By default, Microsoft Word uses inches as its unit of measurement in dialog boxes and on the ruler. You can change measurement units to centimeters, picas, points, or millimeters. This post shows you how to change this setting in Word 2016 and earlier.

Inches on Indentation in Paragraph dialog box in Word 2007

Change Measurement Units in Word

To change the default measurement units in Word, click on File and then Options.

If you are using Word 2010 or earlier, then click the Office button and click the Word Options button at the bottom.

Selecting Word Options in Word 2007

The Word Options dialog box displays. Click Advanced in the left pane.

Selecting Advanced on the Word Options dialog box

Scroll down to the Display section. Select a unit of measurement from the Show measurements in units of drop-down list. Click OK.

Changing the measurement units

Now, the unit of measurement is different, as displayed below in the Indentation section of the Paragraph dialog box.

Units changed in Word 2007

Change Measurement Units in Word 2003 and Earlier

The procedure for changing the units of measurement in Word 2003 and earlier versions is slightly different.

Inches on Indentation in Paragraph dialog box in Word 2003

To begin, select Options from the Tools menu.

Selecting Options from the Tools menu in Word 2003

Click the General tab and select a unit of measurement from the Measurement units drop-down list. Click OK.

Changing the Measurement units in Word 2003

Again, the unit of measurement is different, as displayed below in the Indentation section of the Paragraph dialog box.

Units changed in Word 2003

Being able to customize the units of measurement used in Word is useful if you are working on a document that must have custom margins in a specified unit of measurement other than inches. Enjoy!