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Surface area of a cone

Excel formula: Surface area of a cone
Generic formula 

To calculate the surface area of a cone, you can use the PI function together with the exponent operator (^) and the SQRT function. In the example shown, the formula in D5, copied down, is:


The formula returns the surface area of a cone with radius given in column B and height given in column C. Units are indicated generically with "u", and the resulting area is units squared (u2).


In geometry, the formula for calculating the surface area of a right cone is: 

The Greek letter π ("pi") represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In Excel, π is represented in a formula with the PI function, which returns the number 3.14159265358979, accurate to 15 digits:

=PI() // returns 3.14159265358979

To square a number in Excel, you can use the exponentiation operator (^):


To get the square root of a number, you can use the SQRT function:


Rewriting the formula for surface area of a cone with Excel's math operators, we get:


Following Excel's order of operations, exponentiation will occur before multiplication.

Dave Bruns

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