IMAGINARY Excel Formula

Excel uses a different powerful function that is why it is considered as one of the most helpful tools to calculate and convert numbers easily. Aside from organizing and managing certain data, Excel is also a great tool that can help you solve mathematical problems. Among the functions that are incorporated in Excel, one of the most important is the IMAGINARY function. Through this article you will be able to know when to use this function, how to use it and the key pointers to use it efficiently. Before discussing how it is used, it is better to know first the description of the IMAGINARY function.

Definition of the IMAGINARY Function

The function is used to return the imaginary coefficient of a supplied complex numeric value. For instance, the complex number is in the form of a + bi. If this is the case, the IMAGINARY function returns back the b value.

IMAGINARY Function Formula

The formula for IMAGINARY function should be:


In this formula, “inumber” is the argument of a complex number in form (a + bi) where in a and b are identified as real number coefficients. The function returns the result as a real number b. For instance, IMAGINARY (“2 +3 i”) returns the result which is 3, where 3 is the real part of imaginary number 3i extorted from the complex number (2 +3i).

Users should remember that complex figures are easily stored in Excel program as text. So, once a text string is written in form a+bi or a+bj is provided to some of the Excel’s complex value function, they are recognized as complex number. Moreover, the complex integer function permits simple number value due to the fact that it is just equal to complex numbers that the value of imaginary coefficient is just equivalent to zero. Thus, the iNumber argument in IMAGINARY function can be supplied as a simple number, a complex number with a+bi format, a certain reference cell that has numeric value or complex number or a value that is returned from other functions or formula.

Procedures on How to Use the IMAGINARY Function

Knowing how the function is used is a great way to be introduced to it. Below are the easiest steps on how to use the IMAGINARY function. You can type in complex numbers on certain cells on the worksheet and follow the procedure that is written below to observe and practice how to use the function.

  • Click the cell where you want the answer to be displayed.
  • Enter the formula in the cell, type in “=IMAGINARY(“
  • Type in or click the reference cell. For instance, cell A3. Just type in cell A3 or simply click this cell.
  • After supplying the reference cell, type in “)” and press enter.
  • The answer will appear in the selected cell in just a few seconds.

If you want to review the entered formula, just click the cell where the answer is displayed and the formula will appear in the formula tab located at the upper part of the worksheet. If there are errors obtained, check if you have typed in the formula correctly. If the formula is correct, but still error appears, check the Analysis ToolPak, maybe it is not enabled. This tool is the one that allows Excel to read the IMAGINARY function formula that is entered.

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