# How to Read a Ruler

## What is a Ruler

A ruler is a device with measurement markings on it used for measuring drawing straight lines. Students, engineers, contractors, and makers use rulers for math, construction, architecture, sewing, landscaping, and more.

According to Dictionary.com, a ruler is a strip of wood, metal, or other material having a straight edge and usually marked off in inches or centimeters, used for drawing lines, measuring, etc.^{[1]}

Several types of rulers include wooden or metal rulers, yardsticks, seamstress tapes, tape measures, carpenters rules, and architects scales.

Rulers have measurements in imperial and metric, imperial-only, or metric-only. Get more information on rulers, including different types and uses, or download and print one of our free printable rulers.

## How to Use a Ruler – Standard Imperial Measurements

The markings on a standard ruler represent the fractions of an inch. The markings on a ruler from the start to the 1″ mark are: ^{1}⁄_{16}“, ^{1}⁄_{8}“, ^{3}⁄_{16}“, ^{1}⁄_{4}“, ^{5}⁄_{16}“, ^{3}⁄_{8}“, ^{7}⁄_{16}“, ^{1}⁄_{2}“, ^{9}⁄_{16}“, ^{5}⁄_{8}“, ^{11}⁄_{16}“, ^{3}⁄_{4}“, ^{13}⁄_{16}“, ^{7}⁄_{8}“, ^{15}⁄_{16}“, and 1”. If the measurement is over 1″, simply use the number on the ruler and add the fraction. For instance, if you’re two ticks past the number 3 tick, then the measurement is 3 ^{1}⁄_{8}“.

### What Do the Markings on a Ruler Mean

^{1}⁄

_{2}“.

^{1}⁄

_{4}“.

^{1}⁄

_{8}“.

^{1}⁄

_{16}“.

## How to Use a Metric Ruler – Metric Measurements

## Watch for More Information on Reading a Ruler

## Ruler Measurements: Inch Fractions on a Ruler

These are the measurements and fractions that are on a ruler and the decimal and millimeter metric equivalents. If you need to convert larger inch fractions to decimal or metric, use our inch fraction calculator.

### Fraction, Decimal, and Millimeter Equivalent Measurements

Fraction | Decimal | Millimeters |
---|---|---|

^{1}⁄_{16}“ |
0.0625 | 1.5875 |

^{1}⁄_{8}“ |
0.125 | 3.175 |

^{3}⁄_{16}“ |
0.1875 | 4.7625 |

^{1}⁄_{4}“ |
0.25 | 6.35 |

^{5}⁄_{16}“ |
0.3125 | 7.9375 |

^{3}⁄_{8}“ |
0.375 | 9.525 |

^{7}⁄_{16}“ |
0.4375 | 11.1125 |

^{1}⁄_{2}“ |
0.5 | 12.7 |

^{9}⁄_{16}“ |
0.5625 | 14.2875 |

^{5}⁄_{8}“ |
0.625 | 15.875 |

^{11}⁄_{16}“ |
0.6875 | 17.4625 |

^{3}⁄_{4}“ |
0.75 | 19.05 |

^{13}⁄_{16}“ |
0.8125 | 20.6375 |

^{7}⁄_{8}“ |
0.875 | 22.225 |

^{15}⁄_{16}“ |
0.9375 | 23.8125 |

1″ | 1 | 25.4 |

## References

- Dictionary.com, Ruler, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ruler