Google Sheets can be used to create Sine waves. A sine wave is a mathematical curve that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation.

In this lesson we will learn how to...

  • fill values in cells
  • enter a function in a cell
  • use the Radian funciton
  • duplicate a function for multiple cells
  • use the Sine function
  • select multiple cells
  • create a line chart for the sine wave function

Create a new sheet by clicking the New button and selecting Google Sheets.

new google sheet

Click once on the untitled spreadsheet and give it a name.

name the google sheet

We will be using degree for our initial values and then convert those to radians. We need to convert the angles to radians because the spreadsheet needs radians to use the sine function. We’ll begin with zero degrees and increment each by thirty so we can check what is going on based on some facts we know about radians and sine.

Click once on cell A2 and the “x in degrees”.

degrees header

Click once on cell A3, type zero, and press the return key on the keyboard.

degree value below header

Type 30 and 60 in the following cells. We don’t need to enter all the values. Google Sheets can recognize patters and help us fill in the rest of the data down the column. Select the first three cells with values by clicking and dragging from the first cell to the last cell with values.

values selected

Move your mouse cursor above the blue square on the lower right corner. Make sure the cursor is in the shape of a plus. Click and drag the box down the column.

fill handle selected

Release the box and the values will be filled in for the cells.

values generated

Click once in cell B2 and type “x in radians”.

radians header

Click once on cell B3 and type the equal sign. The equal sign is used to tell spreadsheets that a function or mathematical operation will be performed in a cell.

equal sign for function

After typing the equal sign type the word radian. Google sheets will provide the name of the function that is related to the word typed for the function. Click on the recommended function.

radians function

The radians function will be completed for us and information will appear below the cell. We need to provide the angle or reference the cell with the angle information. The angle or referenced cell is place within the parenthesis.

open parenthesis for radian function

The referenced cell for the angle is in cell A3. Type A3 and type the closing parenthesis. The reference cell is colored orange to indicate it is a referenced cell and the value of the referenced cell appears above. Press the return key on the keyboard to calculate the value.

reference cell a3 in radians function

The value for radians of zero is zero. That checks with what we know.

radians value in cell

We don’t need to type this formula for each radian. Google Sheets can help us enter the formula for each cell that is related to an angle. Click once on cell B3 where we just calculated the radian of zero.

radians cell selected

Move your mouse cursor above the blue square in the lower right corner of the cell. When the cursor changes to a plus click and drag down the column.

fill handle selected

The formula will be copied to each of the selected cells.

radian values calculated

Click once on cell C2 and enter Sine for x.

sine column heading

Click once on cell C3, type equals and type sin.

sine function entered

Click on the recommended SIN function.

sine function information

Type B3 to reference cell B3 and type a closing parenthesis.

sine function reference cell

The sine of zero is zero.

sine value calculated

Click once on cell C3 and drag the blue square down the column to copy this formula for each of the radian values.

sine value selected

The sine value for each radian will be calculated.

sine values calculated in column

We can now graph these values. The values we want in our graph are the degrees and sine values. We need to remove the first row so it is not included in the graph. Click on the label for row 1.

row one selected

Click on edit in the menu.

edit menu options

Select the option to delete row 1.

delete row 1 option

The row will be removed and the data will move up to fill in the missing row.

header and cell values moved

Click once on the label A to select the values in column A.

column A selected

To select the values of column C hold the Control Key on Windows or Chrome and click on the label for column C. On Mac hold the Command key and click on the label for column C.

columns A and C selected

Click on the chart button in the button bar.

chart button in button bar

The chart editor will open and present the options for chart types.

chart types tab

Click on the line chart option and click the option to use column A as labels.

line chart selected

A preview of the sine wave will appear to the right. Click on the Insert button to place the graph on the sheet.

sine wave chart

The chart will be placed on the sheet and it can be positioned anywhere on the sheet as needed. The values in the table can be updated and the chart will update to represent the changes.

sine wave chart in sheet