Using Fractions in Windows 7 Calculator

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Nathan Sokalski, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. When using the Windows 7 Calculator in Scientific mode, how can I make it
    display the answer as a fraction? If I remember correctly, the calculator in
    previous versions of Windows allowed you to view the answer as a fraction,
    and I have never in my life seen a scientific calculator that doesn't let
    you use fractions. Am I missing something, or are fractions just not yet a
    feature of the Windows 7 Calculator? Thanks.
     
    Nathan Sokalski, Feb 9, 2010
    #1
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  2. Are you sure you aren't in the Programmer mode instead? (Alt-3).
    In Scientific mode (Alt-2)) I just typed 3 and clicked on the 1/x button
    to get 0.33333333333333333333333333333333
    Looks like a third to me. ; )
     
    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 10, 2010
    #2
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  3. Do you know the difference between a fraction and decimal? Your value,
    0.33333333333333333333333333333333, is equal to
    33333333333333333333333333333333/100000000000000000000000000000000, NOT 1/3.
    I am looking to get a value equal to 1/3. These two values may be
    approximately the same, but there are two main reasons to need or want to
    have answers displayed as fractions. First, there is precision. For example,
    if a fraction has a large numerator and/or denominator or when doing actual
    calculations with the fractions, keeping it in fraction form may be
    necessary to get the correct answer. Second, there is convenience and
    preference. For example, when working with certain units (such as inches),
    you normally write the value as 5/32 rather than 0.15625. Yes, you are
    correct that if I saw the value 0.33333333333333333333333333333333
    displayed, I would ASSUME that the answer was 1/3, but that is simply an
    assumption, I don't actually KNOW that that was what the answer really
    should have been. Fractions are usually one of the most frequently used
    features of scientific calculators, and like I said in my original post, I
    have never in my life seen a scientific calculator that does not support
    them (until now!).
     
    Nathan Sokalski, Feb 10, 2010
    #3
  4. Nathan Sokalski

    Steve Foster Guest

    I think you're mistaken in your belief that the Windows Calculator has
    ever shown fractions.

    I don't see anything in it in XP, Vista or W7 that would enable fractions.

    I don't regard Calculator programs as "scientific calculators" (those are
    small devices commonly purchased by students).
     
    Steve Foster, Feb 10, 2010
    #4
  5. You may be right that XP and Vista didn't have fractions (I don't always
    remember correctly), but the Windows 7 Calculator is definitely SUPPOSED to
    be regarded as a scientific calculator. If you look at the options under the
    View menu, one of the choices is "Scientific". As far as I can tell, it has
    all the basic features of a scientific calculator other than fractions,
    which in my mind is the most important feature of scientific calculators.
    You would think that if they are willing to add all the features and modes
    that they did, they would think to add fractions.
     
    Nathan Sokalski, Feb 10, 2010
    #5
  6. Nathan Sokalski

    Antares 531 Guest

    MS Word, Excel and some of the other applications will let you type in
    fractions, and will do the calculations accordingly. Maybe this is
    what you were thinking about. Gordon
     
    Antares 531, Feb 10, 2010
    #6
  7. Nathan Sokalski

    Carlos Guest

    Nathan,
    Why is it that you need the Calculator to display numbers in a quotient
    fashion?
    I've been an engineer for over 30 years and never had a need for it.
    Maybe I've missed something.
    :)
    Carlos
    P.S.: not trying to argue, uh?

     
    Carlos, Feb 10, 2010
    #7
  8. I don't actually have a specific "need" for it, I just find it very
    surprising that it is not there. And I figure that if somebody wants to use
    their computer do stuff where they need some of the other functions on the
    Scientific mode, they would probably want to be able to do fractions, too.
    In fact, I think that the average person would be more likely to use
    fractions than some of the other functions. That may be different for
    engineers like you or people in other specific fields, but I think if you
    asked the average person which one they would rather have (for those people
    that even care about the Calculator at all), more people would say fractions
    than anything else. But I haven't done a study or gathered statistics, so I
    guess I can't say anything for a fact except that it doesn't have fractions
    now, that I wish it did, and that I think it should.
    --
    Nathan Sokalski

    http://www.nathansokalski.com/

     
    Nathan Sokalski, Feb 11, 2010
    #8

  9. Ironically the next thread that my newsreader lists is
    Subject: Install Equation Editor on Toolbar
    which might have had an answer for this one but has been deemed
    "off topic" for this newsgroup. <eg>


    ---
     
    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 11, 2010
    #9
  10. Probably because it was strictly a question related to MS Word and is
    not an operating system related subject.
     
    Bobby Johnson, Feb 11, 2010
    #10
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