How to Use IMREAL Function in Google Sheets


Google Sheets is a powerful tool for organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data. One of the many functions available is the IMREAL function, which is particularly useful for dealing with complex numbers. In this article, we’ll explore what the IMREAL function is, when and how to use it, and provide practical examples for easy understanding.

When is the IMREAL Function Used?

The IMREAL function in Google Sheets is used to extract the real component from a given complex number. A complex number consists of a real part and an imaginary part. The real part represents the standard number we use every day, while the imaginary part is a multiple of the imaginary unit ‘i’.

How to use IMREAL function in Google Sheets

Type “=IMREAL ” or go to the “Insert” tab ➝ “Function” ➝ “Engineering” ➝ “IMREAL ”.

How To Use Imreal Function In Google Sheets
How To Use Imreal Function In Google Sheets



  • complex_number – The complex number, in the a+bi or a+bj format.


Step 1: Open Your Google Sheet

Open Your Google Sheet
Open Your Google Sheet

Step 2: Select a Cell and Enter the Function

Select A Cell And Enter The Function
Select A Cell And Enter The Function

Step 3: Press Enter: Hit the Enter key to apply the function

Hit The Enter Key To Apply The Function
Hit The Enter Key To Apply The Function

Tips for Optimization

Certainly! Here are some tips for optimizing the use of the IMREAL function in Google Sheets, presented in bullet points:

  1. Use Cell References: Rather than directly inputting complex numbers, refer to cells containing the values. This keeps your spreadsheet organized and makes updates easier.
  2. Double-Check Inputs: Ensure that the complex numbers you are using are entered correctly. Even small mistakes can lead to incorrect results.
  3. Avoid Unnecessary Recalculation: If you’re using IMREAL in a large dataset, consider using it sparingly or using it with calculated values rather than raw data. This can help reduce computational load.
  4. Combine with Other Functions: IMREAL can be used in conjunction with other Google Sheets functions for more complex calculations. For example, combining it with SUM or AVERAGE for more advanced data analysis.
  5. Understand Complex Numbers: Familiarize yourself with the properties of complex numbers to ensure you’re using IMREAL in the right context. This includes understanding the real and imaginary parts.
  6. Check for Updates: Periodically check for updates in Google Sheets as new features or improvements to functions like IMREAL may have been introduced.
  7. Avoid Circular References: Be cautious of creating circular references, where the result of the IMREAL function depends on itself. This can lead to errors and incorrect results.
  8. Limit Decimal Places: Depending on your application, you may not need a high level of precision. Consider rounding or limiting the number of decimal places to improve readability.
  9. Use Error Handling: Implement error handling techniques like IFERROR to gracefully handle situations where the IMREAL function encounters an error.
  10. Documentation and Comments: Add comments or documentation in your spreadsheet to explain how and why you’re using the IMREAL function. This can be helpful for you or others who may review or modify the spreadsheet.

Real-World Application

Certainly! Here are some real-world applications of the IMREAL function in Google Sheets, presented in bullet points:

  1. Electrical Engineering:
    • Calculate Power in AC Circuits: IMREAL helps extract the real component of complex voltages and currents, enabling engineers to analyze power consumption accurately.
  2. Finance and Investment:
    • Analyze Stock Market Data: Extracting real components from complex financial models aids in assessing the actual performance of investments over time.
  3. Signal Processing:
    • Audio Processing: IMREAL can be used to extract the real part of a complex audio signal, providing the actual sound wave for further analysis.
  4. Control Systems:
    • Stability Analysis: In control engineering, the real component of transfer functions is crucial for assessing system stability and performance.
  5. Physics:
    • Quantum Mechanics: IMREAL can be applied to analyze wave functions in quantum mechanics, extracting the real probability amplitudes.
  6. Economics and Statistics:
    • Economic Modeling: Complex economic models often involve complex numbers. IMREAL helps in extracting real values for meaningful interpretation.
  7. Telecommunications:
    • Modulation and Demodulation: In communication systems, IMREAL is used to extract the real part of the modulated signal for demodulation.
  8. Medical Imaging:
    • MRI Image Reconstruction: In Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), IMREAL helps process complex data to generate high-quality, real-valued images.
  9. Fluid Dynamics:
    • Analyze Fluid Flow: Complex numbers are used in fluid dynamics simulations. IMREAL helps extract meaningful real-world values from these simulations.
  10. Machine Learning and Data Analysis:
    • Feature Engineering: In some machine learning models, extracting the real components of complex features can enhance model performance.
  11. Acoustics and Sound Engineering:
    • Acoustic Analysis: IMREAL can be used to analyze complex sound waves in acoustic engineering, extracting the real components for further processing.
  12. Geophysics:
    • Seismic Data Analysis: In seismology, complex numbers are used to represent seismic waves. IMREAL helps extract information about wave properties.


In conclusion, the IMREAL function in Google Sheets proves to be an invaluable tool for handling complex numbers with ease and precision. By extracting the real component, it simplifies complex calculations across a spectrum of applications. Whether in engineering, finance, physics, or other fields, IMREAL empowers users to extract meaningful data for analysis and decision-making. Embracing best practices like using cell references and double-checking inputs further enhances the function’s utility. With its wide-ranging real-world applications, IMREAL demonstrates its significance in modern data-driven workflows.


Q1: Can IMREAL handle complex numbers with both positive and negative real parts?

A1: Yes, IMREAL can effectively extract the real component from complex numbers, whether the real part is positive or negative.

Q2: How does IMREAL handle cases where the input is not a valid complex number?

A2: If the input provided to IMREAL is not a valid complex number, it will return an error. It’s important to ensure that the input is in the correct format.

Q3: Is IMREAL the only function for working with complex numbers in Google Sheets?

A3: No, Google Sheets offers a range of functions for working with complex numbers, including IMAGINARY, IMCONJUGATE, IMSQRT, and more.

Q4: Can IMREAL be used in combination with other functions for more complex calculations?

A4: Absolutely. IMREAL can be combined with various other functions in Google Sheets to perform intricate calculations involving complex numbers.

Q5: Are there any limitations to the precision of IMREAL in Google Sheets?

A5: IMREAL, like other functions in Google Sheets, operates within the precision limits of the software. It’s important to be mindful of rounding errors when working with extremely large or small values.

Avatar Of Deepak Vishwakarma
Deepak Vishwakarma


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