2 Easy Steps To Show Ruler In Canva

You’ve landed on the right tutorial because we’re about to do a deep dive into using the ruler in Canva so that you can activate guides and optimize your design process.

Ready to absorb some Canva tips on how to use the ruler in Canva? Let’s dive deep into this tutorial on enabling and disabling this feature on the Canva desktop version.

how to show ruler in canva

How To Show The Ruler In Canva?

The easiest way to show the ruler in Canva is to use the toolbar at the top. However, for those accustomed to shortcuts from tools like Adobe Photoshop, pressing Shift + R for both Mac and Windows will do the trick.

keyboard shortcut shift + R to show rulers in canva

You may be scaling an image for social media graphics, adding shapes from the elements tab, or positioning a text in your Canva template with a specific font size, the ruler is handy.

Here are detailed steps to show the ruler in Canva:

Step 1: Locating the Ruler Option

Navigating the Top Menu: Once your Canva design is open, your screen’s top left corner will have a menu bar with various options. These range from file-handling options to editing tools.

View Settings: On this toolbar, select File and locate the View Settings option in the drop-down menu.

select File and view settings in canva

Step 2: Activating the Ruler

Selecting the Ruler Option: In this dropdown, find the option labeled Show Ruler And Guides.

If the ruler is currently off by default, there won’t be any checkmark next to it. Click on this option to activate the ruler.

show ruler and guides in canva

Upon selecting the ruler feature, two things will happen:

A checkmark will appear next to the Show Ruler And Guides option in the dropdown.

show ruler and guides checkmark in canva

Horizontal guides and vertical guides will be visible on the top and left edges of your document, respectively.

vertical and horizontal rulers showing in canva

How To Use The Ruler In Canva?

The ruler in Canva uses pixels for measurement, but you can also switch to centimeters in the Resize option if you are a Canva Pro user.

You’ll notice numbers along the rulers, aiding in positioning your design elements or changing the font size of your text.

Drag Guides from the Ruler: One of the most powerful tricks of the ruler is the ability to drag out guides onto your canvas.

Simply click on the ruler and drag a purple line to your design to create a straight guide.

click and drag guide line out of the ruler in canva

This is particularly effective when you’re working with multiple elements or trying to apply a specific effect.

How To Remove Ruler In Canva

To deactivate the ruler in Canva, you can use the same shortcuts or navigate through the toolbar.

Click on File > View Settings and then click on the Show Ruler And Guides option again to toggle it off.

Can I Show The Ruler In the Canva Mobile App?

No — you can’t activate the ruler in the Canva mobile app. The good news is that you can still show guides without the ruler on mobile.

Canva mobile app doesn’t show the ruler possibly because of the screen size. It will be far too small to be of any benefit to you. But this doesn’t mean you can’t add guidelines to your Canva designs.


What Is The Shortcut For The Ruler In Canva?

The shortcut to enable the ruler in Canva is Shift + R on both Mac and Windows. Use the same shortcut Shift + R to disable or remove the ruler.

How Do I Show The Ruler Grid In Canva?

The easiest way to show the Canva ruler grid is to first click on File, and select View Settings. Select Add Guides. In the pop-up panel, select 12 columns, 6 columns, 3×3 grid, or create your custom ruler grid with a custom margin, columns, and gap spacing. Then use the keyboard shortcut Shift + R to show the ruler.

Is The Ruler In Canva In Inches?

In Canva, the default measurement unit for the ruler is pixels (px). However, the software does not directly provide an option to switch the ruler’s units to inches (or any other measurement) within the design interface.

If you need to work in inches, here’s what you can do:

1. Setting Custom Dimensions

When you start a new design, Canva allows you to set custom dimensions. At this stage, you can choose between px, mm, cm, and inches.

If you select inches, Canva will convert those dimensions into pixels when the design canvas opens. However, the ruler itself will still display in pixels.

2. Conversion

Since the ruler is in pixels, if you need specific measurements in inches, you might need to convert them. A common print resolution is 300 pixels per inch (PPI).

So, if you’re designing for print and you want something to be, for example, 5 inches wide, you’d set it to be 1500 pixels wide in Canva (5 inches x 300 pixels/inch).

3. External Tools

There are various online conversion tools available where you can input a measurement in pixels and get the equivalent in inches, based on a specific PPI (Pixels Per Inch).

4. Check Print Preview

If you’re designing something for print, you can also check the dimensions in the print preview of the software or tool you are using to print. It will typically allow you to view the design size in inches or centimeters.

How Do I add guidelines in Canva?

You can add guide lines in Canva by first activating the Canva ruler with the keyboard shortcut Shift + R. Then add, adjust, remove, and hide horizontal and vertical guides using the following steps:

1. Adding Horizontal Guides

Hover your cursor over the horizontal ruler at the top. Click and drag downwards from the ruler. As you drag, you’ll see a horizontal guide line appear. Release the mouse button to place the guideline at your desired position on the canvas.

2. Adding Vertical Guides

Similarly, for vertical guides, hover over the vertical ruler on the left side. Click and drag to the right to pull out a vertical guideline. Release at your desired position.

3. Adjusting Guides

To adjust the position of a guideline, simply click and drag it to a new position.

4. Removing Guides

If you wish to remove a guideline, click and drag it back toward the ruler. The guideline will disappear once it reaches the ruler. To remove all guidelines at one time, go to File > View Settings, and select Clear Guides.

5. Hide/Show Guides

If you want to temporarily hide the guidelines without deleting them, you can do so by clicking on File > View Settings in the top toolbar and deselecting Show Ruler And Guides. To make them visible again, simply reselect Show Ruler And Guides.

Guidelines are non-printing, meaning they won’t appear in the final downloaded or printed version of your design. They are only visible within Canva’s design interface.

Use guidelines in conjunction with the ruler and grid for even more precision.

How Do I Set Measurements In Canva?

If you’re designing for print and need to convert pixels to a physical size like inches or centimeters, print resolution often uses a standard of 300 pixels per inch (PPI). So, a design that’s 600 pixels wide would be 2 inches wide when printed at 300 PPI.

Here’s how you can set and work with measurements for various items in Canva:

1. Starting a New Design with Custom Dimensions

  • On the Canva homepage, you’ll find the Create A Design button.
  • Click on Custom Dimensions located at the bottom of the drop-down panel.
  • A dialog box will appear allowing you to input your desired width and height.
  • Here, you can choose between px (pixels), mm (millimeters), cm (centimeters), and in (inches). Input your desired measurements and then click the Create New Design button.

2. Setting Measurements of Existing Elements

  • Click on any element (such as a shape, image, or text box) in your design.
  • Once selected, select the Position button on the top toolbar. Refer to the panel that slides out from the left. Go to the Arrange tab and refer to the Advanced section. You will see the Width and Height of the element.
  • You can manually adjust these dimensions by typing in specific measurements.
  • You can also manually change their dimensions by dragging the handles that are on the corners and sides of the box surrounding the element.

3. Setting Measurements for the Ruler

  • Activate the ruler by going to the top toolbar, clicking on File > View Settings, and selecting Show Rulers And Guides.
  • The ruler in Canva displays measurements in pixels. While you can’t directly change the ruler to display other units within the design interface, you can set your design’s initial dimensions in inches, centimeters, or millimeters, as mentioned in the first point.

4. Working with Grids and Guides

  • For more precise measurements, use grids and guides. Activate them from the File > View Settings option in the top toolbar.
  • While they don’t show specific measurements, they help in ensuring alignment and consistent spacing.

5. Downloading with Specific Dimensions

  • When you’re ready to download your design, click the Download button.
  • In the download options, you can adjust the size of your design by inputting specific pixel dimensions, if necessary. This is particularly useful for digital designs.

Does Canva Have A Grid Tool?

Yes — Canva does have a grid tool. Here are ways on how you can access and use the grid tool in Canva:

1. Accessing the Grid Overlay

  • For Canva to show the Grid guides, go to the top toolbar and select File, and select View Settings. Then select Add Guides.
  • In the pop-up panel, select 12 columns, 6 columns, 3×3 grid, or create your custom ruler grid.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Shift + R to show the ruler.
  • Click and drag on the ruler at the top or left side to add a custom guide.

2. Using the Grids Feature for Layouts:

  • On the left sidebar, click on the Elements tab.
  • Here, you’ll find a section labeled Grids. Click on it.
  • This section contains various grid layouts, from single grids to multiple grids in various arrangements.
  • Drag and drop a grid layout onto your canvas. You can resize and adjust it as needed.

3. Adding Images to Grids

  • Once you’ve placed a grid layout on your canvas, you can drag and drop images into each section of the grid.
  • The images will automatically fit into the grid sections, allowing for neat and uniform layouts. This is especially useful for creating photo collages or mood boards.

4. Adjusting Images within Grids

  • After placing an image in a grid, you can click on the image to adjust its positioning within its respective grid section.
  • You can also double-click on the image to zoom in or out, allowing you to decide which part of the image is visible within the grid.

Grids are not just for images. You can fill grid sections with colors, gradients, or even patterns to create unique design elements.

How Do I Turn Off The Ruler On Canva?

The easiest way to turn off the ruler in Canva is to use the keyboard shortcut, Shift + R on both Mac and Windows. You can also select File > View Settings in the top toolbar and deselect Show Ruler And Guides.

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