The metric system is common throughout the scientific and professional community and is the standard in most of Europe, yet the general public in the United States and the U.K. use different measurement systems. Because of this, you may find you need to frequently convert between the U.S. system, the Imperial (U.K.) system and the metric system in order to communicate internationally, place orders or prepare documents. Yet metric conversion doesn't need to be rocket science and there are several tactics you can use to make this an easier task.
- Calculator, computer or mobile phone
- Metric conversion table
Memorize the metric equivalent for the unit you most commonly need to convert. For example, if you need to convert U.S. inches to centimeters, memorize that 1 inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. Then all you need to do metric conversion is a pocket calculator.
Use Google if you're working at the computer. The Google search engine has a built in metric conversion tool such that if you simply type "convert 50 miles to km" into the regular search box, you will receive an answer with the click of a button.
Install a conversion application on your phone. If you have an iPhone, for example, a quick search for "metric conversion" in the Apple Store should give you plenty of results for free and inexpensive applications that will make metric conversion quick and easy even when you're on the go and away from your desk.
Keep a metric conversion table handy in the event that you need to convert to a unit you haven't memorized or which isn't working on your computer or phone app. If you have a phone book or pocket calendar, you may already have a metric conversion table in the print matter often found in the front of these publications. You can also easily find a metric conversion table via the Internet, which you can then print and keep in a drawer near your desk for easy access when needed.
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About the Author
Kay Daniels is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience writing and editing online. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Excelsior College, a certificate in copy editing from University of California, San Diego Extension, and is in her second year of medical school.