Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Solving Right Triangles
The Pythagorean theorem states that
Height^2 + Base^2 = Hypotenuse^2
Therefore, if you know two sides of a right triangle, you can calculate the remaining side. The
formula to calculate a right triangle’s height (given the length of the hypotenuse and base) is as
follows:
=SQRT((hypotenuse^2) – (base^2))
The formula to calculate a right triangle’s base (given the length of the hypotenuse and height) is
as follows:
=SQRT((hypotenuse^2) – (height^2))
The formula to calculate a right triangle’s hypotenuse (given the length of the base and height) is
as follows:
=SQRT((height^2)+(base^2))
Other useful trigonometric identities are
SIN(A) = Height/Hypotenuse
SIN(B) = Base/Hypotenuse
COS(A) = Base/Hypotenuse
COS(B) = Height/Hypotenuse
TAN(A) = Height/Base
SIN(A) = Base/Height
Excel’s trigonometric functions all assume that the angle arguments are in radians. To
convert degrees to radians, use the RADIANS function. To convert radians to degrees,
use the DEGREES function.
If you know the height and base, you can use the following formula to calculate the angle formed
by the hypotenuse and base (angle A):
=ATAN(height/base)
 
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