Bar ends, also called "climbing horns," are extensions at the end of the handlebars. They jut forward, allowing a climbing rider to put more weight on the front of the bike during a brutal grunt uphill. Bar ends also give you another position for your hands, reducing risk of carpal tunnel syndrome during long rides. And, they provide a little aspen-banging protection for your little finger when dodging trees on a singletrack.
On the other hand, bar ends keep you from moving your hands as readily around the handlebar. And, they have a tendency to hook stout bushes at the side of the trail, dumping you in a hurry. You need to decide whether bar ends will help you or hurt you.
The bar end will take up about 3/4 inch. But if your habit is to ride with your hand hanging over the end of the handlebar, it will change the angle of your hand, requiring that the equipment be moved over even more.
If you're using standard grips, wet them, and slide them 3/4 inch up the handlebar.
As you ride, you can adjust the angle of the bar ends to your liking.