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I just found out about the Mesh Display : Length feature in the "N" panel (thanks to this seemingly-migratable question) that allows one to measure the length of a face or vertice.

But my first encounter with this tool gives me complex feelings of love and hate, see how, as I was trying to measure the aspect ratio of this TV screen, I am getting WIDTH = 20.33 and HEIGHT = 37.57.

These values seem awfully wrong, since my betrusted eyes tell me the height should be shorter than the width.

enter image description here

I have tried measuring the single vertices as well, to identical results.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The problem is that your object has been scaled in object mode, but the transformation has not been applied.

Take this perfectly regular cube (2mx2mx2m) for example:

enter image description here

Look at the scale section on the panel:

enter image description here

Switch to Object Mode, select your object and press Ctrl A and select Apply Scale

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

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