Ruler dragging


D

Debbie

Sometimes when I drag margins or tabs on the ruler, the
item I'm dragging doesn't "snap" to the tickmarks on the
ruler. Why?
 
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J

Jay Freedman

Debbie said:
Sometimes when I drag margins or tabs on the ruler, the
item I'm dragging doesn't "snap" to the tickmarks on the
ruler. Why?
Hi Debbie,

It seems strange, but the snap-to positions of margins and tabs are
determined by multiples of the horixontal grid spacing set in the dialog you
get by clicking Draw on the Drawing toolbar and clicking Grid.

What makes this nasty is that the grid spacing is rounded to the nearest
0.01 of whatever unit you set in Tools > Options > General. If you're
working in inches, the ruler ticks are every 1/8 inch or 0.125". If you set
the grid spacing to half that, 0.0625" gets rounded down to 0.06". Then, for
example, you can drag a tab to 0.48" or 0.54" but not to 0.50" because that
isn't an integer multiple of 0.06".

There's not much you can do about this. You can set the grid spacing to
0.25" if you never need tabs or margins that aren't multiples of that; or
you can set the grid spacing to 0.01" and lose most of the advantage of
having a snap-to feature. Or you can give up and accept whatever Word gives
you, as "good enough". Or you can set all your tab and margin values in the
Format > Tabs and Format > Paragraph dialogs.
 
B

Bob S

Hi Debbie,

It seems strange, but the snap-to positions of margins and tabs are
determined by multiples of the horixontal grid spacing set in the dialog you
get by clicking Draw on the Drawing toolbar and clicking Grid.

What makes this nasty is that the grid spacing is rounded to the nearest
0.01 of whatever unit you set in Tools > Options > General. If you're
working in inches, the ruler ticks are every 1/8 inch or 0.125". If you set
the grid spacing to half that, 0.0625" gets rounded down to 0.06". Then, for
example, you can drag a tab to 0.48" or 0.54" but not to 0.50" because that
isn't an integer multiple of 0.06".

There's not much you can do about this. You can set the grid spacing to
0.25" if you never need tabs or margins that aren't multiples of that; or
you can set the grid spacing to 0.01" and lose most of the advantage of
having a snap-to feature. Or you can give up and accept whatever Word gives
you, as "good enough". Or you can set all your tab and margin values in the
Format > Tabs and Format > Paragraph dialogs.
Actually, there is something you can do about it. Change the
measurement units to "points" in Tools | Options | General, set the
desired value of grid spacing in points in the Drawing Grid dialog
box, then change your measurement unit back to whatever you normally
use.

The value will display rounded, but it will stay set exactly
internally as long as you never click the OK button in the Drawing
Grid dialog. If you ever click on OK (even if you think that you are
only changing something else in that dialog box), Word will assume
that the rounded grid spacing value that it is displaying is the new
value you want, and will change the setting for you.

If you want to use the Drawing Grid dialog and stay sane, never never
never click on OK unless you have previously set the measurement unit
to "points".

This is a truly horrible user interface design (if "design" is the
word that applies here, which I doubt). The user interface is so
mind-bogglingly stupid that you cannot even correctly enter the
standard default value (.125 inches)!

(There are 72 points to the inch, and you can set values to the
nearest .05 point. The standard spacing of .125 inches is 9 points.)

Bob S
 
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J

Jay Freedman

Actually, there is something you can do about it. Change the
measurement units to "points" in Tools | Options | General, set the
desired value of grid spacing in points in the Drawing Grid dialog
box, then change your measurement unit back to whatever you normally
use.

The value will display rounded, but it will stay set exactly
internally as long as you never click the OK button in the Drawing
Grid dialog. If you ever click on OK (even if you think that you are
only changing something else in that dialog box), Word will assume
that the rounded grid spacing value that it is displaying is the new
value you want, and will change the setting for you.

If you want to use the Drawing Grid dialog and stay sane, never never
never click on OK unless you have previously set the measurement unit
to "points".

This is a truly horrible user interface design (if "design" is the
word that applies here, which I doubt). The user interface is so
mind-bogglingly stupid that you cannot even correctly enter the
standard default value (.125 inches)!

(There are 72 points to the inch, and you can set values to the
nearest .05 point. The standard spacing of .125 inches is 9 points.)

Bob S
Thanks for that, Bob. Another trick to stick in my bag -- where I'll
probably have forgotten it when I need it again <g>.
 

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