the calculator home page


On a desktop PC the overall size and shape of the calculator can be changed by dragging the sides or corners to re-size the window. The keypads and display automatically adjust themselves to fit the available space. You can use this to make the calculator very small indeed, for example leaving only the display visible, and using the keyboard shortcuts to control it.

The calculator layout can be further customised using the Options/Layout menu. This brings up the Layout dialog box.

The Layout dialog allows you to specify the orientation of the Main and Function keypads. Normally the Function keypad has a larger number of smaller buttons than the Main keypad, which has the main arithmetic keys. By default the Function keypad sits above the Main keypad, but by checking the Landscape box you can position the two keypads side by side. You will probably want to change the width and height of the calculator to accommodate the new keypad positions. On devices where there is only a limited width, like Palm-sized PCs, it doesn't make much sense to select landscape mode.

In addition you can specify the colour of the body of the calculator, and whether there is a bevel around the edge of the calculator window. The bevel is not really necessary from Windows95 onwards because the default windows already have a bevelled appearance, but it improves the appearance on older versions of Windows and so it has remained as a largely vestigial feature.

Background Image

As well as choosing a background colour you can choose a background image. (This feature is currently not available on Windows CE.) This must be in Windows Bitmap format. You can either type the file name in the edit box or use the Browse button to search for the file.

If you want to use an image which is in another format, JPEG for example, you will need to convert it to a Windows Bitmap. There are many image editing tools which can do this, including the Windows Paint utility which can be found from the Start menu, Accessories section. Open the image in Paint and then choose Save As... from the File menu. At this point you can choose a different name for the image, or use the same name but with a different file type. Then select 24-bit bitmap from the "Save as type" drop down box, and save the image. It should now be possible to use the version of the image with the Windows Bitmap (".bmp") file type as the background.

Next to the Browse button there is a drop-down box where you can select the image mode from copy, tile, stretch or grow. Copy will draw the bitmap image leaving the background colour visible in areas beyond the image. Tile will cause the image to be repeated as necessary to cover the background area. Stretch will expand or contract the image to fit the background area. Grow acts in a similar way to stretch but preserves the aspect ration of the original image.


Check this box for main and function keypads side by side. Otherwise they are aligned vertically (portrait).

At first sight landscape mode doesn't make sense on palm-size format devices. But try the following in landscape:

Font: Tahoma, regular, 18

Main keypad:
Font: Tahoma, regular, 16
Rows: 4, Cols: 5, Width: 26, Height: 20, H Space: 1; V Space: 1

Function keypad:
Font: Tahoma, regular, 10
Rows: 6, Cols: 4, Width: 22, Height: 13, H Space: 1; V Space: 1

In matrix mode that gives 9 rows of array cells visible, although the same can't be said for the function button legends unless you have good eyesight! If you hold the stylus over the button the tooltip appears at normal size. If you are using RPN with the visible stack enabled you will be able to see 9 levels of the stack.


Checking this option causes a bevelled edge to be drawn around the calculator body. This is redundant on current Windows desktop systems because a bevel is drawn by the user interface of the operating system.

Start Minimised

If you check this box the next time the program starts it will be minimised to an icon. This option is particularly useful if you choose to have the calculator start up automatically with Windows. This can be done by putting a shortcut in the /Windows/StartMenu/Programs/StartUp directory. The setup program can do this for you automatically if you check the "Start when Windows starts" option. To add or remove the shortcut on subsequent occasions you can run the setup program again, either by double-clicking on setup.exe in the install directory, or using the Windows Control Panel application "Add/Remove Programs". This will run the setup program with the option to remove or change the installation. Select Change and then check the appropriate options.

Task bar Tray Icon

This option causes the calculator to minimise as an icon in the Task bar Tray. You can combine this with Start Minimised as described above so that the calculator is always running and readily accessible while you are working at the computer.

Hide after..

The auto power off feature means that after a specified number of seconds of inactivity the calculator minimizes itself.

Always On Top

The always on top option keeps the calculator as the top-most window at all times. It can still be minimized. This is useful if you are using it in conjunction with an application that needs to use the whole screen area, so that the calculator "floats" on top.

Error Beep

The calculator gives a beep sound if an error occurs. This can be disabled by this check box.

Menu Bar

This check box enables or disables the menu bar which gives access to menu items. It is possible to use the software without a menu bar, and many users prefer not to have it. You can't disable the menu bar on Pocket PC devices.


Using the options described above, the appearance of the calculator can be greatly changed from the default to suit personal preference and screen resolution. See the Display Tab for more information about changing the appearance of the display.

An example customisation is given below:

a customised layout