How Can I Measure Centimeters on a Inch Ruler?


A centimeter is a metric measurement of length while an inch is a measurement of length in the United States customary units. While some rulers are specifically for either type of measurement, anyone can convert from one measurement to another by using a simple conversion factor: 1 inch is equivalent to 2.54 centimeters and 1 centimeter is equivalent to 0.39 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Measure your item using the ruler. Write down the number of inches, including the fractional value if it is between two full inches.

  • Convert the fractional value to decimals by dividing the top number by the bottom number. Add this to your inches value to create your total number of inches.

  • Multiply your value in inches by 2.54 to convert it to centimeters. The resulting value is your measurement in centimeters.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a centimeter rule, follow the same instructions as the inches ruler, but multiply the final number in Step 3 by 0.39 to convert to inches. This number is approximate as the entire conversion factor is actually 0.3937008.
  • If math is not your strong suit, several online calculators can help you convert from inches to centimeters and vice versa. See the links in the Resources section.


  • Photo Credit steel ruler image by dwags from
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