MacMost Now 625: The Versatile Mac Calculator App

In your Mac's Applications folder you've got a Calculator app that you probably haven't given a second look. This is much more than a simple utility. You can use it in scientific and programmer mode, convert units, time and currency, work in octal and hexadecimal, produce a tape of your calculations, and even get it to talk to you.

Video Transcript
In today's episode, lets take a look at the often overlooked calculator application on your Mac.
We are not talking about the dashboard calculator, we are talking about the actual application which you find in your applications folder. You run it and you get a pretty simple calculator look like this. You can add two numbers together, like that. Press equals, get a result. It got memory function, specifically* all the things that you find in a dime* store* calculator. But there's a lot more to it then this, for instance we can go to view and change it to scientific or programmer. Click scientific and we get a very basic scientific calculator with a lots of scientific functions and some alternatives and you can still use the basic calculator functionalities. So this will be much more useful for university students or mathematicians or anyone who has to deal with these types of functions at the work. For an addition you also switch to programmer calculator, which of course is very useful for programmers or anybody or anybody learning* more about computers. So for instant* we can switch between octo, decimal or hexadecimal. So here is the decimal number 51. We can see its hexadecimal representational* we can type hexadecimal numbers. So for instance E, 8. There we can convert it to decimal simply by switching modes. We can also see the binary equivalent here and you can play around with it. So, we can change a zero to one and see the number here changed. We can even learn a little about binary numbers easily by just setting these numbers 1's and 0's here and see what numbers we get. There's one. There's two, three etc. Programmer calculator is also useful if you have to deal with character codes, for instance I can go in and type 65 which I know is the ascii code ‘A' and switch to ascii and we can see the ascii representation there at the bottom. I can also see the Unicode representation which is used for higher numbers. You can also switch into Reverse Presentation which is another useful thing for many students So for instance* you can do, 9, enter, and then 5 plus and get the correct result in reverse presentation. It also has some really cool conversion, for instance say I got 14 length and I wanna convert from lets say miles to kilometers, convert and there's 14 miles now converted into kilometers. You can also do currency conversions. So instance I say I find out something say 100 Euros and wanna convert that to dollars. I go to convert currency . Now here it show me the time it was last updated. I click update here. So now I get current numbers and I can convert from Euro to US dollar, just off the screen here. There the conversion. I find out how much it worth. There even cool time conversion. So for say I wanna find out how many seconds are there in a day. So I can type 1, for a day and I can convert time from days to seconds. There we go. Doing a lot of calculation could be easy. One thing that you cannot get out* of a regular calculator that you can do here, is use speech. Actually speak about pressing and you get result which can come in very handy. For instance, just try here. I find out that ones you turn this on sometimes you have to restart the calculator, for it to get to work.
Calculator: 9 plus 5 equals 14.
Gary: Now some calculator have tape so you can print out and print everything that you are doing. This come in very handy when you wanna look back at results that you have calculated for doing some accounting stuff or doing some stuff for school. So in calculator here you get tape as well. You show paper tape and you get this little window here. And actually it been keeping track all along, whether or not you had the window opened. And we are going to do some new ones here. And you can see it add to that tape. You can clear it all. You can also very easily select it and copy from it. You can print it and you can also save it as a text document. You know calculator is of that applications that suffers from the simplicity of its predecessors. So if you try to use calculator on Mac or PC years ago, you find out that it just had the basic stuff and you kind of a expect that the calculator in line do the same. And you can see there's a lot more there. So if you take a few minutes to familiarize with it, it could come in handy. Hope you liked this look at the calculator app that comes with your Mac. Till next time its Gary with*.
Want more video tutorials just go to, click on the videos link at the top of the page and then you can view all the hundreds of MacMost videos by category.

Comments: 15 Responses to “MacMost Now 625: The Versatile Mac Calculator App”

    10/31/11 @ 6:04 pm

    How r you Gary? I hope good to continue making this videos rsrs…
    What i want to know is if is there anyway to use this calculator in Dashboard? If no, is there anyone similary?
    Thanks a lot

      10/31/11 @ 6:13 pm

      Try each and compare for yourself. The Dashboard calculator is simpler. But why would you want to use this one IN dashboard? It is a full app. That’s so much better.

        10/31/11 @ 6:52 pm

        Yeah i know… I’m just thinking of slide 2 fingers and calculate in RPN mode… but you are right… not bad to open the app…

    11/3/11 @ 9:42 am

    Thanks for the info. More cool things from my Mac!

    11/3/11 @ 9:53 am

    I put this calculator on my dock so it would be handy.

    11/3/11 @ 11:49 am

    Thanks for the tip on the advanced functions in the Calculator app.
    I have often been frustrated with the simplicity of the desktop calc function.
    This will be very useful going forward!

    11/3/11 @ 3:52 pm

    Thanks, Gary.

    Is there a financial calculator (e.g. HP 12C type)?

      11/3/11 @ 3:57 pm

      Not in this app. But I’m sure if you searched the Mac App store, or the web you could find one.

    11/9/11 @ 11:43 pm

    Hi Gary, thanks for all the good stuff you’ve sharing with us, question about the calculator, what about the percentage? o/o, for example to find the tax amount to a price.

      11/10/11 @ 7:41 am

      Thanks. The percentage works like it does on any calculator, yes.

    8/11/12 @ 2:54 pm

    I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow eliminated my Mac Calculator from my hard drive. Trying to find it again, but having issues locating the same app anywhere. Can you help me find a solution?

      8/11/12 @ 3:26 pm

      It isn’t in your Applications folder? Check there. If not, maybe use your Time Machine backup to restore it. Otherwise, it is going to be difficult to get back.

    1/21/13 @ 9:20 pm

    Ok, ok, it’s great, but…. how I can get multiple instances of the calculator?

      1/21/13 @ 9:46 pm

      You can’t. If you need to perform multiple calculations at the same time, try a spreadsheet program like Numbers or Excel.

        1/22/13 @ 7:59 pm

        yeah, that’s right. However i think if the windows calculator (also very versatile) can do it, the mac calculator should be able to do it

Comments Closed.