How Do You Find the Area of a Parallelogram?

Determine the area of a parallelogram by separating the shape into its component pieces and adding the individual areas together. A parallelogram can be broken into a quadrilateral and two triangles.

  1. Draw lines separating the parallelogram

    The lines should run from the vertex of the triangle perpendicular to the top and bottom sides of the parallelogram. At this point, there should be two triangles and a quadrilateral.

  2. Measure the lengths

    Take the measurements of the bases of the triangles, the height of the triangles and the length of the quadrilateral.

  3. Determine the areas of the triangles

    Use the formula a = 1/2bh, where b is the base of the triangle and h is the height.

  4. Find the area of the center part of the parallelogram

    Multiply the length by the height.

  5. Add the results of all the areas

    The two triangles have equal areas, so simply multiply the number by 2. As an example, assume there is a parallelogram with triangular portions 5 meters long and a height of 3 meters, with the center part of the parallelogram measuring 4 meters. The triangles' combined area is 15 square meters and the center is 12 square meters. Combined, the total area of the parallelogram is 27 square meters.