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Home / Blog / Use PDF Ruler to Draw Lines in PDF [3 Proven Ways]

Use PDF Ruler to Draw Lines in PDF [3 Proven Ways]

By Lydia | Follow twitter | Updated on June 12, 2024
When drawing a line in PDF or adjusting the page setup, you may want to enhance the precision to make the PDF accurately formatted. We provide a guide to using PDF ruler tools on Windows, Mac, and online to help you handle PDFs in a more organized way.

The accuracy of a drawing or layout is crucial in a PDF, especially when dealing with designs or architectural files. Whether adding annotations, resizing the page margin, or aligning elements, precisely measuring the distance ensures your PDF meets high standards. Gear up and read this article to find useful ruler tools for your PDF.

Part 1: How to Use Ruler in PDF on Windows

If you want to draw lines or add shapes to a PDF with your desired length and width, SwifDoo PDF boasts an easy tool to ensure accuracy and precision using a Windows-based computer. Its PDF ruler displays both horizontal and vertical axes, allowing you to measure PDF images, resize pages, and adjust the margins.

This tool’s primary goal is to align inserted annotations while reading a PDF. It can make your PDF pages more organized and facilitate the process of layout design. Moreover, a multi-functional measuring tool is available for CAD files to measure the area, scale, and perimeter of each design.


⭐ Free to use;

⭐ Accurate to draw lines, shapes, and other elements.

Let’s find out how to use the ruler in a PDF file on Windows:

Step 1: Launch the PDF software on the computer. Head to Open in the left toolbar and select the desired PDF from your local folder;

Step 2: Choose the View tab and tap Rulers below, and the tool appears along the top of the workspace;
Use PDF rule in SwifDoo PDF

Step 3: Go to Annotate and click on the Line option;

Step 4: Make sure your cursor aligns with the unit of measurement where you want the starting and ending points to be. Press and drag the mouse to draw a line.
Use PDF rule in SwifDoo PDF

Part 2: How to Show Ruler in PDF on Mac

Adobe Acrobat has a PDF ruler that enables you to align inserted images and text on the page. Compatible with the macOS system, this PDF measuring tool also provides both horizontal and vertical rulers to measure the length and width at the same time. When estimating on a PDF page, you can move the ruler to a desired place, making it easier to measure a specific distance from any point.

The ability to change the unit or measurement makes it stand out from other competitors. When you prepare the design for international clients or different markets, you can customize the unit based on different measurement systems.


⭐ Offer more flexibility to use the ruler in a PDF file with precision;

⭐ Work on detailed parts of a page.

Read on to see how to show the ruler in Adobe Acrobat Pro and use it to measure in PDF files:

Step 1: Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat;

Step 2: Click View in the upper left corner and locate the Show/Hide option. Tap Rules & Grids and choose the Rulers option;
Use PDF rule in Adobe Acrobat

Step 3: Hit the horizontal ruler and drag your cursor down to the target place. Follow the ruler to draw lines in the PDF.

Note: To change the unit of the ruler in the PDF program, right-click on the ruler and select the desired one from the list.

Part 3: How to Use an Online PDF Ruler

i2PDF lets its users measure a PDF online for free. The web-based platform offers a PDF measuring technology to access distances, perimeter, rectangle area, rounded area, and polygon area. You can use the ruler in a PDF and adjust the size of the provided tool to directly view the results.

However, this software uses the inch as the unit of its ruler without any other options. You may need to change programs for different architectural designs and graphic designs.


⭐ Easy to show a ruler in a PDF across platforms;

⭐ Free online tool without registration.

For how to measure in a PDF online, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Navigate to i2PDF and scroll down to locate the Measure PDF feature;

Step 2: Drag and drop your PDF to the designated area to upload and open it;

Step 3: Click on the Distance icon, and it shows a ruler in your PDF;
Use PDF rule in i2PDF

Step 4: Drag the line to the target place. Click the small blue rectangle to change the orientation of the line. The distance will be automatically displayed.
Use PDF rule in i2PDF

Final Thought

We mentioned three PDF software with PDF rulers to precisely measure distances for any elements in a PDF file. These tools make your PDF pages well organized and enhance your efficiency. Adobe Acrobat offers the most flexible tool to estimate the distances from any point. While i2PDF enables you to show a ruler in a PDF file via any web browser.

SwifDoo PDF is best for budget-minded users who need to use the ruler to adjust the PDF layout accurately while making other edits. Give it a try and streamline your PDF editing process.


Q:Can you take measurements from a PDF?

Yes, you can take measurements from a PDF. There are several offline and online PDF applications that allow you to use a ruler in PDF files. Desktop software such as SwifDoo PDF, Adobe Acrobat, and PDFelement offer similar services to measure a PDF. You can also choose Xodo, PDFfiller, and other online platforms to achieve the task.

Lydia is an English columnist for AWZware. She is familiar with different technology products such as office software, location changers, and video software applications. Focused on tech blog writing, she is willing to solve your problems with up-to-date information.

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