How to Convert Centimeters to Millimeters

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How to Convert Centimeters to Millimeters
One centimetre is equivalent to 10 millimetres (Green centimetre and inch tape-line over white background image by Olga Sapegina from

A centimetre is a unit that measures distance, or length. A centimetre is 1/100th of a meter and is abbreviated "cm." A millimetre measures 1/1000th of a meter. The abbreviation for millimetre is "mm." Transitioning from one to the other is straightforward.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Calculator

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    Convert on paper

  1. 1

    Use your pencil to write the word "Legend" in the top-centre of your paper. Move to the next line below and write: "1.0 centimetre (cm) = 10.0 millimetres (mm); shift the decimal point one digit to the right." Draw a straight line under the "Legend" section separating it from the body of the paper and use it as a reference.

  2. 2

    Move below the "Legend" and write your centimetre measurement, and then add a decimal point and zero, if it does not have one. For example, if you are converting "15 cm," write "15.0." If your measurement already has a decimal, write it down without the unit: "15.75."

  3. 3

    Erase the decimal from its current position. Count one digit over and place decimal at the end: "15.0" converts to "150.0." Add a zero after at the end to avoid a hanging decimal. Also add the necessary commas to signify thousands and millions, if necessary.

  4. 4

    Add the millimetre unit of measurement to your conversion: "150.0 mm" or "157.5 mm."

    Convert on a calculator

  1. 1

    Type in your numerical measurement, without the unit: "15" or "15.75."

  2. 2

    Multiply by 10. There are 10 millimetres in 1 centimetre.

  3. 3

    The calculator will show "150.0" or "157.5." Note your final conversion as "150 mm" or "157.5 mm" on paper.

Tips and warnings

  • Simplify the conversion by using an online conversion calculator. Use the keywords "convert measurement calculator" in your favourite search engine to find a website. One such website is Google's "Calculator."

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