Is there a way to expand the Ruler to show all 11 inches of a page?

The ruler of LibreOffice Writer is split up where you can’t see all 11 inches of it. There’s a section of a ruler for the top margin, which I’m sure starts at 0 to the length of the top margin. Then there is a separate ruler count that starts at 0 for the body of the page, then there is a third section that Shows the length of the bottom margin.

Looking at the numbers on the ruler, you see 6 inches and a fraction in the default template.

It would be very convenient and easy for text and image placement if you could see the full scale of the 11-inch length and the 8 1/2 inch width of the page. This way when you are performing layouts for various projects you can use a regular ruler on a page for where you want to put your objects. If you want an object at the 3 7/16 inch position it would be easy, without trying to do a lot of calculations, to place your object exactly where you want it.

If there isn’t a way to configure the builtin ruler for this setting, does anyone know if there is an add-on or plugin for LibreOffice Writer with this feature?

Thanks in advance for any input on this.

– L. James

L. D. James

As a word processor, LibO workflow is based on margins which define the usable area for text. These margins can be set with distances measured with a ruler on a sheet of paper. Paragraphs can then be offset from these primary margins with indents in Indents & Spacing tab in their style definition. Since we’re dealing with continuous text flow (where pages do not exist but are the result of “segmenting” text to the size of paper sheets) vertical positioning cannot be absolutely controlled. Even horizontal positioning is relative to margins, therefore your criticism about calculation.

However, inserted objects (frame, picture, formula, …) can be positioned absolute in a page. In the frame dialog, Type tab, choose anchor To page and position From left/From top within Entire page. You can now set the top left corner of the frame anywhere using the measurements of your ruler.

But, be prepared for hard time because this anchoring no longer synchronises your frame position with text flow. The frame is now linked in an absolute manner to a page while text may be adjusted by editions and move to adjacent pages. This page anchoring means you’ll have to manually adjust your layout every time you edit your text.

Nevertheless, this may be the closest equivalent to DTP page-based workflow offered by Scribus or Quark XPress. As you notice, it does not change ruler aspect, only allows you to enter coordinates relative to top left corner of page.

Thanks for the input! I believe you’re confirming it isn’t possible to see the full 11 X 8 1/2 inch ruler in LibOfficeWriter and have margins at the same time. That was my question. Was hoping to be able to use the builtin ruler or a plugin if available. Since no one has mentioned an available plugin for LibOWriter, it most likely doesn’t exist. You’re right about my need for absolute object placement, which works. I’ll put in a feature request for a toggle of the full VS segmented ruler

This will work with Linux and I assume for Windows too.

I assume you are using American Letter page size. If you use the STATUS BAR, (VIEW > STATUS BAR), you can alter the page display to show the complete page. (Bottom right of screen) Right click somewhere on the page to select the PAGE STYLE. Change the margins to ZERO. LibO will ask if you really want to do this,say yes. VIEW > RULERS to set the vertical ruler. Then you can see the complete page with the rulers top and to the side.


I should have mentioned that I had already experimented with the margins (changing it to zero). When you change the margins you lose your formatting. All your text move and loose the intended and expected flow.

You can see the 11 inches on the length and the 8 1/2 inches on the width. But the work that is being by calculating the margin difference is more tedious by working with reformatting all your text and trying to get that right.

I think for what you’d like to do you’d do better with a dedicated page layout program like InDesign or Scribus, either better suited for the layout workflow you describe. While technically you can do “desktop publishing” with LibreOffice Writer, don’t forget that it’s a word processor, powerful as it may be. “The right tools for the job”, as they say. Cheers!

Thanks. You sound like a LibreOffice expert. I believe you are saying it’s not possible with LibreOffice and three isn’t a plugin for it. I’ll upvote your contribution to the question, but leave it open in case someone knows of a way.

As far as alternatives, I use Scribus and am fairly fluent with it. I have templates imported from Microsoft Outlook that I was trying to use in my Libreoffice environment.

Sorry, I don’t have enough points for an upvote. Will revisit and upvote later.

HAHAHAHA! I may “sound” like a LibreOffice expert but i’m far from it! Glad to be of service and good luck with your project.

I found a workaround

My OS is Ubuntu 16.04LTS. It has an App (Screenruler) in the repository. I’m sure other Operation Systems has an equivalent app.

Screenruler is a graphical ruler to measure objects on the screen. It works fine as long as I set the zoom to 100 percent, or adjust the zoom so that LibreOffice Writer’s ruler matches the size of the screen ruler.

Now I can place my object to an exact coordinate, based on measurements on the workbench.

I’m using LIbreOffice for Mailmerge with templates for various Window envelopes imported from Microsoft Word. I’m creating new templates. Some are for various mail merge listings which include, invoices, statements, courtesy letters and notices to customers, and the like.

I have a number of other projects where seeing the full length of the ruler in one segment is convenient. One is the design of custom inserts designed for baseball card size inserts which I place in baseball card holders, which are 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches.

I appreciate the suggestion for using Scribus or some other publishing or design application. But at present (for me) the ease and facility of using mail merge for pulling my data would be lost.

– L. James

L. D. James