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Lesson 1. FreeHand Basics > Adding Ruler Guides to the Page

Adding Ruler Guides to the Page

The page rulers are handy measuring tools that appear at the top and left of the document window. The page rulers do not appear by default, but they are easy to turn on and off as you need them. In fact, they are so helpful that you may want to change your default settings to include them each time you create a new document. You’ll see how to do that in Lesson 2. For now, you’ll simply turn on the rulers and drag some guides onto the page.

Choose View > Page Rulers > Show.

The rulers are added to the document window. A check mark appears next to the Show command to indicate that the rulers are on. When you want to hide the rulers, choose the command again.

The rulers use the current document measuring units. You can change the units to picas, inches, decimal inches, millimeters, kyus, centimeters, or pixels.


A kyu (pronounced “Q”) is a metric unit of distance used in typography, especially in Japanese text. It was originally written as Q and is equal to exactly 0.25 millimeter, or about 0.71 of a point.

Click the Units pop-up menu and pick Points from the list.

The Units pop-up menu is located on the Status toolbar in Windows and at the bottom of the document window in Mac OS. If you are working in Windows and don’t see the Status toolbar, choose Window > Toolbars > Status. The unit of measure you choose affects the ruler guides and all other measurements except for text-related settings; for example, text size is always expressed in points.

Position the pointer on the top ruler and drag down and onto the page.

As you drag, you’ll see the blue horizontal line guide. When you have the guide where you want it to appear, release the mouse button. For this exercise, position the guide in the middle of the page. If you need to move the guide, position the pointer directly on the line and then drag the guide. The pointer changes to a cursor with a small arrow at the bottom right when it is on the guide.


Make sure the pointer is within the area of the page when you release the mouse button. Guides don’t appear if the pointer is on the pasteboard when you release the mouse button.

Position the pointer on the left ruler and drag right and onto the page.

Drag the vertical guide to the middle of the page.

Guides are nonprinting aids to help you place objects on the page. When you no longer need them, you can simply drag them off the page. If you want to leave the guides but not see them, choose View > Guides > Show to toggle them off and on.


If you want to move a guide, drag the guide with the Pointer tool. When the pointer is on a guide, a down- or left-pointing arrow is added to the cursor. If you want to remove a guide, just drag it off the page.



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