How To Change Units In Indesign

The default unit of measurement for new documents in InDesign is “picas.” But for various projects, many graphic designers will have to use “pixels,” while book publishers might choose to use “inches” for layout.

Go to Edit > Preferences > Units & Increments to open the settings dialogue box and choose the unit you want to use. When you first use Adobe InDesign, it is a good idea to specify your options for units and increments. 

By following the steps in this guide below, you can quickly switch between the different measurement units in InDesign.

Guide To Changing Units In Indesign

If you cannot see the left and top rulers, click “View” and choose “Show Rulers.” You could also press “Ctrl-R.”

After selecting “Edit,” go to “Preferences” and click “Units & Increments.”

Choose your preferred unit from the Horizontal and Vertical drop-down boxes to alter both rulers. Additionally, you can alter only one of the rulers.

What Are The Ruler Units

You can see rulers from across the top and along the side of your InDesign environment while working on a project. They can support object alignment. You may modify the rulers’ setting or origin as well as their units from the dialogue box.

Check out this video to learn how to change units in Adobe InDesign:


Spread, Page, or Spine are the three options for the ruler’s origin or starting point.


By choosing Spread, the ruler should cover the spread of the document, beginning on the left side of the page.


By choosing Page, the ruler will begin at the left edge of the page, halt when it reaches the page’s end, and then restart at zero.


When employing facing pages, the Spine setting is helpful. Each document’s edge will be measured from the ruler’s zero point as it moves outward from the spine.

While writing a book, it is recommended that the Origin be set to Spine.

Vertical and horizontal units

The document size may be reported as 51p0 by 66p0 because the default unit setting for a new print document is in picas. Options are:

  • Points
  • Picas
  • Decimal 
  • Millimeters 
  • Centimeters 
  • Decimal 

Why Change Units?

You may be wondering why the units need to be changed in the first place. The truth is that some people may easily design documents in InDesign using either picas or inches because of their experience or innate mathematical skill. 

However, suppose you fall into the majority. In that case, you should probably change InDesign’s default font and ruler units from picas to the unit you are more familiar with to make things easier. InDesign’s horizontal and vertical measurement units can be changed in the Preferences window.

Final Words

That’s all there is to it. The method for changing measuring units in Adobe InDesign is outlined in this guide. You may choose to do so for various reasons, including personal choice, design, or simply the client’s request. 

In any event, knowing how to adjust the measurement unit to your needs is a good idea. We hope that this guide will be beneficial for achieving that goal.