- Align the zero on your civil scale ruler with one end of the object you are measuring. This end represents the starting point.
- Identify the object's end point and read the ruler's corresponding number that aligns with this end point.
- Multiply the value you identify on the civil scale by 10 to get the actual length of the object you are measuring. If the corresponding number that aligns with your object's end point is 5, for example, you interpret the length of the object as 50 feet.
- Know that the small lines between the whole numbers on your civil ruler represent individual feet. If the corresponding number on the scale falls two marks to the right of the whole number 4, for example, you read the length as 42 feet.
- Each civil scale has a dimensional relationship that is displayed as a whole number to the left of the number line on the ruler. This number represents the scale the engineer uses when transferring the object measurement into reduced-size drawing. A civil ruler with the number 10, for example, indicates that the ruler uses a 1:10 dimensional relationship. This means that an object that measures 10 feet using this civil scale will measure one inch in the engineer drawings.