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Where is the calculator on a mac? – 4 ways to open the mac calculator app

The calculator is one of the small but powerful tools that may come handy more often than we think. Often you need it only to make a simple calculation and then you want to proceed with your work. So being able to find the quickest way to get your result could speed up your work a little every time.

So the question is: Where is the calculator on a mac? or better we ca say how to find calculator on mac the easiest way?

Keep reading an we will find many ways to get a calculator on a macbook pro or every other mac, so you can choose the one you prefer.

Spotlight calculator

The fastest way to make a calculation is by using the Spotlight Search bar with the shortcut <Command> + <Spacebar>.

The spotlight Search is obviously known for being able to search in your mac for files and applications, but there are some other tools integrated into this little bar. One of these tools is a calculator.

Once you opened the Spotlight Search bar, you can just type your mathematical operation and immediately get the result. Once you got your result, you can hit <esc> to close spotlight and get back on the application you were working on. This way you opened spotlight, made the calculation and got back to your work in just a couple seconds and without moving your hands away from the keyboard to reach the mouse. If, after you wrote your operation on spotlight you need more and want to open the calculator app to make something more complex, you have to just hit <enter> and the calculator will pop up with the result of your operation.

Spotlight calculator on mac
Spotlight calculator on mac

Other things you can do with spotlight calculator

The spotlight calculator we just used, can do more than simple mathematical operations. Let’s make an overview of some other features from this little but powerful tool.

Mathematical operations

As I just said, you can do mathematical operations. These can be more complex than my 5+5 example screenshot.

  • Logarithms: ln(20) or log(25).
  • Complex mathematical operations using parentheses: ((5+5)*2)/3*2.5
  • Sine: sin(45)
  • cosine: cos(90)
  • Square root: sqrt(9)
  • Factorial: 4!

Measure unit conversions and currency conversions

  • Convert centimeters to various units: 187cm
  • Convert centimeters to a specific unit: 187cm in feet
  • Convert weight measures: 50kg
  • Convert temperature: 20 f in c
  • Convert time measures: 1day in seconds
  • Convert currencies: 100 eur to usd

As you can see, there are many useful functions you can use.

Opening the calculator app from Spotlight Search

We just saw how powerful is the spotlight calculator, but there are some situations where you need the calculator app to make something more complex, or if you need to make a lot of operations.

To open the calculator app from Spotlight Search you need just to hit <Command> + <Spacebar> to activate the spotlight bar, and then search for calculator. The top hit should be the calculator app.

Opening the mac calculator app from Launchpad

Now there are the less efficient ways to find the calculator on your mac.

The first is opening the calculator app from the launchpad.

You can open the mac calculator app by clicking on the Launchpad icon in the Dock and then searching the calculator either manually or with the search feature.

Opening the mac calculator app from the Finder

Another way to open the calculator is from the Finder.

This is definitely not an easy or quick way to open the calculator, but it’s here for completeness.

You can find the calculator app in the finder. Just open the finder from the Dock icon, then in the finder sidebar click on Applications.

From the applications folder you will find all the applications, and between them you will find the calculator. Just double click on it to open the app.

Unit conversions on the calculator app

As we did with the Spotlight Search, we can make unit of measurement conversions also with the calculator app.

When you open the app, there is a Conversion menu, you can use it to select the type of measurement you want to convert. The actually supported ones are:

  • Area
  • currency
  • Energy or Work
  • Length
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Speed
  • Temperature
  • Time
  • Volume
  • Weights and Masses

Selecting one of them will bring out a popup with the type (you can again modify it if you want), the unit you want to convert from, and the one you want to convert to.

Then you can click on Convert and the number you had in the calculator will be converted as you specified.

Calculator - unit of measurement conversion window
Calculator – unit of measurement conversion window

Switching to a different calculator type

By default the first time you will be presented with the basic calculator, with a basic set of features. If you want you can switch to different calculator layouts, each with a different set of features.

There are three calculator types available: Basic, Scientific and Programmer.

  • Basic: The basic calculator view is a simple calculator with the 4 main operations, the decimal separator, and the % symbol. This view is like a classic office desktop calculator.
  • Scientific: The scientific calculator view gets a bit more complicated, it has the basic functions plus some other scientific ones like sin, cos, tan, square root, exponentials and logarithms.
  • Programmer: The programmer calculator view has an extended keypad to include the six letters used to write hexadecimal numbers, and many other programmer-oriented features like binary-octal-decimal-hexadecimal conversions, AND, OR, NOR and XOR operators.

The three different layouts are selectable from the View menu, or you can use keyboard shortcuts to switch from one to the other:

  • <Command> + 1 for the basic view
  • <Command> + 2 for the scientific view
  • <Command> + 3 for the programmer view

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