I'm using the calculator to solve equations like this:

((2 * 2.12) *  (0.657)) - ((3 * 2.97) *  (0.657^2)) 

where (0.657^2) is 0.657 squared. However, if I run that in the calculator, the ^ is used as the bitwise OR function and not the power funtion. I tried finding a list of shortcut keys for the calculator, but all I could find was a small list that didn't include what I want to do! Does anyone know where I could find a list of all the shortcuts for the calculator? (e.g., p = Pi, ^ bitwise OR, * multiply, etc)

2 Answers 2


For a power, press the letter "Y" in Windows Calculator. For example, the keystrokes "0.657y2" (without the quotation marks) will show up on the calculator interface as: 0.657^2

Visit the Shortcut Keys Page for a full list.


Your calculation

((2 * 2.12) * (0.657)) - ((3 * 2.97) * (0.657^2))

which results in -384320691 can be rewritten as

2 * 2.12 * 0.657 - 3 * 2.97 * 0.657 ^ 2

All the parentheses are redundant: power has the highest precedence, followed by multiplication, addition comes last.

If you replace ^ by y you can just copy'n'past it into the calculator, the return key gives the result, alternatively you can add the equals sign before the transfer, like in the following line:

2 * 2.12 * 0.657 - 3 * 2.97 * 0.657 y 2 =

As to speed-up casual calculator usage, it pays off to learn a few keyboard shortcuts, the most important for every-day use are

  • 0 ... 9 for the digits
  • decimal point .
  • usual operators +,-, *, /
  • parentheses (,)
  • = or Enter key giving the result

Other shortcuts that do a great job for me include n for the natural logarithm (the combination with n/2n gives me the dual logarithm, mostly I have to hit enter before that). Also helpful are Esc for the C button or Ctrl+M store (MS) and Ctrl+R recall (MR).

Be careful

There are some false friends like ^, because these are ignored and turn 2^20 silently into 220, so be careful, to not confuse the windows calculator with your favourite programming language.

The official documentation is included here (no direct anchor avail):

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows apps - Windows Help

Another ref (in case Microsoft moves their content without adding a redirect): Windows 7 Calculator Keyboard Shortcuts - printable cheatsheet


The probably least helpful Shortcut is F1, because it misses to even mention that there are keyboard shortcuts. (This seems to depend on the Windows version, as I recall that this changed from Win XP to Win 8.1)

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