# How to Find the Lateral Area of a Square Pyramid

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Math problems involving 3-dimensional shapes may require you to find the lateral surface area of a square pyramid. The lateral surface area is the sum of the areas of its lateral faces (sides), while the total surface area is the sum of its lateral faces and its base. So in a square pyramid, the lateral faces are the four triangles that form the top and side portions of the shape. The general formula for the lateral surface area of a regular pyramid is lateral area = (perimeter of base x slant height of pyramid) ÷ 2.

1. ## Work Out the Perimeter

2. Calculate the perimeter of the base by multiplying the length of one edge by four because a square has four equal sides. For example, if the side of a square pyramid measures 6 inches, the perimeter is 4 x 6 = 24 inches.

3. ## Multiply Perimeter by Lateral Slant Height

4. The lateral slant height is the distance from the top of the pyramid to the edge of the base that bisects one of the triangle faces. If the lateral slant height is 8 inches, work out 24 x 8 = 192.