Console Calculator Manual

Console Calculator is a powerful calculator with a simple console interface.  In addition to being a high-precision calculator (300+ bits of precision), it also support base conversion, units conversion, and much more.  The interface is convenient and easy to use.  Create your own variables and functions, recall previous entries, and quickly hide it with a keystroke.  Many other conveniences are included that make Console Calculator a multi-function tool that engineers or software developers will appreciate.

High-precision scientific calculator:

Base converter:

Units converter:


Calculator Tutorial: The Basics

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At the “> ” prompt, type a mathematical expression or formula and press enter to calculate the result. For example, after the prompt, type “4+5*4” followed by the enter key. The result would be:
ans = 24

If you then typed, “ans / 2“, your result would be:
ans = 12

To perform a quick calculation on the previous result, instead of typing “ans“, you may type the operator (*, /, +, or –) at the new prompt and the “ans” will be inserted automatically. For example, type “+” at the beginning of a new line, and “ans+” will automatically appear. The “-” key is an exception. The first “-” will be interpreted as a negative sign. Type the “-” key twice at the beginning of the prompt line to be replaced with “ans-“.

Put multiple calculations in a single line, separated by a semicolon. “m = 5; m+2” would result with:
ans = 7

Using a semicolon also suppressed the result from being displayed, similar to Matlab. This is useful when making script files.

Use hex and binary: “0xFF + 0b1001” would result with:
ans = 264

Use as a unit converter: “10 in->cm” converts 10 inches into centimeters. The result is how many centimeters are in 10 inches:
ans = 25.4


Valid Operators

-, +, *, / Subtract, Add, Multiply, Divide
^ Raise to power (or exponent) ie. 3^3 = 27
% Integer modulo, or remainder function. ie. 7%3 = 1
! Factorial. i.e. 4! = 4*3*2*1 = 24
<<, >> Bitwise shift left, right
&, |, @ Bitwise AND, OR, XOR
<, <=, >, >=, ==, != Comparison and inequalities
&&, || C-style logical AND, OR (non-zero is logical TRUE)
( ), [ ] Parenthesis may be used

More advanced math functions are available, such as square root and trig functions. More information on these functions is available: Built-In Math Functions.


Convenient Features

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History: Recall Previous Entries

You may press the up or down arrows to quickly copy previous entries to the current prompt, similar to a UNIX console.

Create Variables

For example, “m = 25” creates a variable m which can be used in later calculations. The variable pi = 3.14159… is predefined. The variable ans is always equal to the previous result.

Define Custom Functions

For example, “par(x,y) = x*y/(x+y)” creates a function which takes 2 parameters, x and y.  Then use the function like this: “par(10,10)“ and the result is “5″. Functions that you create are saved for use in future console calculator sessions.  The “list” command will display all user-defined functions.

Copy Previous Result

If you copy with no text selected, the previous result is automatically placed into the clipboard and ready to paste into another application.  (Only the numerical answer is copied, the “ans =″ text is not!)

High Precision Floating Point

Arithmetic with high precision floating point numbers. Over 100 significant digits of decimal accuracy. Most calculators perform double-byte floating point calculations, which are 64 bit structures. Console Calculator gives you not 64 bits or 128 bits but  (352 bits of arithmetic accuracy! This is nearly astronomical precision.

SI-Unit Prefixes

You may use metric unit prefixes appended to the end of a number to automatically adjust units. For example, “5M + 100k” + enter would result with:
ans = 5100000

Metric Prefixes:

Peta-   P   10^15    1 000 000 000 000 000
Tera-   T   10^12    1 000 000 000 000
Giga-   G   10^9     1 000 000 000
Mega-   M   10^6     1 000 000
kilo-   k   10^3     1000
centi-  c   10^-2    0.01
milli-  m   10^-3    0.001
micro-  u   10^-6    0.000 001
nano-   n   10^-9    0.000 000 001
pico-   p   10^-12   0.000 000 000 001
femto-  f   10^-15   0.000 000 000 000 001
atto-   a   10^-18   0.000 000 000 000 000 001

Save and Open Scripts

You may save the contents of the current console to a script file which may be run again at a later time. Each line of a script file must be a valid mathematical expression and commands may be seperated by semicolons.  Script lines ending with a semicolon will have their console output suppressed when run.  Lines beginning with # sign are ignored as comments.

Mac OS X Note: A script file is just a plain text file, but the *.script extension is assigned to Console Calculator.

Command-Line Interface  (Windows Only)

The calculator has some command-line options that may be useful. Blind students have found it useful, and others have found it useful for automated calculations.

ccalc [inputfile] [-o outputfile] [-q]

  • inputfile: a script file which is run immediately when ccalc starts.
  • outputfile: the contents of the session are saved to this file once the CCalc window is closed.
  • -q: if the -q tag is used, the calculator will perform the calculations in the inputfile, save results in the outputfile, and immediately quit. The console calculator window never even opens in this case. This is most useful for automated calculations.


Built-in Math Functions

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Built-in functions include scientific, trig and math.h compatible functions.  Function names are case-insensitive.

  • sqrt – square root
  • ln – natural log
  • log – log base 10
  • logxx – log base xx (log2 for log base 2, log8 for log base 8, etc)
  • ln – natural log
  • exp – exponential, e^…
  • sin – sine
  • cos – cosine
  • tan – tangent
  • asin – arcsine
  • acos – arcosine
  • atan – arctangent
  • sinh – hyperbolic sine
  • cosh – hyperbolic cosine
  • tanh – hyperbolic tangent
  • abs – absolute value
  • round – round function, rounds up or down to the nearest integer
  • ceil – ceiling function, rounds up to the nearest integer
  • floor – floor function, rounds down to the nearest integer
  • rand – random number generator, with maximum value specified
  • mod – modulus function (remainder)

As mentioned previously, custom functions may also be created.


Calculator Options

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Preferences may be set to control the look and behavior of the calculator. Note some options mentioned below are for Windows only.


Radian or Degree mode

This effects trigonometric functions.

Font and Colors

Change the font, size, color, and background color.

Displayed Base

The base can be set to either Binary, Decimal, or Hexadecimal. 100 may be displayed as 100, 0×64, or 0b1100100.  This effects only the displayed result.

Display Scientific Notation

Auto: Scientific notation is only used for very small or large floating point numbers.Never: Scientific notation is never used.Always Scientific: Scientific notation is used at all times. (Scientific notation example: 123.88 is displayed as 1.23880e2)Engineering: Engineering notation is used. (Numbers are displayed with exponents in multiples of 3.)Engineering Prefix: Engineering SI-unit prefixes are used. (123.88e-6 is displayed as 123.88u)Financial: Constant number of decimal places. Scientific notation is never used.

Max Significant Figures

Maximum number of significant figures to display, used when displaying in scientific notation. (Significant figures are not applied to integers unless they are being displayed in scientific notation.)

Display Thousands Separator

For certain large numbers, when not using scientific notation, it is helpful to use a thousands separator, such as a comma. For example: 12,888.12. Note that this is for display only; separators are not recognized when entering an equation.

Two’s Complement

When displaying HEX or BINARY values, negative values can optionally be displayed as two’s complement notation.


Transparency of the window may be adjusted between 0% and 100%.

Command History Size

Number of stored previous entries.

Always on Top

When enabled, the window will float above all other windows.  Indicated also by a pushpin icon in the calculator window.

Snap-to Screen Edge

When enabled, the window will snap to screen edged when moved.

Minimize to system tray

When enabled, the calculator will minimize to a system tray icon.

Allow multiple instances

When enabled, multiple CCalc.exe windows (instances) can be running at the same time. Otherwise, only a single CCalc window can be active, and this window will be brought to the forefront if CCalc.exe is opened again.

Reassign Calculator AppKey

Certain keyboards have a calculator appkey, which opens the windows calculator by default. If this box is checked, Console Calculator will become the default application when the appkey is pressed. (This is accomplished by editing the Windows registry key:


When enabled, current expression is calculated as it is typed in the Status Bar.  Enable the Status Bar in the Options menu or Ctrl-B.

European style delimiters

When enabled, this essentially swaps the meaning of the comma “,” and period “.” from the US custom, so that a period separates thousands and comma indicates decimals.  For example, with european style 1,024.56 would be 1.024,56. This will also effect the character used to separate arguments in a function. instead of f(x,y) you must use f(x.y) to separate the x and y arguments.

10-Key Calculator Mode

When enabled, the calculator behaves as a 10-key calculator. Basically, a tenkey assumes that you are adding a series of numbers. Consequently, the fundamental operation consists of entering numbers and their signs, which the application will sum:

1) Enter number.
2) Enter its sign.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 as desired.


2+ 3+ => 5
2- 3+
=> 1
2+ 3+ 4-
=> 1

A tenkey also keeps the last number you entered in its cache; if you enter another operator without explicitly typing a new number, the tenkey will use the contents of the cache.


2+++ => 2+ 2+ 2+ => 6
=> 2+ 3+ 3+ => 8


Calculator Commands

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Several of the options above can be scripted or changed via commands at the prompt. Below are the available commands.

Command List:

clear or cls Clear the screen text.
del X (or rem X) Deletes user-defined function or variable X. To delete all stored variables, use del all.
disp X Prints a variable name and value.
display [dec|hex|bin] Sets the display base, such as display hex
echo text string Prints a text to console (useful for scripting).
european [on|off] Turns european delimiters on/off.
exit Exit the calculator.
list Lists all user-defined functions.
mode [rad|deg] Sets to radian or degree mode.
scimode [auto|never|always|eng|prefix|finance] Sets the scientific display mode preference.
sigfigs X Sets the number of max significant figures to X.
unit newunit Define a new unit type for units converter.
See below.
gospel The good news.


Base Converter

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This calculator interprets several different numerical bases and can convert from one base to another. You may change the displayed base in the “Options” menu or using the keyboard shortcuts shown below. Holding down the shift key while changing the base will display the previous answer in the new base without changing the default base permanently.

Set display base:


Binary (base 2) Ctrl-1
Decimal (base 10) Ctrl-2
Hexadecimal (base 16) Ctrl-3

Using Decimal, Hex and Binary

Decimal numbers are assumed, but you can specify a number as binary with a “0b” or hex with a “0x“.

The number 15 (decimal) in different bases:

Decimal: 15
Binary: 0b1111
Hexadecimal: 0xF

For example, “15 + 0×5 + 0b101” would result with:
ans = 25

Two’s Complement

When viewing negative numbers as binary or hex, two’s complement notation is optional. Two’s complement is the way that computers typically store signed integers in memory. For example, -5 could be displayed in hex as a 32-bit two’s complement, which would be 0xFFFFFFFB rather than -0×0005. This can be a handy option for software developers, though it is off by default.


Unit Converter

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CCalc is also a fully featured units conversion utility. Convert from SI units to non-SI units. Convert between units of length, area, volume, force, and many other types of units in a convenient way. Simply enter the number and unit you are converting from, type the convert operator (a minus and greater-than sign, “->”), and finally the unit to convert to.  If you need a unit that is not a built-in, you can define your own custom units! Once created, new unit definitions are saved permanently in the ccalc_functions.txt for future console calculator sessions. Below are some unit conversion examples.




Get conversion factor in -> cm ans = 2.54
Inches to centimeters 20*5 in -> cm ans = 254
Miles per hour to meters per second 70 mi/h->m/s ans = 31.2928
Newton-meters to milljoules 50 N-m->millijoules ans = 50000
Square meters to acres
(4 examples)
10000 m^2->acres
10000 m^2->acre
10000 m*m->acre
10000 m-m->acre
ans = 2.4710538
Define a new unit: furlong unit furlong = 201.168 meters new unit created!

Table of Built-In Units and Abbreviations

SI-Base Units


SI-Derived Units

radian meter/meter
steradian meter^2/meter^2
hertz /second
newton meter-kilogram/second^2
pascal kilogram/meter-second^2
joule meter^2-kilogram/second^2
watt meter^2-kilogram/second^3
coulomb second-ampere
volt meter^2-kilogram/second^3-ampere
farad second^4-ampere^2/meter^2-kilogram
ohm meter^2-kilogram/second^3-ampere^2
siemens second^3-ampere^2/meter^2-kilogram
weber meter^2-kilogram/second^2-ampere
tesla kilogram/second^2-ampere
henry meter^2-kilogram/second^2-ampere^2
lumen candela-steradian
lux candela-steradian/meter^2
becquerel /second
gray meter^2/second^2
sievert meter^2/second^2

Non-SI Units

acre 4.04685642E3meter^2
angstrom 1.0E-10meter
astronomicalUnit 1.495979E11meter
atmosphere 1.01325E5pascal
bar 1.0E5pascal
calorie 4.1868joule
cup 0.236588236liter
curie 3.7E10becquerel
day 8.64E4second
degree 1.745329E-2radian
electronVolt 1.60219E-19joule
erg 1.0E-7joule
faraday 9.648531coulomb
fermi 1.0E-15meter
foot 3.048E-1meter
gallon 16cup
gauss 1.0E-4tesla
gilbert 7.957747E-1ampere
grain 6.479891E-5kilogram
hectare 1.0E4meter^2
hour 3.6E3second
inch 2.54E-2meter
lightYear 9.46073E15meter
liter 1.0E-3meter^3
maxwell 1.0E-8weber
mho 1.0siemens
micron 1.0E-6meter
mil 2.54E-5meter
mile 1.609344E3meter
minute 6.0E1second
ounce 28.3495231gram
parsec 3.085E16meter
pica 4.233333E-3meter
pint 2cup
pound 4.535924E-1kilogram
quart 4cup
revolution 6.283185radian
revolutionPerMinute 1.047198E-1radian/second
tablespoon 0.0625cup
teaspoon 0.0208333cup
week 6.048E5second
yard 9.144E-1meter
year 3.1536E7second


A ampere
AU astronomicalUnit
Bq becquerel
cd candela
C coulomb
eV electronVolt
F farad
ft foot
gal gallon
gr grain
g gram
Gy gray
ha hectare
H henry
Hz hertz
h hour
hr hour
in inch
J joule
K kelvin
L liter
lm lumen
lx lux
Mx maxwell
m meter
mi mile
min minute
mol mole
N newton
oz ounce
pc parsec
Pa pascal
qt quart
lb pound
rad radian
rpm revolutionPerMinute
s second
sec second
S siemens
Sv sievert
sr steradian
T tesla
tbsp tablespoon
tsp teaspoon
V volt
W watt
Wb weber
wk week
yd yard
yr year