Convert Result to Degrees

ATAN returns the angle in radians. To convert the result from radians to degrees, multiply the result by 180/PI() or use the DEGREES function. For example, to convert the result of ATAN(1) to degrees, you can use either formula below:

Difference Between ATAN and ATAN2

The ATAN2 function is useful for getting the angle corresponding to a point in the Cartesian Coordinate System which forms the shape of a right-triangle. For points in the first and fourth quadrants of the coordinate system, ATAN and ATAN2 will return the same angle as expressed in the formula: For points in the second and third quadrants of the coordinate system, the ATAN function will return the angle relative to the negative x-axis direction. The ATAN2 function, by comparison, returns the angle relative to the positive x-axis which is the standard for measuring angles.


The graph of ATAN, shown above, visualizes the output of the function. Output of the function is limited to the range from -π/2 to π/2. Images courtesy of

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.

Excel ATAN function - 80