4 useful features of macOS calculator

Simple calculator apps are standard in most operating systems, but some apps are not as simple as they seem. The macOS Calculator app has a range of useful tools that you can use with almost any calculation you do. Whether it’s talking aloud or advanced computing functions, the calculator offers more than the basics.

Let’s take a look at the best features of the app that you might have missed.

1. Views of the scientific calculator and the programmer

When you first launch macOS Calculator, the app looks pretty standard and only offers basic functions. This is fine for most everyday tasks, but you can switch to more complex modes if needed.

Switching to a scientific layout introduces the buttons required for complex equations: fractions, powers, roots, and trigonometry. With your Mac close at hand, you no longer need to carry around a bulky calculator. In addition to that, you can switch to a programmer format to perform binary, hexadecimal and other equations required in computer science.

macOS scientific calculator

To change the type of macOS calculator, follow these steps:

  1. Start the calculator.

  2. Click on Seen in the top menu bar.

  3. Choose either Basic, Scientist, Where Programmer from the list.

While the advanced formats are complex, the interfaces are clean and user-friendly. Learning the app’s hot keys will help you streamline the calculation process.

If you’ve never looked closely, you might have missed the handy converter tool included in the Calculator app. In the past, when you had to convert distance, weight, or currency, you might have found yourself running to 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

  • Cash

  • Speed

  • Temperature

  • Time

  • Volume

  • Weight

  • Masses

Related: The Best Default Mac Apps You Shouldn’t Need To Replace

To use the macOS calculator conversion tool, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the number you want to convert.

  2. Click on Convert in the top menu bar.

  3. Choose a category.

  4. Select the right one Of and TO entries.

  5. Click on Convert.

Tool for converting macOS calculator with selected currency.

The converted number will be displayed on the main calculator screen. When converting currencies, you will need an internet connection to ensure accurate results, as the rates are constantly changing. The app also records your most recent conversions, which is handy if you regularly perform the same functions.

3. Speech in macOS calculator

Turning on the calculator’s voice function can help you avoid typing errors. You might be working quickly while switching back and forth between the app and other information. In this case, reading your entries and results aloud may highlight errors.

To enable speech in the calculator, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Speech in the top menu bar.

  2. Check Talk button when pressed and or State the result.

Related: Mac Accessibility Shortcuts: Navigate Your Mac Without A Mouse

With speech enabled, you will need to slow down your entry to give the voiceover time to recite what you have entered. If accuracy is more important to you than speed, the sacrifice is worth the price.

4. A paper strip display for the macOS calculator

The calculator does not allow you to copy your results from the main app display. You can, however, access selectable text containing all of your equations from a separate window. Calculator name this window Paper strip. To show the paper strip, do the following:

  1. Click on Window in the top menu bar.

  2. To select Show paper strip.

MacOS calculator paper strip window with calculations listed.

From there you can view previous calculations and copy them from the app if needed. The paper strip also provides a record of your work, which is handy if you forget a result or need to go back. You can also start from zero by pressing the key. Clear button at the bottom of the window.

Get the most out of your macOS apps

While some apps seem basic at first glance, you will often find some useful hidden features if you take a closer look. The macOS Calculator app, with its scientific and programmer modes, is more than just a standard digitizer. From the main menu bar, you can access the converter tool to quickly convert currency, distance, etc. Plus, activating speech can help you spot typing errors, and the paper tape provides a record of your work.

Whenever you discover a new app, or even when using an old one, be sure to take a close look as there may be more than it looks.

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