How To Square In Google Sheets – 4 Simple Ways

Last updated March 19, 2022

Today, we’re going to look at something fairly easy to do in Google Sheets: square!

Squaring a number means multiplying that number by itself. The square of 5, for instance, is 5*5=25.

Google Sheets has a number of mathematical operators that make it possible to square numbers — as well as operators that make it possible to do a lot of other things.

Let’s dive right into how to square in Google Sheets. It’s quite simple, but you have a few different options.

How to Square in Google Sheets by Multiplying

So, the first thing you can do is simply multiply a number by itself.

squaring a number via multiplication

Here, we have a cell that serves as the variable, in which we’ve put the number 5. In the next cell, we’ve introduced the algorithm:

=A3*A3

Now, to get the same result (25) we could have just typed in 5*5. But by doing it this way, we can insert any number we want into the “5” cell and still get a multiplication.

we can insert any number we want into the “5” cell and still get a multiplication

A lot of times when you’re making a spreadsheet, you want to make a spreadsheet that can change dynamically. So, it’s good to keep your values exposed.

How to Square a Number in Google Sheets Using POWER()

But there’s a more elegant way to square a number; by using the POWER() function. There’s no direct Google Sheets square function, but the POWER() function does it all. The POWER() function takes two arguments:

=POWER(base,exponent)

You might remember that the way to write a square is (base)^(exponent). The square of a 5 is 5^2. When we square something, we multiply it against itself to the power of 2 — twice.

So, we can enter in:

=POWER(5,2)

We can change 5 to any number and get a squared number.

The result we will get will be 5 squared. In this case, again, we used the variable (A6) because we wanted to have a variable that we could dynamically change.

squaring a number via power in google sheets

We can change 5 to any number and get a squared number.

Using the Power() Function to Square Google Sheets Formulas

The power function works for more than just squaring a number. For example, we could also get the 3rd power by using a formula such as:

=Power(5,5,5)

Using the Power() Function

While that’s a pretty easy use of the Power() function, it would be somewhat cumbersome if we tried to do it ourselves.

And it should be noted that these functions are the same in Excel as they are in Google Sheets.

In general, if there’s a mathematical function you can perform in Microsoft Excel, you’ll be able to perform it in Google Sheets, too.

Using SQRT() in Google Sheets

What if we wanted to reverse the operation? Then we would use SQRT().

SQRT() will take 25 and turn it into 5, because it’s finding what number multiplied by itself would equal out to the number that’s given.

Using Base ^ Exponent in Google Sheets

Finally, there’s one last way that you can find the power of 2 in Google Sheets. And, in some ways, it’s the easiest. That is by using the ^ symbol. If your keyboard doesn’t have it, you can use the alt code: Alt 94.

Using Base^exponent in Google Sheets

You just type in “5^2.”

We’ve avoided doing it this way for one very important reason: it’s not modifiable. You can’t look at the sheet and know what numbers went into making that number; it’s just a result.

How to Square a Column in Google Sheets (Or a Row)

You can also use the ^ symbol in combination with the SUM function to square a range, including whole columns or rows. All you have to do is:

  1. Type =SUM( into an empty cell
  2. Select or type in the range you want to to square and close the bracket. If you wanted to do column D, you could type D:D for example
  3. Type a close bracket )
  4. Type ^2 and press Enter

So the entire formula to square column D would look like this:

=SUM(D:D)^2 
A screenshot showing the result of a squared column in Google Sheets

How to Make Cells Square in Google Sheets FAQ

How do you do Squared in Google Sheets?

There are four different ways to do squared numbers in Google Sheets, the simplest way to do it is to use the ^ operator like so: 5^2, this would give the answer to 5 squared.

How Do I Write x2 in Google Sheets?

To multiply in Google Sheets, you can use the * operator. For example, 2*2 is 2×2.

How Do You Insert a Square Root Symbol In Google Sheets?

Unfortunately, you can’t put the square root symbol into Google Sheets. But, you can still perform square root calculations by using the SQRT function. For example, if you wanted to find the square root in Google Sheets for the number 9, you could type =SQRT(9) into an empty cell.

More Than Squared Numbers

As you can see, Google Sheets provides an extraordinary number of ways to complete many mathematical operations. Now you know how to square a number in Google Sheets, you can dig deeper into what functions it supports.

If there’s a function you used to do in algebra or even trigonometry, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to do it in Google Sheets, too.

The fastest way to learn all of these functions is to join a course so you can learn in a structured environment.

Jenna

Jenna

Jenna is a tech and entertainment expert with a B.S. in Information & Computer Science and MCITP certification. She writes for Udemy, The Gamer, and SVG.