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|A component of Microsoft Windows|
Calculator in Windows 7
|Included with||All Microsoft Windows versions|
Windows Calculator, commonly known as Calculator from the application's title bar, is a calculation application included in all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It can be activated by the command "calc" on most Windows systems.
It was first included with Windows 1.0 as a simple arithmetic calculator.
In Windows 3.0, a Scientific mode was added, which included exponents and roots, logarithms, factorial-based functions, trigonometry (supports radian, degree and gradians angles), base conversions (2, 8, 10, 16), logic operations, Statistic functions such as single variable statistics and linear regression. In Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1 its interface had a white background with 2D buttons.
In Windows 95 and later, it uses an arbitrary-precision arithmetic library, replacing the standard IEEE floating point library. It offers bignum precision for basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and 32 digits of precision for advanced operations (square root, transcendental operators). Other changes include the use of 3d buttons. This version can run in Windows 3.1 if Win32s is installed.
In Windows 2000, digit grouping is added. Degree and base settings are added to menu bar.
In Windows 7, separate Programmer, Statistics, Unit Conversion, Date Calculation, and Worksheets modes were added. Tooltips were removed. Furthermore, Calculator's interface was revamped for the first time since its introduction.
In every mode except Programmer, one can see the history of calculations. The applet was redesigned to accommodate multitouch. Standard mode behaves as a simple checkbook calculator; entering the sequence 6 * 4 + 12 / 4 - 4 * 5 gives the answer 25. In Scientific mode order of operations is followed while doing calculations (muiltiplication and division are done before addition and subtraction), which means 6 * 4 + 12 / 4 - 4 * 5 = 7.
In Scientific mode, the base conversion functions were moved to the Programmer mode, and statistics functions were moved to the Statistics mode.
On the right of the main Calculator, one can add a panel with Date Calculation, Unit Conversion, and Worksheets. The included Worksheets allow one to calculate a result of a chosen field based on the values of other fields. Pre-defined templates include calculating a car's fuel economy (mpg and L/100 km), a vehicle lease, and a mortgage. In pre-beta versions of Windows 7, Calculator also provided a Wages template.
Windows Vista and earlier
In Windows versions before Windows 7, Calculator has a simplified interface, small size, and can perform all of the functions of most four-function or scientific calculators. By default, the application is in the "Standard" mode, and functions as a four-function calculator. More advanced functions are available in "Scientific" mode, including logarithms, numerical base conversions, some logical operators, operator precedence, radian, degree and gradians support as well as simple single-variable statistical functions. It does not provide support for user-defined functions, complex numbers, storage variables for intermediate results (other than the classic accumulator memory of pocket calculators), automated polar-cartesian coordinates conversion, or support two-variables statistics, making it impractical to use with many engineering, physics or high school mathematics tasks.
Calculator is not able to do "constant calculations". Using common stand-alone calculator, when a user wants to apply the same constant and operation many times, the second and following calculations can be done without retyping the operation and constant. So one can type: 2*7= 3= 4= etc..
Some versions of Calculator have a way to automate long calculations. Writing a text file in Notepad or another text editor containing a number at the beginning and then an operator and other numbers and operators following it and pasting the resultant content to Calculator's textbox will result in it performing the so described calculations. This may not work correctly with all versions of Calculator, and depends on precise text formatting.
Some keyboards have a "calculator" key, which launches Windows Calculator by default.
Most of Calculator's functions can be accessed with a specific letter or symbol or other keystroke sequence. A full list of Calculator functions and explanations of the functions can be found in Calculator's help file.
Hex mode limitation
Calculator in hexadecimal mode cannot accept or display a hexadecimal number larger than 16 hex digits. The largest number it can handle is therefore 0xFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF (decimal 18446744073709551615). Any calculations in hex mode which exceed this limit will display a result of zero, even if those calculations would succeed in other modes. In particular, scientific notation is not available in this mode.
Calculator Plus is a separate application for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 users that adds a 'Conversion' mode over the Windows XP version of the Calculator. The 'Conversion' mode supports unit conversion and currency conversion. Currency exchange rates can be updated using the built-in update feature, which downloads exchange rates from the European Central Bank.
- Microsoft Calculator Plus
- Windows 7 Feature Focus Calculator
- How to handle bugs in some Windows 3.* versions of Calc.exe