Square meters and lineal meters measure two different properties with two different dimensions. Square meters (m^2) measure an object's area, which has two dimensions. Lineal meters (m), also called linear meters or simply meters, measure single straight dimensions like length or width. Converting a measurement from square meters to lineal meters means dividing a meter measurement into the square meter measurement, reducing the two dimensions to one.

Find the area of a two-dimensional shape. In this example, consider a rectangle shape with an area of 20 m^2.

Measure one of the shape's dimensions. For this example, the rectangle has a length of 5 m.

Divide the area by the known dimension to calculate the other dimension. Concluding this example, the area of 20 m^2 divided by 5 m results in 4 m.