How to read dimensions

Written by johnathan cronk
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How to read dimensions
Reading dimensions is important in construction and everyday life. (wood image by Alison Bowden from

All objects have three dimensions: length, width and height. You must read and measure dimensions whenever you build something, or fit an object into a particular space. Dimensions are written in the following format: length by width by height.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find the dimension measurements of an object, usually printed on the bottom or side of the unit itself.

  2. 2

    Read the number in front of the L. This number is the length of the unit. Most dimensions are written in inches, but are sometimes also written in feet.

  3. 3

    Read the number in front of the W. This number represents the width of the unit.

  4. 4

    Read the number in front of the H. This number represents the height of the unit. Some measurements only list the length and width; however if the height is also measured, it will come after the width.

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