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methods

1Using the Base and Height

2Using Side Lengths

3Using One Side of an Equilateral Triangle

4Using Trigonometry

Practice Problems

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Article Summary

**Co-authored by**David Jia

Last Updated: April 13, 2024Fact Checked

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The most common way to find the area of a triangle is to take half of the base times the height. Numerous other formulas exist, however, for finding the area of a triangle, depending on what information you know. Using information about the sides and angles of a triangle, it is possible to calculate the area without knowing the height.

Method 1

Method 1 of 4:

### Using the Base and Height

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1

**Find the base and height of the triangle.**The base is one side of the triangle. The height is the measure of the tallest point on a triangle. It is found by drawing a perpendicular line from the base to the opposite vertex. This information should be given to you, or you should be able to measure the lengths.^{[1]}- For example, you might have a triangle with a base measuring 5 cm long, and a height measuring 3 cm long.

2

**Set up the formula for the area of a triangle.**The formula is , where is the length of the triangle’s base, and is the height of the triangle.^{[2]}Advertisem*nt

3

**Plug the base and height into the formula.**Multiply the two values together, then multiply their product by . This will give you the area of the triangle in square units.^{[3]}- For example, if the base of your triangle is 5 cm and the height is 3 cm, you would calculate:

So, the area of a triangle with a base of 5 cm and a height of 3 cm is 7.5 square centimeters.

- For example, if the base of your triangle is 5 cm and the height is 3 cm, you would calculate:
4

**Find the area of a right triangle.**Since two sides of a right triangle are perpendicular, one of the perpendicular sides will be the height of the triangle. The other side will be the base. So, even if the height and/or base is unstated, you are given them if you know the side lengths. Thus you can use the formula to find the area.^{[4]}- You can also use this formula if you know one side length, plus the length of the hypotenuse. The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right triangle and is opposite the right angle. Remember that you can find a missing side length of a right triangle using the Pythagorean Theorem ().
- For example, if the hypotenuse of a triangle is side c, the height and base would be the other two sides (a and b). If you know that the hypotenuse is 5 cm, and the base is 4 cm, use the Pythagorean theorem to find the height:

Now, you can plug the two perpendicular sides (a and b) into the area formula, substituting for the base and height:

EXPERT TIP

Joseph Meyer

Math Teacher

Joseph Meyer is a High School Math Teacher based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an educator at City Charter High School, where he has been teaching for over 7 years. Joseph is also the founder of Sandbox Math, an online learning community dedicated to helping students succeed in Algebra. His site is set apart by its focus on fostering genuine comprehension through step-by-step understanding (instead of just getting the correct final answer), enabling learners to identify and overcome misunderstandings and confidently take on any test they face. He received his MA in Physics from Case Western Reserve University and his BA in Physics from Baldwin Wallace University.

Joseph Meyer

Math Teacher**Use this visual trick to understand the Pythagorean Theorem.**Imagine a right triangle with squares constructed on each leg and the hypotenuse. by rearranging the smaller squares within the larger square, the areas of the smaller squares (a² and b²) will add up visually to the area of the larger square (c²).

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Method 2

Method 2 of 4:

### Using Side Lengths

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1

**Calculate the semiperimeter of the triangle.**The semi-perimeter of a figure is equal to half its perimeter. To find the semiperimeter, first calculate the perimeter of a triangle by adding up the length of its three sides. Then, multiply by .^{[5]}- For example, if a triangle has three sides that are 5 cm, 4 cm, and 3 cm long, the semiperimeter is shown by:

- For example, if a triangle has three sides that are 5 cm, 4 cm, and 3 cm long, the semiperimeter is shown by:
2

**Set up Heron’s formula.**The formula is , where is the semiperimeter of the triangle, and , , and are the side lengths of the triangle.^{[6]}3

**Plug the semiperimeter and side lengths into the formula.**Make sure you substitute the semiperimeter for each instance of in the formula.- For example:

- For example:
4

**Calculate the values in parentheses.**Subtract the length of each side from the semiperimeter. Then, multiply these three values together.^{[7]}- For example:

- For example:
5

**Multiply the two values under the radical sign.**Then, find their square root. This will give you the area of the triangle in square units.^{[8]}- For example:

So, the area of the triangle is 6 square centimeters.

- For example:

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Method 3

Method 3 of 4:

### Using One Side of an Equilateral Triangle

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1

**Find the length of one side of the triangle.**An equilateral triangle has three equal side lengths and three equal angle measurements, so if you know the length of one side, you know the length of all three sides.^{[9]}- For example, you might have a triangle with three sides that are 6 cm long.

2

**Set up the formula for the area of an equilateral triangle.**The formula is , where equals the length of one side of the equilateral triangle.^{[10]}3

**Plug the side length into the formula.**Make sure you substitute for the variable , and then square the value.^{[11]}- For example if the equilateral triangle has sides that are 6 cm long, you would calculate:

- For example if the equilateral triangle has sides that are 6 cm long, you would calculate:
4

**Multiply the square by .**It’s best to use the square root function on your calculator for a more precise answer. Otherwise, you can use 1.732 for the rounded value of .^{[12]}- For example:

- For example:
5

Divide

**the product by 4.**This will give you the area of the triangle in square units.^{[13]}- For example:

So, the area of an equilateral triangle with sides 6 cm long is about 15.59 square centimeters.

- For example:

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Method 4

Method 4 of 4:

### Using Trigonometry

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1

**Find the length of two adjacent sides and the included angle.**Adjacent sides are two sides of a triangle that meet at a vertex.^{[14]}The included angle is the angle between these two sides.^{[15]}- For example, you might have a triangle with two adjacent sides measuring 150 cm and 231 cm in length. The angle between them is 123 degrees.

2

**Set up the trigonometry formula for the area of a triangle.**The formula is , where and are the adjacent sides of the triangle, and is the angle between them.^{[16]}3

**Plug the side lengths into the formula.**Make sure you substitute for the variables and . Multiply their values, then divide by 2.^{[17]}- For example:

- For example:
4

**Plug the**You can find the sine using a scientific calculator by typing in the angle measurement then hitting the “SIN” button.**sine**of the angle into the formula.- For example, the sine of a 123-degree angle is .83867, so the formula will look like this:

- For example, the sine of a 123-degree angle is .83867, so the formula will look like this:
5

**Multiply the two values.**This will give you the area of the triangle in square units.- For example:

.

So, the area of the triangle is about 14,530 square centimeters.

- For example:

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### Practice Problems

Practice Problems to Calculate the Area of a Triangle

## Community Q&A

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Question

How do I find the length and width of a triangle before calculating the area?

Community Answer

It should be included in the problem. If it is a right triangle, use the Pythagorean Theorem (A squared + B squared = C squared) to find the missing side.

**Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.****Thank you for your feedback.**

If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHowYesNo

Not Helpful 31Helpful 63

Question

How can I calculate the area of an equilateral triangle?

Community Answer

If you know the base and height, you can use the standard formula A = 1/2bh. If you know the three side lengths, you can use the method for equilateral triangles described in this article.

**Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.****Thank you for your feedback.**

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Question

How can I find the area of an isosceles right triangle?

Community Answer

The legs must be the sides that are equal, so you just square the length of one of the legs and divide by 2. If you only have the hypotenuse: since isosceles right triangles come in the ratio 1-1-(square root of 2), you just divide the hypotenuse by sqrt(2), square what you get, and divide by 2.

**Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.****Thank you for your feedback.**

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## Video

## Tips

If you're not exactly sure why the base-height formula works this way, here's a quick explanation. If you make a second, identical triangle and fit the two copies together, it will either form a rectangle (two right triangles) or a parallelogram (two non-right triangles). To find the area of a rectangle or parallelogram, simply multiply base by height. Since a triangle is half of a rectangle or parallelogram, you must therefore solve for

*half*of base times height.Thanks

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## References

- ↑ https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-sixth-grade-math/x0267d782:cc-6th-plane-figures/cc-6th-area-triangle/v/example-finding-area-of-triangle
- ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/trig-area-triangle-without-right-angle.html
- ↑ https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/triangle-area
- ↑ https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/triangle-area
- ↑ https://mathworld.wolfram.com/Semiperimeter.html
- ↑ https://mathworld.wolfram.com/Semiperimeter.html
- ↑ https://www.cuemath.com/measurement/area-of-triangle-with-3-sides/
- ↑ https://personal.math.ubc.ca/~cass/courses/m309-01a/goon/proof.html
- ↑ https://www.mathopenref.com/equilateral.html

More References (8)

- ↑ https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/equilateral-triangle
- ↑ https://www.cuemath.com/measurement/area-of-equilateral-triangle/
- ↑ https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/geometry-plane/triangles-equilateral.php
- ↑ https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/equilateral-triangle
- ↑ https://www.mathopenref.com/adjacentsides.html
- ↑ https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zytbh39/revision/1
- ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/trig-area-triangle-without-right-angle.html
- ↑ https://mathbitsnotebook.com/Geometry/TrigApps/TAarea.html

## About This Article

Co-authored by:

David Jia

Academic Tutor

This article was co-authored by David Jia. David Jia is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of LA Math Tutoring, a private tutoring company based in Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of teaching experience, David works with students of all ages and grades in various subjects, as well as college admissions counseling and test preparation for the SAT, ACT, ISEE, and more. After attaining a perfect 800 math score and a 690 English score on the SAT, David was awarded the Dickinson Scholarship from the University of Miami, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Additionally, David has worked as an instructor for online videos for textbook companies such as Larson Texts, Big Ideas Learning, and Big Ideas Math. This article has been viewed 3,311,060 times.

73 votes - 68%

Co-authors: 142

Updated: April 13, 2024

Views:3,311,060

Categories: Calculating Volume and Area

Article SummaryX

To calculate the area of a triangle, start by measuring 1 side of the triangle to get the triangle's base. Then, measure the height of the triangle by measuring from the center of the base to the point directly across from it. Once you have the triangle's height and base, plug them into the formula: area = 1/2(bh), where "b" is the base and "h" is the height. To learn how to calculate the area of a triangle using the lengths of each side, read the article!

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