Microsoft calculator

A component of Microsoft Windows
Calculator in Windows 7
Type Software calculator
Included with All

Calculator is a software calculator included in all versions of Windows.


A simple arithmetic calculator was first included with Windows 1.0.[1][unreliable source]

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, statistical functions such as single variable statistics and linear regression.

In Windows 95 and later, it uses an arbitrary-precision arithmetic library, replacing the standard IEEE floating point library.[2] It offers bignum precision for basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and 32 digits of precision for advanced operations (square root, transcendental functions).

In Windows 2000, digit grouping is added. Degree and base settings are added to menu bar.

Windows 7

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. The base conversion functions were moved to the programmer mode and statistics functions were moved to the statistics mode.

In every mode except programmer mode, one can see the history of calculations. The app was redesigned to accommodate multi-touch. 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 (multiplication and division are done before addition and subtraction), which means 6 * 4 + 12 / 4 - 4 * 5 = 7.

In programmer mode, inputting a number in decimal has a lower and upper limit, depending on the data type. Data type of number in decimal mode is signed n-bit[3] integer when converting from number in hexadecimal, octal, or binary mode.

Data type Size of data type (bits) Lower limit Upper limit
Byte 8 -128 127
Word 16 -32,768 32,767
Dword 32 -2,147,483,648 2,147,483,647
Qword 64 -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

On the right of the main Calculator, one can add a panel with date calculation, unit conversion and worksheets. 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),[4] a vehicle lease, and a mortgage. In pre-beta versions of Windows 7, Calculator also provided a Wages template.

Windows 8.1

While the traditional Calculator is still included with Windows 8.1, a Metro-style Calculator is also present, featuring a full-screen interface as well as normal, scientific, and conversion modes.[5]


Windows Vista and earlier

In Windows Vista and earlier, Calculator has a simple user interface. By default, it runs in standard mode, which resembles 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 for two-variables statistics, making it impractical to use with many engineering, physics or high school mathematics tasks.

Calculator cannot perform constant calculations: Using a common 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=[14] 3=[21] 4=[28]

Some versions[which?] of Calculator have a way to automate long calculations: It is possible to write a line of calculations in a text editor like Notepad (e.g. 2+8*2-2) and copy and paste into Calculator to get the result. This may not work correctly with all versions[which?] of Calculator, and requires precise text formatting.

Some keyboards have a Calculator key, which invokes 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 18,446,744,073,709,551,615). 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

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.

See also


External links

  • Microsoft Calculator Plus
  • Windows 7 Feature Focus Calculator
  • How to handle bugs in some Windows 3.* versions of Calc.exe
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