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When working with images, it is helpful to turn on transparency to see what you are measuring.  The on-screen ruler allows a wide range of transparency, from completely opaque through almost completely transparent.

To set the transparency, you must first bring up the Options Dialogue Box.  You do this by right-clicking anywhere on the ruler.  It is preferable that you stay away from the edges of the ruler when you right-click.

The transparency may be set using the slider in the Options Dialogue Box.  Drag the slider until the ruler has the desired transparency.  Click OK to close the Options Dialogue Box.

To set the transparency using keyboard shortcuts, use the PgUp and PgDn Keys.  PgUp makes the ruler more transparent, while PdDn makes it less transparent.  Using Ctrl + PgUp sets the ruler to maximum transparency, while Ctrl + PgDn makes the ruler totally opaque.

The skeletonize mode makes the background completely disappear, leaving anything that is not the background colour (eg: the font, the border and the ticks) visible.  You can toggle the skeletonize mode using the F4 key.

Tip: do not set the font, ticks or border to the background colour if you want to see them in skeletonize mode.

 Ctrl + PgUp
 Ctrl + PgDn