Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.


Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

I am a civil engineer: I hate radians!! Is there anyway that one can use degrees in angles in excel spreadsheets as default? Then I don't have to remember to make conversions when using trig functions in formulas.

Thanks for any help.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

Here is the help for the function radians which I think will do what you want. i.e. cos(RADIANS(180)) will return (-1)

Converts degrees to radians.

Angle   is an angle in degrees that you want to convert.

RADIANS(270) equals 4.712389 (3p/2 radians)

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

I don't know of a way to get Excel to operate in degrees, but I find it convenient to put the formula =PI()/180 in an unused cell which is physically quick and easy to designate, such as Q1, then =sin(30*PI()/180) can be input as =sin(30*q1) It isn't perfect, but it saves a lot of strokes.  Hope this is helpful.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

I must admit, I felt the same way until I started concerning myself with arc lengths and other measurements that are computed using radians.

There really is no way to force degrees by default.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

Use the RADIANS() and DEGREES() functions to convert between radians and degrees.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

To clarify...

Excel's default anglular measurement is radians. Whenever I set up a spreadsheet where I'm initially using degrees I start with a column of angles in degrees. The next step is to convert these to radians (e.g., +A1*pi()/180 goes in cell B1). From then on, any computations refer back to the table of converted angles, that, I might add, may be concealed so that it appears you're working in degrees.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

In the cell B1 you can simply enter
or whatewer calculations you need. There is no need for converting the angle and only then work with it. Unless you want to.
You can also hide the column with the angles converted to radians, if you want to go step - by step in your calculations. You can not avoid the radians in any programming language, try to live with it.

RE: Use of Degrees as Default - not Radians

In excel you can write functions just like you can write a macro.
I don't have excel on this computer, so I can't look up just what it looks like, but it would be something like this:

function dsin(angle as number);




Or something like that.
Look up the help in excel. It is fairly straight forward. You can put it in one of the global module things, so that it doesn't matter what spreadsheet you have open it always has that function available.
You can write functions called dsin, dcos, dtan or whatever. (make sure you don't use function names that are already used).

I have found writing your own functions to be very helpful.
When I was working in a geotech lab we had all our report sheets in excel using macros, but if you went in and changed a number you had to make sure the macro got run, or else all the results were wrong. Macros take a long time, so you couldn't just set cells to run it each time any cell in the spreadsheet ran.
I wrote some functions that calculated USCS classifications from gradations and found proctor maximums from a curve fit  and such things. They calculate just like normal excel formulas and are quick and calculate in the background if you are typing a mess of data (instead of waiting or losing typing inbetween cells as things calculate).

Writing functions is also useful for loops and complex equations where it is a pain to reference many cells over and over again.

If you want me to look up what the exact function would look like, let me know and I'll do it sometime when I'm at home (we have corel suite at work for some reason).

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close