How to Convert Angles From Radians to Degrees in Excel

Excel's built-in function provides a fast, accurate answer

What to Know

  • Use the DEGREES(angle) function to convert from radians to degrees, where angle is the radian size or cell reference.
  • Or use the PI formula: =(angle)*180/PI(). PI has no argument.

This article explains how to use the DEGREES() function or PI formula to convert angle measurements from radians to degrees. Converting to degrees is necessary if you want to use one of Excel's built-in trigonometric functions to find the cosine, sine or tangent of a right-angled triangle.

The DEGREES Function's Syntax and Arguments

Summary of trigonometric functions.
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A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, and arguments.

The syntax for the DEGREES() function is:


The angle argument specifies the angle, in degrees, to be converted to radians. Specify either a specific angle size (in radians) or a cell reference to the location where the angle size resides.

Excel's DEGREES Function Example

Use the DEGREES() function to convert an angle of 1.570797 radians into degrees.

If you're rusty about manually entering formulas in Excel, check out our step-by-step formula tutorial for guidance.

In a cell, type:


or, if the value were stored in cell A1, you could also type:


And in either case, when you press Enter to execute the function, you should get a result of 90 degrees.

The DEGREES() function also supports point-and-click entry using a function dialog box.

Alternative: Use the PI Formula

An alternative method that doesn't rely on the DEGREES() formula is to multiply the angle (in radians) by 180 then divide the result by the mathematical constant pi. For example, to convert 1.570797 radians to degrees, use the formula:


Pi, which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, has a rounded value of 3.14 and is usually represented in formulas by the Greek letter π. Its value is expressed by the function PI(), which does not permit any arguments.

Historical Note

Excel's trig functions use radians rather than degrees because when the program was first created, the trig functions were designed to be compatible with the trig functions in the spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3, which also used radians and which dominated the PC spreadsheet software market at the time.

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