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10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Leopard introduced the ability to use the Spotlight as a simple calculator. But, if you wanted to use exponentiation, you had to type something like pow(2, 3).

In Snow Leopard this has changed. pow no longer works, but you can instead just type 2^3, and Spotlight will display 8.
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10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu | 10 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: asmeurer on Sep 29, '09 08:02:07AM

Python style ** works too, as in "2**3 = 8". That's much easier to type, especially on a keypad.

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: Tim_Cox on Sep 29, '09 09:39:44AM

I think we call this Fortran-style :)

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: IslandDan on Sep 29, '09 08:27:29AM

There must be a trick to this because math does not work for me in Spotlight+SL.

Spotlight calculator requires Dashboard
Authored by: Dr. T on Sep 29, '09 11:21:53AM

Spotlight had never worked as a calculator for me in Leopard or Snow Leopard. It turns out that Dashboard must be active. I had used TinkerTool to deactivate Dashboard on my main account. When I switched to an account with Dashboard active, the Spotlight calculator feature worked.

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: DCJ001 on Sep 29, '09 02:13:20PM

Also, maybe your Spotlight is working as a calculator and you're overlooking that the math is happening two lines beneath where you're entering the numbers?

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: jolinwarren on Sep 29, '09 02:57:19PM
Make sure not to precede your equation with an '='. So you want to enter this:
``2+3``
and NOT this:
``=2+3``
10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: mmnw on Sep 29, '09 08:31:58AM
I'm not sure how it worked in Leopard (no Leopard to test anymore), but now you can also use `e^x` instead of `exp(x)`. So Spotlight definitely knows about `e` now.
I know `pi` worked in Leopard Spotlight, but I have no idea if `e` was known before...
10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: rayene.benrayana on Sep 29, '09 09:35:14AM

Leopard does not know about the e. I had to type exp(1) to see a result.

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: wakker on Sep 29, '09 02:56:00PM

pow(x,y) still works, at least for me (10.6.1)

10.6: Easier exponential math in 10.6's Spotlight menu
Authored by: nathanst on Sep 30, '09 09:41:58AM

That's strange -- it doesn't work for me (10.6.1).