|If you used Word when the first President Bush was in office, you might remember a handy feature from the Tools menu: the Calculate command. With the standard four functions, plus exponents and percentages, Calculate could handle a lot of the math needed for simple sales reports or budget proposals. |
Though Microsoft removed the command from the Tools menu in Word 6.0, you can still find it if you know where to look. This hack shows you how to put the Calculate command back on the Tools menu, but you can add it to any of the toolbars or shortcut menus.
First, select Tools > Customize and click the Commands tab. In the Categories column, choose All Commands. Scroll down until you find ToolsCalculate, as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1: Locating the Calculate command buried deep in Word.
Drag the command to the Tools menu and place it right under the Speech option or anywhere else on the menu. Right-click the new menu item and rename it Calculate, as shown in figure 2. When you first place the command on a menu or toolbar, it may appear grayed out. Calculate is available only when you've selected text.
Figure 2: Returning Calculate to the Tools menu.
By default, the Calculate command will add any set of selected numbers separated by white space. Word temporarily displays the result in the status bar, as shown in figure 3, and also places it on the clipboard.
Figure 3: The sum of the selected numbers is temporarily displayed in the status bar.
Calculate ignores any text that isn't a number, except for currency symbols, periods, and commas, which it recognizes when these are part of a number. For operations other than addition, you must include the mathematical operator. Table 1 lists the operations in reverse order of precedence. To force a calculation out of precedence order, enclose the expression in parentheses. Addition and subtraction are of equal precedence and are evaluated left to right. Multiplication and division also are of equal precedence and are evaluated left to right. Though Calculate is most often used in tables, it works on any selected text. For example, you can use this command to quickly add all the numbers in a paragraph of text, as shown in figure 4. Table 1: Syntax for the Calculate command, in reverse order of precedence.
|Addition||+ or space||220 + 419 982||1621 |
|Subtraction||- or ( )||1440 (312) - 96||1032 |
|Multiplication||*||24 * $199||$4,776 |
|Exponential (power or root)||^||(32^(1/5))^8||256 |
|Percentage||%||$89 * 15%||$13.35 |
Figure 4: Calculate works with selected text and displays the results in the status bar.