The first step in using CalcTastic is knowing how to navigate around the application. At the top-left of the app, you’ll find the menu button which will open the main or left-menu. Once the menu is open, the icon turns into an arrow (pointing left) which will close the menu. If your device has a hardware menu button, pressing it will also open and close the left-menu.
From the left-menu, you can choose your calculator mode, basic, scientific or programmer. Scientific and Programmer are entirely separate calculators, each with its own history and memory. Basic is the same as Scientific with fewer buttons. If you are using the Free Version, you will not have access to the programmer’s mode.
Below the mode selection, you can choose which type of display you are using, an expression-display or a stack-display. If you are in RPN-mode, you won’t have this selection as RPN is designed specifically to use a stack only. More on these below…
The last group of items in the left-menu are general features including a settings menu, a help link and a dialog that will display some basic information about CalcTastic.
The other important area for navigation is the top-menu. This bar at the top will have quick access to some important features, including your history and full stack. The history button looks like a clock and the stack button looks like a stack of papers. These are explained below in further detail.
If you are in the scientific mode, there’s an addition drop-down by pressing the top-right button that looks like three dots. This will have additional access to handy features including physical constants, unit conversions and statistics.
There are two main screens where you can see your calculations in action, the first is the expression-display. This is actually a scrolling list that shows all your previous calculations as well as your current calculation in progress. Most phones will show two entries but you can scroll the list to see more. Of course, tablets have more than two displayed, usually around five or six.
At any time, you can also press the history button in the top-menu to display a dialog pop-up that shows the full history in a larger window. Let’s try the following calculation and see what we get:
Here is the expression-display showing our calculation in progress (notice we haven’t pressed the = button yet):
And here is the history-dialog window that pops up if you press the history button in the top-menu. Notice how you can see the full list including the current calculation in progress:
* All screens and dialog-popups will let you touch one of the values to drop it into your current calculation.
The other main screen is the stack-display. If you’re an RPN user, this will obviously be your only display. For everyone else, you can select this screen from the left-menu or simply touch and drag the screen left. The expression-display is on the left and the stack-display is on the right. This also corresponds to the top-menu where the button for the full history is on the left and the full stack is on the right.
So, what is the stack-display? Well it’s another way to view the calculation that kind of looks like a spreadsheet column. The rows are labeled X, Y, Z and then 4, 5, 6, etc. Just like the expression-display, the stack-display is also a scrolling list. Here is a picture of our previous calculation shown as if we were on the stack-display:
For basic calculations, this view is probably not as preferable as the expression-display. Remember, you can use which ever you like just by swiping the screen left or right. However, CalcTastic has a unique feature where you can use the stack to store numbers just like you would in a spreadsheet and run statistics on them. Don’t think statistics are only for accountants and statisticians, there are some useful everyday things you can do. More on this on the statistics help page.
* You can quickly store values on the stack just by typing the number and then pressing = in between each value, assuming you’re not in the middle of a calculation.
CalcTastic also has 10 memory registers for each mode, scientific and programmer. The memory positions are labeled M and then 1-9. You can use the MR to recall a memory value or the MS to save the current value to memory. Once the dialog (seen below) pops up, simply select which position you want.
The M-position is slightly unique in that you can use the M+, M- and MC buttons to add-to, subtract-from and clear the M-position very easily.
The following example will clear the M position and then add 7, add 5 and finally subtract 2, leaving a value of 10:
* When the M-position memory register has a non-zero value, the letters MS in the MS button will be highlighted.
All the screens and dialog pop-ups in CalcTastic have contextual menus that you can trigger by long-pressing on one of the values in the list. This will bring up options like copy, paste, remove, etc.
The items in the context lists won’t always be identical as they are location based. For example, paste will come up at the bottom row of the expression-display but not on the second row. Here is a screenshot of the context-menu showing when row 7 in the stack-dialog was long-pressed:
* At the top-right of most dialog-popups, there’s a reminder of what notation and precision you currently have set. At the default settings, this will read STD:12 for Standard Notation and 12-digit Precision.
If you are in programmer mode, this will instead show your current base and integer-size. At the default settings, this will read DEC:S64 for Decimal and Signed-64.