ScreenRuler Instruction Manual


This is the official, comprehensive manual for ScreenRuler. Below you see each and every feature documented. You may even uses for the utlity that you haven't even considered. At the bottom of each of the top-level sections, you will find a legend diagram that will help you become acquainted with the tool discussed in that section.

The Ruler


Base Functionality
The ruler is available in three units: pixels, centimeters, and inches. You can select the unit by clicking on the radio buttons in the Units box (See Figure 1, #6). The ruler is accurate enough that you take a physical object, place it in front of the screen, and measure it.

Sizing the Ruler
The ruler's maximum length depends on the dimensions of your primary monitor. So, if you wanted, you could measure the diagonal of your primary monitor to determine its marketed size. If the default ruler size is cramping your style, there are three ways to change it. The first way is to double-click in any of the unfurnished (read: blank) regions on the ruler. The second way is to clicking the icons on the very edges of the ruler (See Figure 1, #1), then moving the mouse toward the ruler's center ; moving the mouse in the opposite direction will shrink the ruler. The final method for enlarging the ruler is to press Alt + Right Arrow; alternately, pressing Alt + Left Arrow will shrink the ruler.

Setting the Opacity Level
Remember those protractors you used in school for measuring angles? Remember how there were see-through ones? ScreenRuler is no different. By clicking and dragging the black arrow in the block labled "Opacity," you can adjust the see-thru-ness of the ruler (See Figure 1, #5). Could you do that with a protractor? Didn't think so.

Moving the Ruler
To move the ruler freely move the ruler on the screen, simply click in any unfurnished area and move the mouse, while still holding the left mouse button. Now, you'll also probably want to move the ruler with pixel-level precision, but of course the mouse, the most common pointing device, is bad at this. So, we're giving you the ability to move the ruler with the keyboard as well. To do so, just hold Ctrl and press the appropriate arrow key.

Now, obviously the ruler can consume a lot of screen real estate, and you won't always need to see it. ScreenRuler can be minimized much like any other window (just click the button with the downward arrow [See Figure 1, #10]), but it will retreat to the system tray. Just click that icon to restore it. You will also notice how there are six radio buttonds on the ruler (See Figure 1, #8). By clicking any of these, the ruler will morph into a blank tool window, which can be dragged. By the way, the dimensions let you know what the dimensions of the tool window will be. Close the window to restore the ruler (See Figure 1, #9).

Protractor Feature
If you use a ruler you'll also probably need a protractor. What typically are disparate tools in the physical realm are consolidated in ScreenRuler. To rotate the ruler, click and drag either of the icons displaying a curved arrow (See Figure 1, #2). You'll know what angle you're at because that info will pop up on screen (Not shown). To easily straighten the ruler, click the button with the two intersecting bars. Another way is by double-clicking an unfurnished area on the ruler. Depending on the current orientation, it will either straighten to zero or ninety degrees.

Cursor Positioning System
Another feature we hope you'll find useful is the CPS (or Cursor Positioning System). To enable this feature, click the button with the picture of a cursor intersected by crosshairs (See Figure 1, #3). The cursor coordinates will then replace the button (Not shown). Just click the CPS display to disable it, if you so wish.

Below is a diagram of the ruler.

The Color Sampler

Color Sampler

What it's for
Ever seen a color while web surfing that you really digged and wanted to use it for something else? Any reasonably savvy Windows user could take a screenshot and paste it into MS Paint, but then you have to activate the eyedrop tool and sample the color. With ScreenRuler, we've greatly simplified this task.

How to use it
Clicking on the button with a magnifying glass (See Figure 1, #7) will grant you access to a souped-up version of MS Paint's eyedrop tool. When ScreenRuler's color sampler is activated, to sample a color, just place the cursor over the area onscreen that is the color that interests you. Your selection is reflected in a two ways in a popup that follows the cursor (See tooltip in Figure 2). Firstly, the swatch on the popup gives you a closer look at the selection (See Figure 2, #3). (The swatch helps your eye to isolate the selected color from its surroundings. If you need to take a closer look at at what's under the cursor, take a glance at the magnification. [See Figure 2, #2]) Secondly, the RGB triple--in decimal and hex forms--is also displayed in the popup (See Figure 2, #4). If you actually want to use the RGB triple, simply press Ctrl + C while the cursor is over the color you want onscreen. The hex form gets immediately placed on the clipboard. By the way, In this same popup, you will see instructions for using the tool--should you ever forget them (See Figure 2, #5).

If the mouse isn't tight enough for you, simply use the arrow keys. Finally, you can press ESC to deactivate the color sampler.

Well, that's all there is to using ScreenRuler. As you have seen, this utility is much more than a ruler. First off, it's use as a ruler isn't strictly limited to the digital realm. By placing physical objects in front of the screen, it can also be used to measure physical objects. The ruler can also measure pixels--a feature that simply can never be matched by a physical ruler. The rotation feature, while primarily designed for measuring angles, enables ScreenRuler to mimic the intuitiveness of a physical ruler. You've also seen how the color sampler can simplify the process of analyzing and grabbing colors on your computer screen, saving you time and mindshare.

We think ScreenRuler will suite your needs excellently.