Put A 10-Key Calculator In Excel

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. Okay, so Excel is a whiz-bang spreadsheet calculator. But, frankly, when I’m working on a complex spreadsheet there are times I’d like to have immediate access to an old-fashioned 10-key calculator rather than having to stop to figure out some Excel formula. Is there a way to get an ordinary calculator into Excel?

A. I’m glad you asked because I, too, would find it handy to have a calculator at my fingertips. At first I didn’t think Excel provided such a function, but I soon learned that it does; however, it’s well camouflaged.

When I searched the functions under Tools, Customize, Commands, I couldn’t find a calculator function, although I found two calculator icons. One is labeled Calculate now , and performs a calculation update—so that’s no good. The other is labeled Custom , and that turned out to be the well-disguised 10-key Windows calculator. I wonder whether Microsoft engineers meant to hide the function.

If you want to add the 10-key calculator to your toolbar, do the following:

Go to Tools, Customize, Commands, Tools, and locate the calculator icon named Custom .

Drag the icon up to your toolbar and click on Close .

When I tried to add the icon to the Word toolbar, I could not find the function under Customize . Instead, I realized there’s an even better alternative: Add it to my Desktop Taskbar. That way, the calculator is immediately and conveniently accessible no matter what application I’m in.

To do that, open Explorer and find the calc.exe file under C:Windows . Right click on it, click on Create Shortcut, then go to your Desktop and right click again and click on Paste Shortcut . When the icon appears on your Desktop, drag it to the Taskbar. That’s all there is to it.

SPONSORED REPORT

Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.