To generate force, striated muscle requires overlap between uniform-length actin and myosin filaments. The hypothesis that a nebulin ruler mechanism specifies thin filament lengths by targeting where tropomodulin (Tmod) caps the slow-growing, pointed end has not been rigorously tested. Using fluorescent microscopy and quantitative image analysis, we found that nebulin extended 1.01-1.03 mum from the Z-line, but Tmod localized 1.13-1.31 mum from the Z-line, in seven different rabbit skeletal muscles. Because nebulin does not extend to the thin filament pointed ends, it can neither target Tmod capping nor specify thin filament lengths. We found instead a strong correspondence between thin filament lengths and titin isoform sizes for each muscle. Our results suggest the existence of a mechanism whereby nebulin specifies the minimum thin filament length and sarcomere length regulates and coordinates pointed-end dynamics to maintain the relative overlap of the thin and thick filaments during myofibril assembly.