# About the Command Prompt Calculator

By entering an expression in the Command prompt calculator, you can quickly solve
a mathematical problem or locate points in your drawing.

The CAL command runs the 3D calculator utility to evaluate vector expressions (combining
points, vectors, and numbers) and real and integer expressions. The calculator performs
standard mathematical functions. It also contains a set of specialized functions for
calculations involving points, vectors, and geometry. With the CAL command, you can

• Calculate a vector from two points, the length of a vector, a normal vector (perpendicular
to the XY plane), or a point on a line
• Calculate a distance, radius, or angle
• Specify a point with the pointing device
• Specify the last-specified point or intersection
• Use object snaps as variables in an expression
• Convert points between a UCS and the WCS
• Filter the X, Y, and Z components of a vector
• Rotate a point around an axis

## Evaluating Expressions

CAL evaluates expressions according to standard mathematical rules of precedence.

Mathematical operators in order of precedence

Operator

Operation

( )

Groups expressions

^

Indicates numeric exponent

*, /

Multiplies and divides numbers

+, –

## Calculating Points

You can use CAL whenever you need to calculate a point or a number within a command.

For example, you enter (mid+cen)/2 to specify a point halfway between the midpoint of a line and the center of a circle.

The following example uses CAL as a construction tool. It locates a center point for
a new circle, and then calculates one fifth of the radius of an existing circle. Here is the command prompt sequence:

Command: circle

Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]: ‘cal

Expression: (mid+cen)/2

Select entity for MID snap: Select the notch line (1)

Select entity for CEN snap: Select the large circle (2)

Select circle, arc or polyline segment for RAD function: Select the large circle (3)

## Calculate Mathematical Expressions in a Dialog Box

You can also enter and evaluate mathematical expressions in a dialog box using the
following format: =expression followed by pressing Alt+Enter.

NOTE:

To evaluate expressions in a dialog box, the CALCINPUT system variable must be set
to 1.

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