To know how to read a tape measure, someone must first know what the marks on the tape measure mean; the full lines that cover the entire width of the tape measure are equal to a full inch. The marks that cover approximately half of the tape measure's width indicate 1/2 of an inch, while the ones that cover a quarter of the width indicate 1/4 of an inch. Lines an eighth of the width are equivalent to 1/8 inch, and the shortest marks indicate 1/16 inch.
To read the tape measure, first denote the full inch number that comes closest to the end of the tape measure. Then, use the tick mark where the measured item ends to make a precise measurement.