Quicker and easier to use than older mechanical compasses and dividers. Pull the legs apart then make a fine adjustment with the center wheel. The digital display is easier to read than a ruler measurement, plus it is more precise. You can also convert the display between decimal, fractional inch, and metric. By using the zero button between 2 measurements, the display will do the subtraction or addition and tell you the precise difference. It is easy to switch from divider to compass mode.