Four Helpful macOS Calculator Options

Simple calculator apps are standard in most operating systems, but some apps aren't as simple as they seem. The macOS Calculator app has a number of useful tools that you can use for almost any calculation you do. From speaking your sums out loud to advanced arithmetic functions, the calculator offers more than just the basics.

Let's take a look at some of the app's best features that you may have missed.

1. Scientific and programmer calculator views

When you first start macOS Calculator, the app seems pretty standard and only offers basic functionality. This is fine for most everyday tasks, but you can switch to more complex modes if necessary.

When switching to a scientific layout, buttons appear that are required for complex equations: fractions, powers, roots, and trigonometry. With your Mac close at hand, you no longer have to carry around a bulky calculator. Additionally, you can switch to a programming format to run binary, hexadecimal, and other equations required in computer science.

To change the macOS machine type, do the following:

  1. Start the computer.

  2. click view in the top menu bar.

  3. Choose either basic, Scientific, or programmer from the list.

While the advanced formats are complex, the interfaces are clean and easy to use. Learning the app's keyboard shortcuts will help you streamline the calculation process.

If you've never looked closely, you may have missed the handy conversion tool that comes with the calculator app. If you have had to convert distance, weight, or currency in the past, you may have contacted Google or Siri for the answer. However, the macOS calculator is all you need to get accurate results with just a few clicks.

Conversion options include:

  • length

  • currency

  • speed

  • temperature

  • Time

  • volume

  • Weights

  • Crowds

Related: The Best Standard Mac Apps That You Don't Need To Replace

To use the macOS Calculator conversion tool, do the following:

  1. Enter the number you want to convert.

  2. click Convert in the top menu bar.

  3. Choose a category.

  4. Choose the one that suits you from and to Entries.

  5. click Convert.

The converted number is shown on the main calculator display. When converting currency, you will need an internet connection to ensure accurate results as rates are constantly changing. The app also saves your recent conversions, which is handy if you regularly perform the same functions.

3. Language in the macOS computer

If you activate the voice function of the computer, you can avoid input errors. You might be working fast as you flip between the app and other information. In this case, reading out your inputs and results can highlight any errors.

Proceed as follows to activate the language in the computer:

  1. click speech in the top menu bar.

  2. Tick Talk button when pressed and or Speak result.

Related: Mac Accessibility Shortcuts: Navigate your Mac without a mouse

When voice is activated, you need to slow down your input so that the voice-over has time to say your input. If accuracy is more important than speed, the sacrifice is worth the price.

4. A paper tape display for the macOS computer

The calculator does not allow you to copy your results from the main display of the app. However, you can access selectable text in a separate window that contains all of your equations. Computers give this window a name Paper tape. To view the paper tape, do the following:

  1. click window in the top menu bar.

  2. Choose Show paper tape.

From here you can view previous calculations and copy them from the application if necessary. The paper tape also provides a record of your work, which is handy when you forget or need to retrace a result. You can also start over by pressing the button Clear Button at the bottom of the window.

Get the most out of your macOS applications

While some applications may seem simple on the surface, if you take a closer look, you will often find useful hidden features. The macOS calculator app – with its science and programming mode – is more than just an ordinary number crunch. The main menu bar is where you can access the conversion tool to quickly convert currency, distance, and more. In addition, by enabling the language, you can detect typing errors, and the paper tape provides a record of your work.

Whenever you discover a new app or even use an old one, remember to look carefully because there may be more to it than you see at first glance.

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About the author

Matt Moore
(18 articles published)

Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes to one day write a well-published novel.

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By Matt Moore

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