To turn off the page shadow/outline switch to preview mode (but the pasteboard will also disappear).
Ruler units for all new files can be set in the prefs. For existing files, right click a ruler to change one, or the box where they meet to change both on the fly.
Peter's already answered your question but it's quite apparent that you're new to InDesign so please allow me to make a couple of recommendations.
1. Buy Sandee Cohen's Visual Quick Start Guide. It's the best book on the market and for $19 you can't possibly go wrong: http://amzn.to/qAD0HE
2. Check out the video training on Lynda.com. This link will get you a seven day trial: http://bit.ly/fcGpiI
Thanks, Peter. In my new document the ruler and page setup units were in picas by default, despite the existing ruler-units preference setting of decimal inches.
The box-where-they-meet selection and changing to decimal inches worked well to adjust both ruler and page-setup units.
Drop shadow: there are some settings in Object | Effects, but I cannot make any changes in the shadows on my page outline.
Without any adjustments on my part that I can recall, in my second of four projects there is no drop-shadow. In the others, there is a shadow. Not a huge issue but the shadow gives the appearance of a reduced bleed area on the respective sides containing shadows.
Thanks, will have a look.
You cannot alter the page shadow, only hide it.