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MS Excel: When You Need a Calculator But Don’t Feel Like Writing a Formula

It happens to all of us – we’re working on a spread sheet and we find that we need to calculate something but we just want to quickly get the information we need without all the formula writing nonsense.

Often it’s at this point that we find ourselves wishing for a plain old calculator.

We all know that there’s one built into windows, but accessing it requires you to go through as much hassle at the formula would have caused… or does it?

You may not realize this, but there is a command built into Excel that can be added as a button to your Quick Access Toolbar – or even the Ribbon if you have Excel 2010. (Click here [1] to view the tip on customizing the Ribbon in Office 2010.)

As for the Quick Access Toolbar, you can follow these easy instructions to add the calculator button.

We can begin with a right-click on the Ribbon and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar. (There are other ways to get where we’re going but this is a pretty fast method.)

When you arrive in the Options dialog box, select All Commands in the Choose commands from field.


Below that the list of commands will change to reflect your choice.

The commands are alphabetical so go to the C section and locate Calculator.


Click the Add button in the middle.

Use the arrow buttons on the far right to rearrange buttons as you see fit and click OK.

Voila – Instant access to the system calculator – no delays or hassles.

~ April