How to use COMPLEX Function in Excel

The Excel COMPLEX function creates a complex number with given real and imaginary coefficients. COMPLEX returns a text result in the form x + yi or x + yj.

Syntax: =COMPLEX (real_num, i_num, [suffix])

The COMPLEX function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Real_num    Required. The real coefficient of the complex number.
  • I_num    Required. The imaginary coefficient of the complex number.
  • Suffix    Optional. The suffix for the imaginary component of the complex number. If omitted, suffix is assumed to be “i”.

Example: Let’s look at some Excel COMPLEX function examples and explore how to use the COMPLEX function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

COMPLEX Function - How to use COMPLEX Function in Excel

Syntax:  =COMPLEX(A2,B2)


COMPLEX Function in Excel 1 - How to use COMPLEX Function in Excel

Based on the Excel spreadsheet above, the following COMPLEX examples would return:

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A3,B3)
Result: 5+3i

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A4,B4)
Result: 4-8i

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A5,B5)
Result: 10-5i

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A6,B6)
Result: i

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A7,B7)
Result: 1

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A8,B8,C8)
Result: 3+5j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A9,B9,C9)
Result: 5-6j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A10,B10,C10)
Result: -3+7j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A11,B11,C11)
Result: -9+4j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A12,B12,C12)
Result: -5+5j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A13,B13,C13)
Result: 7+6j

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A14,B14,C14)
Result: #VALUE!

Syntax: =COMPLEX(A15,B15,C15)
Result: #VALUE!


  • if real_num is non-numeric, COMPLEX returns the #VALUE! error value
  • if i_num is non-numeric, COMPLEX returns the #VALUE! error value
  • if suffix is neither “i” nor “j”, COMPLEX returns the #VALUE! error value
  • arithmetic operations involving imaginary numbers require specific functions such as IMSUB (subtract), IMSUM (add), IMPRODUCT (multiply) and IMDIV (divide).  If these are not used, the calculations will return the #VALUE! error value.

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