How to Use PI in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Using PI in Excel is a straightforward task. Simply enter the formula =PI() into a cell, and Excel will return the value of the mathematical constant Pi (approximately 3.14159). This function can be used in various calculations involving circles or circular motion, such as finding the area or circumference.

After inputting the PI function into Excel, you can incorporate it into formulas for a wide range of calculations, making your data analysis or mathematical problems easier to solve.


You might be wondering, why in the world would I need to use Pi in Excel? Well, for starters, Pi (π) is one of the most famous and important mathematical constants out there. It’s the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter, and it’s a number that pops up in all sorts of mathematical, engineering, scientific, and financial calculations.

If you’re a student, a teacher, an engineer, an architect, or someone who deals with numbers and calculations regularly, PI can be incredibly useful. For instance, calculating the area of a circle would require you to use Pi. Or, if you’re working on some trigonometric functions, Pi could be your best friend. Excel, being the versatile tool it is, allows you to use PI in your spreadsheets. It’s a practical way to handle calculations that require precision and it takes away the trouble of manually entering the value of PI each time you need it.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Use PI in Excel

Let’s dive into the steps you need to follow to use PI in Excel.

Step 1: Open Excel

Begin by opening a new or existing Excel worksheet where you want to use the PI function.

In this step, you simply need to get your Excel ready for action. This could mean opening a fresh spreadsheet or the one you’ve been working on that needs some PI magic.

Step 2: Select a Cell

Choose the cell where you want the value of PI to appear.

Selecting the right cell is crucial because this is where your PI value will be resting. It’s like picking the perfect spot for a new plant in your garden.

Step 3: Enter the PI Formula

Type =PI() into the selected cell and press Enter.

The formula =PI() is the hero here. Once you type it in and hit Enter, Excel will display the value of PI in that cell. It’s as simple as pie, or should we say, Pi?

Step 4: Use PI in a Calculation

Incorporate the PI value in any relevant calculations by referencing the cell containing the PI function.

This step is where you put PI to work. For example, if you’re finding the area of a circle, you’d multiply PI with the square of the radius. Just reference the cell with the PI value in your formula, and you’re good to go.


AccuracyThe PI function in Excel returns the value of Pi to 15 digits, which ensures a high level of accuracy for your calculations.
ConvenienceInstead of manually typing out the value of Pi every time, the PI function simplifies the process, saving you time and reducing the chances of error.
Integration with FormulasThe PI function can be easily integrated with other Excel formulas and functions to perform complex calculations, making it versatile and useful in various scenarios.


Limited to PiThe PI function only provides the value of Pi and cannot be used for other constants or calculations directly.
Requires UnderstandingUsers need to have a basic understanding of how to incorporate the PI function into formulas for it to be useful.
Overkill for Simple TasksFor very basic tasks that require Pi, using a calculator might be quicker than firing up Excel and inputting formulas.

Additional Information

While the steps above cover how to use PI in Excel, there are some additional tips worth knowing. For instance, did you know you can combine the PI function with other Excel functions to create more complex formulas? Imagine using PI in conjunction with the POWER function to calculate the area of a circle with a given radius. The formula would look something like =PI()*POWER(radius,2).

Also, remember that Excel can handle a lot more than simple arithmetic. You can use the PI function in your financial models, statistical analysis, and even graphical presentations where you need to draw circles or parts of circles. The key is to understand the principles behind the calculations you’re trying to perform and then use Excel’s PI function to bring those calculations to life.


  1. Open Excel.
  2. Select a cell.
  3. Enter the PI formula.
  4. Use PI in a calculation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use PI for 3D calculations in Excel?

Yes, Excel’s PI function can be used in 3D calculations, like finding the volume of a sphere or cylinder.

What if I need more digits of PI for precision?

Excel’s PI function returns 15 digits of precision, which is sufficient for most calculations. If you need more, you might have to input the value manually or use a different tool.

Is PI in Excel the same as Pi in mathematics?

Yes, the PI function in Excel returns the mathematical constant Pi, with a precision of 15 digits.

Can I use PI in Excel on Mac and Windows?

Yes, the PI function works the same way in Excel on both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Can PI be used in Excel charts?

Absolutely! You can use the PI function when creating circular charts or graphs that require calculations involving Pi.


Mastering the use of PI in Excel can open up a world of possibilities for calculations and data analysis. Remember, Excel is more than just a spreadsheet; it’s a powerful tool that, when combined with mathematical constants like PI, can make complex calculations more manageable.

Whether you’re working on school assignments, professional projects, or just satisfying your curiosity, understanding how to use PI effectively in Excel is a valuable skill. Don’t shy away from diving deeper into Excel’s capabilities; the more you explore, the more you’ll discover how this tool can serve your numerical needs. Happy calculating!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy