Reading the charts
of systems of units

Here is a small example, using English units of length:

   

yard

 

foot

3

inch

12

36

2.54 cm

30.48 cm 

91.44 cm 

The name of a unit appears at the top of each column and to the left of each row. The name is usually a link to a page about that unit, so it will be whatever color links are on your system (conventionally, blue and underlined). The higher the name, the bigger the unit, so a yard is bigger than an inch.

Suppose you want to know how many inches there are in a yard. Start at “inch” and go horizontally across the inch row until you reach the “yard” column. The number there is 36. There are 36 inches in 1 yard. Or, for the same answer, you could go down the yard column until you hit the inch row.

At the bottom of the chart are one or more rows of conversion factors. Unlike the other cells in the chart, cells containing conversion factors have a white background and a green border. For example, find “foot”. Go down the column, and 1 foot is 30.48 centimeters.

Some tips:

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