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GNU Emacs Calc 2.02 Manual

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If the first argument to calc-eval is a list whose first element is a formula string, then calc-eval sets all the various Calc modes to their default values while the formula is evaluated and formatted. For example, the precision is set to 12 digits, digit grouping is turned off, and the normal language mode is used.

This same principle applies to the other options discussed below. If the first argument would normally be x, then it can also be the list `(x)' to use the default mode settings.

If there are other elements in the list, they are taken as variable-name/value pairs which override the default mode settings. Look at the documentation at the front of the `calc.el' file to find the names of the Lisp variables for the various modes. The mode settings are restored to their original values when calc-eval is done.

For example, `(calc-eval '("$+$$" calc-internal-prec 8) 'num a b)' computes the sum of two numbers, requiring a numeric result, and using default mode settings except that the precision is 8 instead of the default of 12.

It's usually best to use this form of calc-eval unless your program actually considers the interaction with Calc's mode settings to be a feature. This will avoid all sorts of potential "gotchas"; consider what happens with `(calc-eval "sqrt(2)" 'num)' when the user has left Calc in symbolic mode or no-simplify mode.

As another example, `(equal (calc-eval '("$<$$") nil a b) "1")' checks if the number in string a is less than the one in string b. Without using a list, the integer 1 might come out in a variety of formats which would be hard to test for conveniently: "1", "8#1", "00001". (But see "Predicates" mode, below.)


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