How To Read Measuring Tape

Measuring tape is a basic tool that is used to measure length, width, and height of an object. It is commonly used in sewing, construction, and other DIY projects. However, if you are not familiar with how to read measuring tape, it can be a bit confusing. Here are some tips on how to read measuring tape:

The Basics

Measuring tape is typically made of flexible material, such as cloth or metal, and comes in various lengths. The most common length is 25 feet (7.62 meters). The tape is marked with measurements, usually in inches and feet, or centimeters and meters. Each measurement is denoted by a line. The longest line represents an inch, and the shorter lines between them represent half an inch, quarter of an inch, and so on. The numbers on the tape indicate the feet or meters, and the numbers between the lines indicate the inches or centimeters.

How to Measure Length

To measure length, pull out the tape until it reaches the end of the object. Hold the tape firmly in place and read the measurement. Be sure to include any fractions of an inch. For example, if the tape reads 3 feet and 4 and a half inches, the total measurement is 3 feet, 4 and a half inches.

How to Measure Width

To measure the width of an object, place the end of the tape on one edge and pull it across to the other edge. Again, be sure to include any fractions of an inch.

How to Measure Height

To measure height, place one end of the tape at the bottom of the object and extend it to the top. Be sure to keep the tape straight and read the measurement at eye level.


How do I measure with a metric measuring tape?

To measure with a metric measuring tape, simply read the measurement in centimeters and meters instead of inches and feet.

What is the red measurement on the tape?

The red measurement on the tape indicates the center point of the tape. This is useful when marking a midpoint on a piece of material.

Can I use a measuring tape for curved surfaces?

Measuring tape is designed for flat surfaces. If you need to measure a curved surface, you may need to use a different tool, such as a flexible ruler.

How do I read a broken tape measure?

If your tape measure is broken, you can still use it by aligning the broken end with the beginning of the object you are measuring. Then, add the length of the broken piece to the final measurement.


Measuring tape is an essential tool for any DIY enthusiast or professional. Learning how to read it properly is important for accurate measurements. Remember to keep the tape straight, read the measurement at eye level, and include any fractions of an inch or centimeter. With practice, you’ll become a measuring tape pro in no time!