RE: Measurements: Fraction, Decimals, or Both

Subject: RE: Measurements: Fraction, Decimals, or Both
From: Slager Timothy J <Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com>
To: "wondersofone -at- gmail -dot- com" <wondersofone -at- gmail -dot- com>, tech2wr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2016 14:17:08 +0000

When we use fractions, we use the method with hyphens. It seems to cause less confusion than most of the alternatives. If you had a full set of fraction glyphs, I suppose you could go that route, but we didn't and it seemed more complicated.

The problem with using decimals, for us at least, actually is a matter of precision. If you want to imply the fraction 1/8, you want to use 0.125 rather than 0.13. But three decimals almost always implies a higher level of precision in measurement than two decimals, and of course this gets worse if you get into 16ths. If not, you have to specify that in your "About this document" section and hope that people read it or always include +/- tolerances.

I wish we would just go metric!

tims

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of wondersofone -at- gmail -dot- com
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2016 4:01 AM
To: tech2wr-l
Subject: Measurements: Fraction, Decimals, or Both

I can't make a decision. This is the first time I'm working heavily with measurements. I'm writing home-product descriptions for nontechnical customers. The descriptions will include measurements that I get from multiple manufacturers. Each manufacturer writes it either in fractions or decimals. My options are to just reflect how they write it or to pick one method and do conversions to adhere to that one method I choose (convert the fraction to decimal or vice versa). Pricision is not an issue.

Though, I am leaning towards using only decimals since I can't use superscripting and subscripting to format fractions. So I could get measurements like 5 1/4' x 11 3/4' x 1 1/8' that might annoy customers because the numbers could seem to run into each other making it more difficult to read.

I've also considered using hyphens between the mixed numbers, but am not sure if that might cause other confusion when reading. E.g., 5-1/4' x 11-3/4' x 1-1/8'.

These types of measurements could appear in bulleted lists or in narratives.

Anyone have an opinion one way or another? Or know of any "industry"
standards, unspoken rules, or no-nos about converting someone's measurements?
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References:
Measurements: Fraction, Decimals, or Both: From: wondersofone -at- gmail -dot- com

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