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How to Use Pi in Google Sheets [3 Easy Examples]

Fact Checked By Jim Markus

To find pi in Google Sheets, use the insert menu and choose the function. I’ll show exactly where to find it with screenshots and video. I’ll also discuss the mathematical constant pi, its function in a workbook, and how to use it within calculations.

 How to Insert Pi in Google Sheets

Pi is an important irrational number for a plethora of applications. Pi is the ratio of the diameter and the circumference of the circle. Pi always has a value approximate to 3.14159. As the number is infinite, it is most commonly denoted using the Greek letter π.

Google Sheets is a great spreadsheet tool used by data analysts worldwide due to its fantastic set of features and online live-backup. That’s vital data validation all the way down to just calculating compound interest in a spreadsheet. They’re all free to use for individuals and small businesses.

It can perform many complex tasks and calculations. Some of these include analyses using the Pi function. For example, you may want to figure out some calculations from a beautiful pie chart.

This article will tell you about the Pi in Google Sheets formula and how to use it, with a few examples and ways to input the Pi symbol into your spreadsheets.

Where to Find the Pi Function

Pi function in google sheets

There are essentially two ways to utilize the Google Sheets Pi function.

  • To input the Pi function, click on the cell you want to put the Pi function in and click on the Insert tab. In the dropdown menu, click on Function. You should see several options to choose from, click on Math and select Pi from there.
    how to insert the pi function
  • If you’re familiar with formulas, then just click on the cell and type in =PI( )

The Pi function does not have any arguments, so you can’t put anything in between the brackets. Doing this will result in an error. This is because the function represents Pi and not an actual formula. So, consider this the number, not a formula, when using it in your sheets.

Circle Calculations With Pi Function

Here are a few iterations of syntax you can use in some circle calculations with examples.

How to Use Pi in Google Sheets to Calculate Diameter

uisng pi to calculate diameter

You can calculate the diameter of a circle by dividing the circumference by Pi. To do this, we’ll use a Google Sheets function (which always starts with an equal sign). The syntax for this calculation is:

= (circumference) / PI ( )

Assume the value of circumference is 20. To find the diameter, you simply have to write this in the cell:

= 20 / PI()

You can also calculate the radius of a circle by dividing the circle’s diameter by 2.

Pi Spreadsheet – Circumference

pi circumference

You calculate an unknown circumference by multiplying the diameter with Pi. The syntax for this calculation is:

= (diameter) * PI ( )

Assume the value of the diameter is 20. To find the circumference, just write this in the cell:

= 20 * PI()

Area

Pi area

The formula to calculate the area of a circle is π * r². If you know the diameter of the circle, first divide it by 2, and now you can calculate its area using the following syntax:

= PI ( ) * (diameter / 2) ^ 2

Assume the diameter is 20. In that case, you simply have to write this to calculate the area of the circle:

= PI() * ( 20 / 2 ) ^ 2

How to Type Pi in Google Sheets

pi symbol

Using the CHAR function is the best way to create a Pi symbol in Google Sheets. This function allows you to convert numbers into characters. This is done using the Unicode table, which is the industry standard for handling text on a computer.

You can input the CHAR function into your Google Sheets using two methods.

Method 1

  1. Click on the cell in which you want to use the CHAR function
  2. Click on Insert in the top bar and then click on Function
  3. Navigate to the Text submenu and click on CHAR.
  4. Type in the number and press Enter. The Pi symbol should appear. The character code for the Pi symbol is 960.

Method 2

You can use a formula to do this to save your time. Simply select the cell and type in: =CHAR(960)

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about π? Here are some of the most common mistakes and questions people ask me about using the pi function in a spreadsheet.

How do you insert pi in Google Sheets?

You can use the CHAR function, which is used to convert numbers into characters according to the Unicode table. Use this formula to enter the Pi symbol in your sheets:

=CHAR(960)

Make sure to use the Unicode number 960 for Pi and not 129383 as it might not give the desired results.

What is Pi on Google Sheets?

The Pi function in Sheets can be used to do circle calculations. The Pi can be defined as the ratio between the circle’s circumference and diameter. The mathematical value of Pi is approximately 3.14159265358979323846264338 32795028841971693993751. That’s the value rounded to 50 decimal places. That’s more accurate than what you’ll need for most calculations!

How do you multiply pi on Google Sheets?

You can multiply Pi by typing the syntax for the Pi function and using the “*” symbol to multiply any number with Pi.

How do I insert math symbols in Google Sheets?

To insert special characters into your Google Sheets, you can look up the Unicode of the pi character through google and use the CHAR function to input the code, which will turn it into the special character. Looking to do the same thing outside of Google spreadsheets?

You can also achieve this using Google Docs, to do this:

  1. Open a new Google Doc file.
  2. Click on Insert on the top bar and click on Special characters. This will show you a menu where you can look for your character using the search bar or by looking through the list to find it.
  3. Once you choose the character, it will appear in your document. Simply copy it using Ctrl + C and paste it into your spreadsheet by using Ctrl + V.

You can also use the copy and paste method by searching X symbol into Google and copying the result.

Where do I find the π symbol in Google Sheets?

Use the Insert menu, then choose function. The pi function is listed in that sub menu. Otherwise, just copy my π symbol, select a cell in your spreadsheet, and use shift+control+v to paste it without formatting. Ancient Babylonians would have loved this trick. They used the symbol in their equations about 4k years ago!

What’s the most common pi formula?

Pi is most commonly used to calculate the area and circumference of circles. If you’ve got a circle’s diameter, you can use πr squared to get the area. Above, I showed a few different ways to write this as a function in Google Sheets.

How has pi been used in spreadsheets?

There are many way to use pi in research. For example, in a study from 1996, they used a technique called the path integral solution (PIS) to study how white noise affects an oscillator with bilinear hysteresis. They showed that the PIS method provides an interesting way to explore the random vibrations of such oscillators. This research emphasizes how pi-related techniques can be used to understand complex and statistically intricate systems (Naess & Moe, 1996).

Wrapping Up the Pi Function

Using Pi in Google Sheets becomes as simple as tapping on your keyboard a few times once you know the shortcuts. If you found this article useful, please check out some of my other guides. I recently discussed how to use Google Sheets to calculate golf handicaps, for example. My goal, as always, is to help improve your spreadsheet skills. Even better, you could sign up for a course to become a Google Sheets master.

More Useful Functions in Google Sheets:

References

  1. Baylor University. Baylor Math Chair Explains the Magic & Mystery of Pi [Internet]. Baylor University; [cited 2024 Jan 18]. Available from: https://news.web.baylor.edu/news/story/2023/baylor-math-chair-explains-magic-mystery-p-pi
  2. Princeton University Press. Pi is Magic [Internet]. Princeton University Press; [cited 2024 Jan 18]. Available from: https://press.princeton.edu/ideas/pi-is-magic
  3. Google Support. PI [Internet]. Google; [cited 2024 Jan 23]. Available from: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093432?hl=en
  4. Naess, A., & Moe, V. (1996). Stationary and non-stationary random vibration of oscillators with bilinear hysteresis. International Journal of Non-linear Mechanics, 31, 553-562. https://doi.org/10.1016/0020-7462(96)00020-0.

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