Measuring Ruler for Designers

A printable ruler that you can use to make measurements.

  • Print on a desktop printer
  • 6 inch, so that you can use commonly available A4 and Letter size paper.
  • Measure in Inches, Decimal Inches, Points, Picas, and mm.
  • Print on Paper or Transparency
  • Simple to Print, Cut, Fold
  • Print on paper, and fold
  • Print on a transparency or acetate, cut, and add the panels to a ring

Click to open a printable PDF

Download the PDF.

 The PDF is editable in Illustrator, so feel free to download and edit.

In the current design, one more measurement can be added. Or perhaps some handy formulae. Let me know what you think most folks will find useful.

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  1. #1 by Will Rogers on December 7, 2012 - 5:14 pm

    What about Pixels? My company use Illustrator to wireframe websites and apps.

    • #2 by elber on December 18, 2012 - 2:37 am

      do you need measure pixels in printed materials?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

    • #3 by Mark Hatting on December 18, 2012 - 2:43 am

      In Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, pixels = points—easy peasy. I’m guessing they didn’t include it here because pixels is a highly context-sensitive unit dependent on many factors.

    • #4 by wednesday12 on May 17, 2013 - 3:51 pm

      Sorry Mark, pixels is not points. Do not confuse that guy even more..

    • #5 by Sveinbjörn on December 18, 2012 - 2:48 am

      Will, there is no standard measurement for pixels. That means that while 200 pixels is 3 cm on one screen, it could be 2 cm on a higher resolution screen. That means that you can’t make a real-life measuring tool that can measure pixels for different screens. You’d have to make one for each type of screen available.

      There’s software available, for all computer operating systems, that does that.

    • #6 by Armand K. on December 18, 2012 - 3:11 am

      Pixels are a relative unit, their size depending on the screen’s dot pitch. You would need either a ruler calibrated to your monitor’s dot pitch (say, .25 mm) or one calibrated with with the more commonly used ones.

  2. #7 by kelly on March 19, 2014 - 11:22 pm

    on a mac pixels = points. There are 72 points in an inch and 72 pixels in an inch. On Windows, they use 96 pixels per inch. But, as this is focused on print, everyone should be using Mac’s for better font kerning/leading/tracking etc. :)

  3. #8 by john Laws on March 23, 2014 - 6:37 am

    I want to add a little ruler in a book I am writing. May I have your permission to base my ruler on an edited version of your download? Thank you.

    • #9 by Vikrant on March 26, 2014 - 12:46 pm

      Please go ahead. Feel free to download, modify, distribute, in any way you like. Best of luck with the book. Let us know when its ready.

  4. #10 by TJ on September 17, 2014 - 11:18 pm

    Thanks! This will be so helpful to my class :)

  5. #11 by Max S on March 10, 2015 - 1:46 pm


    A little typo has appeared in the ruler though. The -20mm mark is actually placed at -21mm. (there are 6mm between -15mm and -16mm)

  6. #12 by Brad on November 25, 2015 - 7:22 am

    Thanks! I have been thinking about designing again. This will help a bunch.

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