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How do you change the sig. figures on the HP12c? I.e. from 12.3 to 12.3246 ??

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Press the f key followed by the number of desired digits.

Posted on Feb 22, 2010


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Significant figure 127x200

Ambiguous case. 200 could have just one or 3. Check with your teacher what is meant here. If all figures are significant in 200, then your product will also have 3 sig fig: product=25400=2.54x10^4.
However if there is only one significant digit meant in 200, the result should rounded up to 30 000=3x10^4

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Change payments from Begin to ending

Press the blue shift key then the 8 key (marked "END" in blue on the front).

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How can I fix HP12c when keys do not respond?

HP lists on their site (and in user manual) a way to run a key test to see which keys are bad. I'd start there.Type "hp 12c key test" into your search window on your browser and the first thing that comes up should answer it. Took me about 4 seconds to find this.

Sep 06, 2014 | HP Calculators Hp12c Finance Calculator

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How do you calculate square root on HP12C?

Use the square root function. It's the g-shifted function of the 1/x key (second key from the left on the second row).

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Why does my HP12C have a c in the bottom right corner of the display?

It indicates that the calculator is set for compound interest on the odd period instead of simple interest. To toggle this setting press STO EEX.

Jun 02, 2012 | HP Calculators Hp12c Finance Calculator

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I need help with significant figures 3.414s 10.02s 58.325s 0.00098s

There are 4 sig figs (sfs) in 3.414.
  • 4 sfs in 10.02
  • 5 sfs in 58.325
  • 2 sfs in 0.00098

The rule I use is the "dot right-moving arrow" rule.
I know it seems weird, but it is a very powerful rule, always reliable!

Here is what you do:
If the number has a dot in it (that is, if it has a decimal in it), imagine an arrow swooshing from left to right through the number. Start counting sig figs as soon as the imaginary arrow strikes a non-zero digit. Every digit the arrow goes through after it hits that first non-zero digit, is a significant digit (sig fig). The total number of sig figs is the sum of the first non-zero digit + all the following digits the arrow goes through after that. Very simple, right?

As an example, in 0.00098, the arrow sweeps through the leading zeros without counting until it stikes the first nonzero digit, 9. (BONK!!) So you must count it and the following digit (8). So the total number of sfs is only 2 for this number. Try it on the other numbers for practice.

For a better closure, I guess I should explain the other related rule for sig figs:
The "no-dot left arrow" rule. You can use this rule when a number does not have a decimal in it. For example, the number 500 s. (I am using the same unit you gave in your quantities. As you can see, no decimal is shown. So you can not be sure the number has 3 sfs or not. It would only have 3 sig figs if you were informed it was an exact number. An exact number is a number which has been obtained by counting every object it represents. As in a classroom filled with 200 students, each one counted by their teacher during roll call.

To apply the no-dot left-moving arrow rule, simply imagine an arrow moving left until it hits the first non-zero digit. In this case, that digit is the 5, which is only one digit. Therefore, there is only 1 sig fig in 500 s.

Suggestion: Google up "sig figs" and get some more examples of quantities to practice counting sig figs. Also pay attention to the important related topic of proper rounding off of calculated quantities which have different numbers of sig figs. You will find this skill invaluable when you take a lab based chemistry or physics course!

Good luck!


Oct 11, 2010 | Scientific Explorer My First Chemistry Kit

1 Answer

Hi, I have an HP12C and for some reason the

Turn the calculator off. Hold down the period (decimal) key and hit the "ON" button at the same time.

Mar 03, 2010 | HP 12c Calculator

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How can i tell the difference b/w hp12c and hp12p. i bought a hp12p from ebay(it's a stupid decision, I know!) and when i solving for IRR, i felt its running quite slow. I think the guy sold me the hp12P...

I couldn't find any reference to a HP calculator model 12p.
There is a HP 12c financial calculator and a 12c Platinum financial calculator.
Check both models (for images, specifications, functions, user guides, etc.) :
HP 12c Financial Calculator
HP 12c Platinum Financial Calculator

Aug 06, 2009 | HP 12c Calculator

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