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Q: We import commodities from around the world and frequently need to convert weight and volume measurements from the metric system to United States customary measurements (for example, liters to gallons and meters to feet). Last year we purchased Windows 7 computers and developed Excel templates to help meet this need, but we have recently discovered that some of our Excel templates contain errors and other templates are not being used correctly. I would like to drop our spreadsheet-based solution and use an easier tool to get the job done. Can you recommend a decent solution?


A: The Windows 7 Calculator includes new functionality, including unit conversion capabilities that could meet your needs. To use this tool, launch the calculator by clicking the Start button, All Programs, Accessories, Calculator. In the calculator, select Unit conversion from the View menu as shown below.


Next, select an option from the Select the type of unit you want to convert box, which includes the following: Angle, Area, Energy, Length, Power, Pressure, Temperature, Time, Velocity, Volume and Weight/Mass. In the From box, enter an amount and select the appropriate unit of measurement. In the To box, select the target unit of measurement, and the calculator will display the converted unit of measurement.


Hint: As mentioned in the February 2010 Tech Q&A column (“The Power of the New Multifunction Calculator in Windows 7,” page 65), the Windows 7 Calculator also has new functionality for calculating mortgages, vehicle leases and dates, in addition to new programmer and statistic modes.


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