There once was a time when calculators were big, ugly, hunks of plastic with rolls of paper attached to the back. Bang on the keys to calculate, then read the roll of paper to see what got calculated.
Those days are mostly gone, but there’s one function from those ancient calculators I miss still today. The paper trail. You can print calculations using one of two Mac apps. One free, one not.
Digital Paper, Meet Paper
First on my list is TapeCalc, an elegant Mac calculator with a long list of features that bring back the glory days of big plastic blobs of battery powered calculators.
Think of a digital version of those calculators of yesteryear complete with large buttons, and a paper trail so you can see what’s been calculated.
TapeCalc has all the basic math functions you’d expect (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percent), including a 10 key mode.
Here’s what sets it apart from most other onscreen calculators, including the Calculator in OS X.
TapeCalc has a saveable tape display. And, it’s editable. And, you can print it out.
Elegant. Simple. Printable.
Preferences are straightforward and don’t require a manual or an explanation.
Select the type of key pad you want. Choose to use key sounds or not.
Click the Ask To Save On Exit button if you want to make sure you save the paper trail.
You get the idea. Select Print from the menu and the Print Preview gives you a quick look at what gets printed.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Jeffrey, you can print a trail using Apple’s built-in Calculator, which is free.’
True. TapeCalc, though comes with a saveable tape display, which is also editable, and exportable.
Set the calculator to always stay on top of the Mac’s screen. Calculator on OS X has a separate window for the paper tape, which is printable, but not with as many features.