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Windows 7 - Using the Calculator

The Calculator utility in Windows 7 may, at a first glance, look like the same simple calculator included in previous editions of Windows, but this one actually provides a great deal of new features. Depending on which mode setting you use, the Windows 7 calculator provides unit conversions, date calculations and worksheets to help calculate things such as fuel consumption and mortgage repayment rates. Different viewing modes also enable you to access an advanced scientific calculator, a calculator designed specifically for computer programmers and the standard, simple calculator for everyday use. This is the default interface.

To open the calculator, type "calc" into the start menu search box and press Enter. Initially, you'll only see the basic default view which is fine for everyday calculations.

Click the "View" menu and click "Scientific" to open the scientific calculator. This provides advanced mathematical and trigonometric functions. Scientific mode is accurate to 32 digits.

Choosing the "Programmer" view provides additional functions for programmers, including hexadecimal, binary and decimal functions. When using the Programmer view, the calculator can be accurate up to 64 bits, although this depends on the word size you're using.

The "Statistics" view enables you to calculate statistics from multiple numbers, such as averages.

The Windows 7 Calculator also provides a unit conversion feature for angle, area, energy, length, power, pressure, temperature, time, velocity, volume and weight. You can access this feature by clicking "View" and selecting "Unit Conversion."

Choosing "Date Calculation" from the "View" menu provides the ability to calculate the difference between two dates or add or subtract days, months or years from a specific date.

The Calculator also provides worksheets for quickly and easily calculating things such as mortgage rates. Click "View," go to "Worksheets" and click "Mortgage." Here you can calculate monthly payments and much more. Select the value you wish to calculate from the drop-down box.

Another worksheet is available for working out leasing costs for things such as vehicles. To access the feature, go to "Vehicle lease" in the "Worksheets" submenu.

You can also calculate fuel costs using either the Imperial or the metric system by going to their respective options in the Worksheets menu.


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