CalcForce Learning Center

CalcForce Scientific Calculator - Calc Basics

CalcForce is a unique scientific calculator for the PC. CalcForce answers as you type; creates variables; analyzes multiple cases; has a multi calculation interface. In this lesson, you will learn the calculation syntax and basic operation.

CalcForce Demo
Click to watch 4 minute demo on CalcForce Scientific Caclulator.

When CalcForce starts, a new calculation tab is opened. To calculate simply type an expression in the Expression box and the result will appear as you type. There is no need the press the Enter key. The result appears automatically. (If the expression is purely numeric (i.e., no variables) then pressing the Enter key will replace the expression with the result.)

Expression Syntax

CalcForce will automatically calculate any valid expression. A valid expression consists of the following.

A valid number consists of digits and optionally a minus sign, decimal point or scientific (E) notation. If combined with other characters it will be interpreted as an error.

Math operators are + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication), / (division), and ^ (power). A valid number must precede and follow a math operator.

Variables are character groups that must start with an alpha character (e.g., x, Y, n1). When a variable is entered in the Expression box, a variable list appears with the variable name. You can add as many variables as you need and repeat variables. Variables are initialized with a value of 0. After defining your expression with variables, enter the values for the variables to get the result.

Functions are shorthand notation for performing math operations. CalcForce has many built-in functions (e.g., sin, log, sum), but you can also define your own functions. Functions may have zero parameters (e.g., rnd() for a random number), one parameter (e.g., cos(pi)) or multiple parameters (e.g., sum(1,2,x,y,n)).

Grouping is a way to set math operator precedence (e.g., 3*(4+5)). Grouping symbols are parentheses (), brackets [], and braces {}. Any of these symbols will group; one is not of a higher order than the other. Ensure you close all groups for the expression to be valid.

Operation

Enter expressions using valid syntax. The expression results are automatically calculated as you type.

CalcForce Sub-Expressions Tip: No result appears when the expression is incomplete. For example, the expression “1 +” is incomplete. Completing the expression will automatically calculate the result.

Variables are maintained in a variable list. Changing the expression will not change previously defined variables or their values. You can repeat variables as needed; the same value applies in all cases.

CalcForce Multi Variables Tip: Be careful when modifying an expression as to not inadvertently change variable names. This will result in a new variable, and the values will be reset.

Once the expression is complete, enter the variable values by clicking on the value cell and typing the value. You can also use the keypad to enter values.

CalcForce Sub-Expressions Tip: Variables can have sub-expressions (e.g., 2*pi or sin(pi/2)). The only restriction is a variable value cannot contain another variable.

CalcForce Undo Redo Tip: Use the undo and redo commands on the Quick Access Toolbar if you make a mistake or you want to revert back to a previous expression.

If you have upgraded to the full version of CalcForce, you can cut, copy and paste expressions. This is useful when repeating portions of an expression or creating a new calc that is similar to another calc

Each calc has a memory stack to store results. Click the appropriate memory button on the Calc ribbon to store results in memory. Recall as needed (either in the expression or in a variable value).

CalcForce Memory Tip: For multi case calcs, the memory value stored is the result of the selected case.

Rounding, Decimals and Significant Digits

The final result of expression can be rounded to a specified number of decimals and/or to specified number of significant digits. The result can also be formatted for presentation. Use the Rounding and Significant Digits options on the Calc ribbon as required.

Tip: Rounding and significant digits is only on the final result – not intermediate operations.

Use other commands and options on the Calc ribbon to optimize your calculation.

CalcForce Calc Ribbon

Table Operations

Variables and multi case calcs have their data in tables. You can enter and modify data as previously described, but you can also perform operations on multiple variable at the same time by selecting a range of cells and then performing the actions. Actions you can perform are:

You can copy the value list to the clipboard (Control + C) or click on a value to see the data in table panel.

CalcForce Table Cells

Tip: Select a range of cells by dragging the mouse button over the range.

To modify a value in a cell, double-click it or press F2.

Variables

Variables are in the Variables section of the Calc. As you enter variables in the expression, the variable is added to the list. Select the variable value to enter a value. Enter values from the keyboard, the CalcForce keypads or by pasting from the Clipboard.

CalcForce Variables

Tip: In general, variables are listed in the same order as defined in the expression.

You can change the order of variables by clicking and dragging the variable row to the new position. Restore to the original position by dragging back or by click the Restore Variable Order command on the Calc ribbon.

You can also enter a comment for each variable to provide additional information about the variable. In Multi Case mode, the comment appears in the status bar when you select the variable value.

When in the Multi Case mode, the Variable section changes to Variable Specifications. Values for variables in this mode are entered in the Results table. The Variable Specifications includes a parameter called Header. The lets you specify the variable header label that appears in the Results table.

CalcForce Variable Headers

Results

CalcForce Results Results are displayed in the Results section of the Calc. In normal mode (i.e., not Multi Case mode), there is a single result value. The result is read-only, but you can copy the value or any portion of it. If there is an error in the result, you can see the error by clicking on the result; the error is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the window.

In Multi Case mode, the Results section is replaced with a table displaying the variable values and result for each case.

Multi Case Calcs

The full version of CalcForce lets you perform multi case calcs. This is useful for analyzing and comparing results for expressions with different variable values.

Enter Multi Case mode by clicking the Multi Case toggle button on the Calc ribbon. The Results will change to a table with variables, results and cases.

CalcForce Multi Case Calcs

Enter the variable values for each case. The results are updated as you enter the values.

Tip: You can have from one case to the maximum. The default maximum is 200 but you can increase this in Options.

If you have more cases than variables, the results may show better in Transpose mode. This switches the result rows and columns. Change to Transpose mode by clicking the Transpose toggle button on the Calc ribbon.

CalcForce Transpose Cases

Header

Each Calc has a Header section with information about the calc. The header has the following properties.

CalcForce Result Header The Results Header adds a label to the Results section to provide more information about what the result means.

The following is an example Calc header.

CalcForce Calc Header Tip: The Header section is normally minimized to save space. Expand and collapse the Header section by clicking on the title.

More Info

For more advance features of CalcForce, refer to the Users Guide.


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