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I am looking for a Windows software that displays vertical lines / rules on the screen, so I can browse through a PDF file and see if all elements are on the same vertical position. I don't know if this question is on topic here. I have tried "Screen Ruler Professional", which comes very close, but I'd like the rules to stay on top of the screen while I can use other software.

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migrated from Nov 22 '11 at 10:40

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Windows management issue

The windows manager in MS Windows brings the window with focus to the foreground. The only app I know that can stay on top whilst others have focus is task-manager (so maybe what you want is possible) - You could just use an edge of task-manager's window?

PDF Viewer

It would probably be better to look for a PDF viewer that allows you to compare locations of elements (e.g. by displaying position of mouse pointer).

See re Foxit and PDF Exchange. GSView (GhostScript) can open PDF files. Another idea would be something like Inkscape which can read PDF and has rulers.

In some viewers, using a selection tool can give you a vertical or horizontal edge to use in checking alignment.

PDF Editor

You could use a PDF editor to overlay a ruler. See PDFTK or similar.

PDF Production

If these are PDF you or a colleague has generated, you may be able to do this checking earlier in the production process. My PDFs often start out as PS files where I specify element location in points and so know alignment intrinsically. Also it is easy to add dashed lines on the page at the draft stage and remove them later. Perhaps your production process has some point where something equivalent can be done.

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I've done a tiny bit of research and found out that the software "PixelRuler" stays on top of all windows while other programs can have the focus. So it's quite close to what I need. – topskip Nov 22 '11 at 21:04

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