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How can I measure the size of a face in edit mode?

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Simply tick Length under Mesh Display in the Properties side panel and it will show the length of the edges (also tick Area to show the area if there are any faces). These measurements will use the unit specified under Units in your Scene settings. The shown units are local units and are scaled to world units by the object's Scaling settings (see also Why do the measurements of this object seem erroneous?).

example measurement of a plane

For something more extravagant, you can try the built-in Ruler/Protactor tool or Dolf's Caliper addon (install and usage instructions on the page).

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  • $\begingroup$ Good post as always :) Unfortunately the link to Dolf's Calliper Add-on is dead, I guess this is the right one: macouno.com/commissions/caliper ? $\endgroup$ – p2or Feb 22 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @poor thanks and yes it looks so. Feel free to update. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Feb 22 '16 at 19:16

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