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.