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HP 9S Calculator - Using Display Formats

The HP 9S calculator can display numbers in four formats:
  • Floating point
  • Fixed point
  • Scientific
  • Engineering
Each of these formats is explained below.
Floating-point format
The floating-point format displays numbers in decimal form, using up to ten digits. Any trailing zeros are truncated.
If the result of a calculation is too large to be displayed by ten digits, the display automatically changes to scientific format. If the result of a later calculation is small enough to be displayed in less than ten digits, the calculator returns to floating point format.
To set the display to floating point format, do the following:
Key strokes
Calculator display
Press 2ndF, FIX, then (point).
Fixed-point format
The fixed point, scientific, and engineering formats use a fixed number of decimal places to display numbers. If more than the specified number of decimal places is keyed in, the entry will be rounded to the correct number of decimal places. If fewer than the set number of decimal places is keyed in, the entry will be padded with trailing zeros.
Example 1: Fix the display at two decimal places, then key in 3.256.
Key strokes
Calculator display
  1. Press 2nd, FIX, then 2.
  2. Key in 3.256, then press ENTER.
Example 2: Fix the display at four decimal places, then key in 4.23.
Key strokes
Calculator display
  1. Press 2nd, FIX, then 4.
  2. Key in 4.23, then press ENTER.
Scientific format
In scientific format, the number is shown as a mantissa and an exponent. For example, 891500 is shown as 8.915 x 1005, where 8.915 is the mantissa, and 5 is the exponent of 10.
Example 3: To display 7132 x 125 in scientific format:
Key strokes
Calculator display
  1. Key in 7132, x, 125, then press ENTER.
  2. Press the key.
An entry can be converted to scientific notation by pressing EXP after entering the mantissa.
Example 4: Key in the number 4.82296 x 105
Key strokes
Calculator display
Key in 4.82296, press EXP, then 5.
Engineering format
Engineering format is similar to scientific format, except the mantissa can have up to three digits to the left of the decimal and the exponent is always a multiple of three. This is useful when converting units based on multiples of 103.
Example 5: Convert 15V to 15000mV (V=Volts)
Key strokes
Calculator display
  1. Key in 15.
  2. Press ENG twice.
Example 6: Convert 15V to 0.015KV (V=Volts)
Key strokes
Calculator display
  1. Key in 15.
  2. Press 2nd, , 2nd, then .

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