruler in Google Docs.

Will hiding the ruler affect other users viewing the same document?

No, each user can choose to view the ruler or not, depending on their individual preference.

How do I restore the ruler if I change my mind?

Simply go back to the “View” menu and check the “Show ruler” option to make it visible again.


In conclusion, learning how to hide the ruler in Google Docs can help you create a cleaner and more focused work environment. Whether you’re crafting a novel, drafting a report, or just jotting down notes, the ability to customize your view can enhance your productivity and the overall writing experience.

Remember, though, that the ruler is a valuable tool for formatting, so assess your needs before you decide to hide it. And don’t worry—if you ever need it back, it’s just a few clicks away. Happy writing, and may your Google Docs experience be as streamlined and efficient as possible!