Microsoft Word Has a Calculator?

Word has a handy calculator built right into the program. Nothing fancy, just a simple calculator which lets you perform any basic arithmetical operation anywhere within Word.

Windows does have a more advanced calculator built in, but it’s kinda cool having a calculator right there in Word at all times.

Where is this calculator?

You actually need to add it to the Quick Access toolbar:

1. Right-click the Quick Access toolbar and select Customize Quick Access Toolbar from the pop-up menu.

2. Make sure For All Documents is selected in the Customize Quick Access Toolbar drop-down box.

3. In the Choose Commands From drop-down box, select Commands Not in The Ribbon.

4. Locate Calculate in the list and double-click it to add it to the list of Quick Access commands, then click OK.

What the calculator does

The calculator handles addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, exponentiation and roots.

  • Addition: +
  • Subtraction: – or you place the number to be subtracted in parentheses,
  • Multiplication: *
  • Division: /
  • Percentages: %
  • Exponentiation and roots: ^

If you were to type the numbers

2 + 2

Select the numbers and click the Calculator button. The result (4) is displayed in Word’s status bar.

The result is also stored on the clipboard, so you can paste it into your Word document or into another program.

You do not need to use an equal sign.

If you omit the operator, the calculator assumes you want to add the numbers.

If you were to type: 123 456 78.9 without an operator, the result (657.9) is displayed in Word’s status bar.

Calculate anywhere

The calculator works anywhere. You can even use the calculator on the following sentence:

At the meeting there were 5 realtors, 2 health experts and 1 MS Word nerd.

Select the sentence and click the Calculator button. The total number at the meeting will be calculated. Something to keep in mind though – if your text includes any special characters, you might get a wrong calculation.

You can also use the Calculator in tables to total up numbers in columns, rows or the whole table. In a table, you still need to use parentheses around a number or a minus sign to denote a negative number.

Something to take note of is that although it is possible to select numbers in non-adjacent cells in a table by holding down the Ctrl key, the calculator will not give you a correct total. Your selection must contain contiguous cells, rows or columns.

Order of Operators

The calculator uses operator precedence and parentheses to determine the order of calculations in more complex expressions.

For example:

2+2*2^3

gives you the answer 18, while:

2+(2*2)^3

produces the result 66.

If you don’t include parentheses in an expression, Word performs operations in this order:

  1. percentage
  2. power and root
  3. multiplication and division
  4. addition and subtraction.

And there you have it, Word’s calculator.

Download the pdf here: MSWordCalculator

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