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Stupid Simple Mac Tips #45 – Shining a Spotlight on Quick Math

Stupid Simple Mac Tips #45 – Shining a Spotlight on Quick Math

By Tom Lambotte | September 1, 2020

During your day, you might find yourself having to do a quick calculation or convert currency –which can sometimes slow even the best mathematicians down.

Enter Spotlight, one of the most versatile tools on your Mac.

How Does Spotlight Become a Calculator?

Open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top right of the menu bar. Or, if you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts,tap Command + Spacebar on your keyboard.

Enter your calculation into the search bar:maybe it is 32+4-32*(26+1)

Spotlight will evaluate the expression super quick with the correct order of operations, giving an answer of -828 in less than a second. And if it can do that in a split second, just imagine 89*3.

Easy peasy.

You can do any mathematical expressions with the / (division), + (add), –(subtract), and * (multiply) keys on your keyboard.

Bonus tip: Converting currency

Follow the same steps, but in this case, type the numbers with their adhering currency symbols.

For instance, type $100 or £100. The conversion rates in different currencies–with data drawn from Yahoo–will instantaneously populate in the search results.

That is a simple tip—but it is far from stupid.

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  • September 1, 2020

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.