In machine vision, objects are observed subject to an unknown projective transformation, and it is usual to use projective invariants for either testing for a false alarm or for classifying an object. For four collinear points, the cross-ratio is the simplest statistic which is invariant under projective transformations. We obtain the distribution of the cross-ratio under the Gaussian error model with different means. The case of identical means, which has appeared previously in the literature, is derived as a particular case. Various alternative forms of the cross-ratio density are obtained, e.g. under the Casey arccos transformation, and under an arctan transformation from the real projective line of cross-ratios to the unit circle. The cross-ratio distributions are novel to the probability literature; surprisingly various types of Cauchy distribution appear. To gain some analytical insight into the distribution, a simple linear-ratio is also introduced. We also give some results for the projective invariants of five coplanar points. We discuss the general moment properties of the cross-ratio, and consider some inference problems, including maximum likelihood estimation of the parameters.