How to add imperial inches in command line?

Taking measurements and needing to enter Imperial inches into command line, as steel tape measures are still in Imperial Inches/cm combinations.

How does one enter e.g 123 17/32 inches into the command line when wishing to make a dimension that long ?

secondly if I have to measure a length in two parts, how does one make a dimension arrow by entering 32 17/32 + 64 5/16 ?

If anyone knows of a locking steel tape measure that has a rubber inset into the plastic lock lever to better grip the steel tape, and truly LOCKS the taoe even after years of service and has decimal inch along one edge and mm along the other, please let me know the model name and number !


use a hyphen…




You have mentioned this work flow quite a few times now and I always wonder why you want to make a dimension of something that isn’t drawn yet. if you need a certain distance, why not just make a line of that length?

Cheers Jeff,

you are saying make a line of length 32 17/32 + 64 5/16 then create a dimension snapping to its length then delete line.
How does one enter those two values to create a relative end of line ?

R32-17/32+64-5/16,0 and hit enter sees unknown command.

Does anyone know of inch decimal (12 inch to 1ft) and cm in a locking steel tape measure ?
Is everyone entering inches as fractions into CAD and hand held calculators ? The latter if basic models have no ability to do so, yet such tapes are still in fractions. Seems archaic. Are folk still measuring and remembering in their head until they get to write it down, then convert it to decimal using a calculator to draw it on their decimal site visit notes, 34 and 17 thirty tooths !, 63 and seven sixteenths and so on.


[quote=“Steve1, post:4, topic:24555”]
Does anyone know of inch decimal (12 inch to 1ft) and cm in a locking steel tape measure ?[/quote]

Tajima makes a few… they’re the ones named 25/7.5, 16/5, 33/10 (feet/meters)

pretty sure Stanley has a few models with imperial/metric as well.

[edit] actually, that might not be what you’re looking for… what do you want? a tape with decimal inches as well as centimeters?

Is everyone entering inches as fractions into CAD and hand held calculators ? The latter if basic models have no ability to do so, yet such tapes are still in fractions. Seems archaic. [/quote]

many people have 16ths memorized as decimals… .0625, .125, .1875., .25 … etc.

i also use a phone app which allows feet/inches/fractions to be entered…

there are also stand alone calculators which do this… places like home depot sell them.

measure and write down as you get the numbers… pretty sure something won’t fit right if you depend on memory until you get back to the shop :wink:

depending on the circumstances… i’ll often use rhino (as in, laptop open while surveying) and just model the site as i get the measurements.

to be honest, i’m not exactly sure where you’re encountering problems and i don’t think my suggestions are really pinpointing your issues.

that said, in rhino, you can enter dimensions that don’t coincide with the file settings… for instance, if i’m using the template ‘small objects -millimeters’, i can draw a line using:


as my distance and it will draw to proper length… then i can measure the length using the file units and it will show me the length in millimeters… just because my file is in millimeters doesn’t mean i have to convert my imperial dimensions to metric prior to entering them… rhino will accept all formats regardless of file settings.

(just in case you weren’t already aware of this)

likewise, if my file is set to feet&inches, i can enter 14.3cm for a length and it will be drawn properly.

I am onsite measuring items manufactured 70 years ago to decimal inches, so to have a tape measure marked out in decimal inches , rather than have to look at it and think, ’ I reckon that would have been 1.1inch’ when its near 1 1/8 on the tape measure, is what I need, then its easy to go back home and draw it all up in CAD entering 1.1 not 1 3/32 into the command line. To measure an item built to decimal inches one needs decimal inches tape measure, to measure an item built to metric, best use a metric tape measure. For some reason imperial exists only in fractions, I guess carpenters and DIY are the market. Even so adding up decimal in the head, is easier than 3/32 and 5/16 and 5/8 and 15/32 and so on.

also easier adding up decimal on a calculator !

On site I dont have time to keep switching between tape measure and another gadget, especially not a laptop etc, every second counts and its fast fast fast measuring with clipboard.

Back at base, in Rhino, if I draw a box and use R1.1,3.2 for the second corner, it works, rather than enter R1-3/32,3-3/16

as mentioned though R32-17/32+64-5/16,0 and hit enter sees unknown command.

i.e if I have two dims making up the x distance for an Rx,y command line entry, how should I enter them ?

Be that for either drawing a dimension line or drawing a straight line then snapping a dimension to it.


There are also conversion charts for all the dimensions . That may come in handy.

Steve, did you know that the / symbol is used as a divider too? If you want to convert 3 inches to 1.5 radius. Use the / Symbol. Or if your stsrting a line for both ways , you can type the whole distance and / 2 and it halves it boyh sides of midpoint. Sure is hard to type on phone.

If I enter 6-17/32 and hit enter I get a line or dimension 6.531 inches long :slight_smile:
If I enter 6-17/32+3-5/8 and hit enter I get unknown command.

Is there any way to get Rhino to do the maths or must I add the two up on a calculator first ?
(means converting both to decimal then adding together), my calculator doesnt have fractions on it.

Steel tapes with decimal inches one edge and cm the other.
Hi Jeff, I looked at that link and tried those numbers, they are all imperial with 1/8 inch 1/4 inch etc.

Anyone know of a decimal inch tape ?

Just to re-emphasise, conversion charts, iphones etc, when I am on site I am working at super fast pace, no chance of revisiting the item, everything is like the last 10 mins in a maths exam having dosed off for the most part of it ! zero chance of consulting charts, or gadjets. Items are built to decimal inch and I need to measure decimal inch.
As such with lack of such tape, I get home with fractions and so entering 6-17/32 is good, or if I took a cm dim I can enter that and get inches result.
Time is everything so I dont want to be consulting charts to convert 6 7/32 to decimal, or an app, that rhino does the conversion is good for me.

However if I measured something in two or more stages for whatever reason, to enter both dims with a +, doesnt work.

I seem to recall rhino can display a dim with inches decimal and the inch fraction I entered in brackets.


Yeah, it looks to me like it does not add fractional units.


Hi Pascal,
would V7 do so as I am about to buy V7, though need to know of specs etc and PC build advice (other thread) in hardware, but no answers yet.


Hi Steve -

In Rhino 7, you can type


in the command line and it will give you 10.156250.

Hi @wim,

Caveat: This only works if your units are inches - if you are using feet and inches it gives you 10.156250 feet, which would not normally be your intention.

It doesn’t work at all if you include ’ (feet) or " (inches) symbols which would be necessary to remove the ambiguity or to enter combined values. I’m pretty sure that this has been raised in a previous post, so there may be a YouTrack for it, but I haven’t been able to locate the post.


Hi Jeremy -

As always, my units are in millimeters - and I have no intention of changing that habit.
But I understand what you are saying…

Hi @Steve1,

Why not convert your model to use mm units, then you can measure with a standard metric tape and combine values without problem on the command line?


V7 thats good.
I have for British made items site measurements in feet and inches (imperial) as I didnt have an inches decimal tape (and I would so dearly love to find one as the items I measure are built to decimal inches).
(plea on bended knee someone please find me one with inch decimal and cm with decent lock)
I can compare my project as I go to the dimensions and sketches beside me if it displays feet and inches and see I havent errored anywhere, mm for these items would confuse me greatly, and I speak inches about them to other parties. Also If I measure in inches I can predict what the original size was if the item is a bit weather beaten, 8.9 for a brick is 9inch etc.

I wish in fact the dims displayed e.g. 3ft 7.7inch or 3’ 7.7" and after that [3’ 7 22/32"] and not 43.7inch, is that possible ?


No, that can’t be done.