Use Spotlight as a Calculator

Nov 4, 2009 - 3 Comments

spotlight calculator You can use Spotlight as a Calculator, and it actually works really well! This is definitely one of the coolest odd functionalities of Spotlight, go ahead and enter an equation into Spotlight and it will be appear solved as the top result just like the screenshot. Try it yourself, this definitely beats launching the Calculator App or Dashboard widget!

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Posted by: David Mendez in How to, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Utilities


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  1. Awesome. That’s a handy replacement for the recently deceased Quicksilver calculator plugin.

    I still find myself trying to do calculations in Quicksilver. Unfortunately, 10.6 broke that and many other QS plugins.

  2. MBAP says:

    hmmm. works for some but not for all?
    am running OS X(10.5.8).
    In Spotlight, when I enter the expression 3.54*(12/3)^3 it produces no result.
    It’s been some forty years since math ed, but I understand this expression to mean: multiply 3.54 by the result of 12 divided by 3 to the power of 3.
    Further, when I use the calculator (scientific) I get the result (3.54 * pow((12 / 3), 3)
    = 226.56).
    any thoughts?
    Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a mathematician, computer programmer or full-time Mac user.

  3. Tim says:


    It looks like using the ^ power symbol in Spotlight is a new feature in Snow Leopard, as it works when I tested it on my SL MacBook Pro but not on my Leopard iMac.

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