how to convert radians to degrees

Now, let’s take a detailed dive into this and explain everything that is happening and make sure you understand the concept and are able to apply them to large datasets.

Introduction

Microsoft Excel is programmed to give mathematical results in radians instead of degrees. This is done based on a scientific point of view however that is not the case of all mathematical results.

For example, if you have data that requires your angles to be in degrees, using radians will not be the correct representation of this result. Therefore, it is useful to convert angle measures from radians to degrees for easier reading. 

There are 3 ways to convert radians to degrees in Excel and in this article, you will get to know more about these methods. These methods include;

  • Using a formula to convert radians to degrees
  • Using a function to convert radians to degrees
  • Using VBScript to convert radians to degrees

Using a formula to convert radians to degrees

The formula used to convert angles from radians to degrees is 

deg = rad X 180/π 

So, in Excel, if this is converted to a formula, it becomes 

= cell * 180/PI()
  1. Select the cell of the column where you want your converted values to appear (cell B2)
  2. Type the ‘equal to’ sign (=)
  3. Then select the first cell containing the value you want to convert (cell A2)
  4. A reference to cell A2 should appear in cell B2. Following that, type: ‘* 180/PI()’ and press the enter key.
  5. This will then display the value in cell A2 converted to its equivalent in degrees.
  6. Double-click the fill handle (located at the bottom right corner of the cell B2). This will copy the formula to the rest of the cells in column B. You can also choose to drag down the fill handle to achieve the same effect.
  7. Drag and drop to apply to the remaining cells

Using a function to convert radians to degrees

Excel provides some trigonometric functions that you can directly use. One of the functions can be used to convert radian values to degrees. To convert radians to degrees, you can use the DEGREES function. The syntax for this function is: =DEGREES(angle)

Let’s look at how to convert radian to degrees using function 

  1. Select the first cell of the column where you want your converted values to appear (cell B2)
  2. Type the equal sign =, followed by the word ‘DEGREES’ and opening parentheses: ‘=DEGREES(
  3. Then select the first cell containing the value you want to convert (cell A2)
  4. Close the parentheses ‘)
  5. Press the enter key
  6. This will show the value in cell A2 converted to its equivalent in degrees
  7. Double-click the fill handle (located at the bottom right corner of the cell B2). This will copy the formula to the rest of the cells in column B
  8. You can also choose to drag down the fill handle to achieve the same effect.
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Using VBScript to convert radians to degrees

This method involves a bit of coding. Below are some codes that can be used If you want to replace the radian values with their corresponding degree values

Sub radians_to_degrees()
For Each cell In Selection
cell.Value = Application.WorksheetFunction.Degrees(cell.Value)
Next cell
End Sub

The code takes a list of cells and converts them one by one to degrees. This replaces the original value with the converted value. Note that this method permanently changes the values in your worksheet. So there’s no way that you can undo it once the change is made.

However, if you want to retain the original values, you can have the converted values displayed in the next column instead. For this, use the following code:

Sub radians_to_degrees()
For Each cell In Selection
cell.Offset(0, 1).Value = Application.WorksheetFunction.Degrees(cell.Value)
Next cell
End Sub

Here is how to apply the script to your data

  1. On the Developer Menu Ribbon, look for Visual Basic and click on it.
  2. This will open up a VBA window
  3. Click on insert
  4. Select Module
  5. Go ahead and copy the sample code given above and paste into the module window 
  6. Your code is now ready to run and use whenever needed. Close the VBA window.
  7. Now go to your worksheet and select the group of cells containing angle values in radians.
  8. Click on Macros, under the Developer tab.
  9. This will open the Macros dialog box. Select the name radians_to_degrees from the list of macros displayed.
  10. Click OK.
  1. From the Developer Menu Ribbon, select Visual Basic.
  2. Once your VBA window opens, Click Insert->Module. Copy the code given above and paste it into the module window.
  3. Your code is now ready to run and use whenever needed. Close the VBA window.
  4. Now go to your worksheet and select the group of cells containing angle values in radians.
  5. Click on Macros, under the Developer tab.
  6. This will open the Macros dialog box. Select the name radians_to_degrees from the list of macros displayed.
  7. Click OK.

Your code should now run and you should see the results on your worksheet.

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