** They’re fun for spelling out rude words and passing the odd GSCE test, but do you actually know what the rest of those buttons do on a calculator?**

No?…Well me neither and after about the first line, all the symbols began to look like Serbo-Croat acronyms. So I decided to spend the morning researching and compiling this little guide on what the rest of the buttons actually did…to an extent…

Mathematicians and those with more than GCSE in the subject, feel free to add more or fill in the gaps as to what’s been missed.

For the rest of us mortals, class is in!… This is a guide for a standard calculator, scientific or graphic calculators may have different/a lot more functions which take even longer to explain.

Let’s start with the basics. I’m going to assume we’re all on the same page with the **Numbers- 0-9 **and the basics** +,–,x **and **=….**

OK, let’s step it up a gear

**AC – All Clear/Turn on**– This will wipe any previous equations on the calculator and take you back to 0. This can also be **CE**.

**C – Clear**– The C button erases the last number or operation entered, use it if the last number you entered was a mistake.

**DEL & INS Delete and Insert-** Delete will delete individual characters, so you can alter complex equations without clearing the whole formula. Insert allows you to re-enter numbers over a formula, like on a PC keyboard.

**+/- Plus/Negative** – This changes the number on screen to a plus or negative

**%- Percentage **of a number or percentage in an equation

**Π or pi- **3.14159 (continued depending how flash your calculator is)

**√- Square root. **This button will show the square route of a displayed number.

**X ^{2}** –

**Square-**The x2 button computes the square of the number currently displayed. (e.g. 5×5)

**X ^{3- }Cube**. Computes the cube of the displayed number (e.g. 5x5x5)

Ok, next step… Memory

**MS or MIN** = **Memory Store** puts the number on the display into the memory to save. This is useful if you have a number that always needs adding to an equation- Like if every equation needed a shipping fee of 4.5 adding.

**M+/M- = Memory Add (or Subtract)** takes the number on the display, adds it to the memory, and puts the result into memory (or subtracts)

**MC = Memory Clear** will reset the memory to zero

**MR **= **Memory Recall** uses the number in memory, acts as if you had keyed in that number yourself

**RCL** = Recall the number last in the memory and displays it.

Mixed fractions and parentheses… getting more tricky

**a ^{b/c }=Mixed Fraction**. This button allows you to insert a mixed fraction. Like 1 and 1/3.

**LOG** – LOG is used in logarithms for changing the base fraction. I am not even going to pretend to know about logarithms, so here’s a link to someone much cleverer.

**( ) Left and Right Parentheses- **Or brackets to you and me. These are for prioritising equations. For example (2+6)x3 is 24 but 2+(6×3) is 20.

Trigonometry– yeah it’s getting a bit complex now…

**SIN COS & TAN**

**Sine**, **Cosine** and **Tangent** are all used in trigonometry. They are used to establish a number from an angle, in a right angled triangle. To work out a SIN/COS/TAN you need to know the hypotenuse, opposite and adjacent.

Sine, Cosine and Tangent are opposite corners of the triangle. To find the number out divide the length of one side by another side. So for COSINE divide the Adjacent and the Hypotenuse.

**HYP** is used to select Hyperbolic functions. Without studying calculus, it won’t make a whole lot of sense, it didn’t to me… HYP makes the three above function Hyperbolic so **sinh**, **cosh** and **tanh**– basically the opposite of sin/cos/tan. For a much better definition take a look at this link.

Just a bit further… Measurements

**EXP**– Allows you to enter exponential values easily. Say you wanted to enter 200000000 on your calculator, rather than pressing 2 with 8 zeros after it, all you need to press is EXP then the number of digits you want (8). Makes more sense with massive numbers.

**RAD, GRAD** and **DEG **change the mode of the computer to accommodate for different measurement of angles- **Radians, Degrees** and** Gradian(Grads)**

**RAND- **Rand will generate a random number between 0-1. If you want more options with numbers between a specific point use 10*rand().

**ENG **= **Engineering Units**– Change the number in the display to engineering notation instead of decimal

And there you go… I think… the most common buttons on a calculator. Let’s all go away and do a bit of trigonometry, just because we can!

Good idea; but the writer should learn how to spell… and a course in Trig would be useful. There are some glaring errors

Where I’d the absolute button

were is the button for repeating decimals

Sanjay this is a good explation of calculators function

you didn’t actually explain what the RCL button is for

RCL is listed in the Memory section above where the pic is…

The author has a very nice writing style. I can only hope they write more articles!

Nice

Hi

What does the ! Button do then?

CE = “Clear Entry”, which clears the last entry

C = “Clear”, clears all

Verification: Verify the above with your Windows calculator.

The author got it wrong.

A lot of people are quick to criticize, but how many of you have taken time out of your day to help someone other than yourself? further more, when you make mistakes and others make fun of you for trying, just how exactly do you feel? A wise man once said, “The only person who never makes mistakes is one who has never stepped outside their comfort zone and tried anything new .”

So feel free to make criticism all you wish, for you are only wasting your time.

What does × that do on a calculator

I wanted read this because I wanted to know more than I did when I started. I was searching for the information thank you for taking your time to help others.

Hw to use +/- in citizen calculator i dont see that button at all in my new calculator

does anyone know what the In button does on a graphing calculator. TI-84 Plus CE?

what about the button fix and the button trim.. what are they for on a calculator. and if possible what are their c# codes .

very use full thanku

This is really good!! It has made me understand very well for my work in Year7 easy well we only do some of it!

there fordoing math.