Read a quarter of an inch. Lines marking a quarter of an inch often aren’t distinguished from the eighth-inch marks (explained in the next step). There are 4 of these per inch.Read one inch. One-inch marks are longer marks that, for spacing reasons, are usually found near but not on the large numbers designating inches. If it’s difficult to distinguish these lines on the top half of the tape, look at the bottom, where the lines will be extra long
.Read half an inch. A half-inch mark is centered between two one-inch marks and is usually has longest or second longest marks on the top half of the tape. There are 2 of these per inch.
Read an eighth of an inch. Lines marking an eighth of an inch are often the same length as quarter-inch marks. There are 8 of these per inch.
Read a sixteenth of an inch. The sixteenth-inch marks are usually the shortest lines on the measuring tape. There are 16 of these per inch.Note that some measuring tapes will mark down to one-thirty-second of an inch, which is conventionally the smallest point to which an inch is measured.Measure a length and mark the spot on the tape.
Add the complete and incomplete inch segments to determine total length.Start by noting whether or not the point is past an inch mark. Then, note whether or not it is past a half-inch mark. Repeat with a quarter-inch mark, an eighth-inch mark, and so on until you have determined the point’s precise location. Since you will be adding and subtracting fractions like 1/2, 1/16, and so on, you must know how to add fractions with unlike denominators. The denominator is the number in the bottom half of the fraction (whereas the numerator is the number in the top half). All fractions must have the same denominator in order to be added or subtracted.In the example below, the red dot is past the 2-inch mark, the half-inch mark, and one eighth-inch mark. Since 2 inches is a whole number, just worry about adding the half- and eight-inch. To solve for 1/2 inch + 1/8 inch, give the numbers a common denominator – in this case, 8. This gives us 4/8 + 1/8 = 5/8. Thus, this mark is at 2 and 5/8 inches. You can also simply recognize that the point is on an eighth-inch mark and count five of these from left to right to get 5/8.In the example below, the red dot is past the 2-inch mark, one quarter-inch mark, and one sixteenth-inch mark. To solve for 1/4 + 1/16, use a common denominator of 16. This makes 4/16 + 1/16 = 5/16. Thus, this mark is at 2 and 5/16 inches.You can also simply recognize that the point is on a sixteenth-inch mark and count five of these from left to right to get 5/16.In the example below, the red dot is only one sixteenth-inch away from 3 inches. Since we know there are sixteen of these total between 2 and 3 inches and that out dot is one away from completing them, we can add this in our heads; this mark is at at 2 and 15/16 inches. You can also simply recognize that the point is on a sixteenth-inch mark and count fifteen of these from left to right to get 15/16.