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I want to set my gnome calculator in programming mode to do some hex calculations but there is no menu bar visible on the gcaltool app.

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If you wish to change anything for an application, you will need to hover over the top task bar while focusing on the application.

For example:

  • Open up gcalctool (via Unity or terminal)
  • Hover over the top task bar
  • Click on 'Mode'
  • Select 'Programming'

This style for the menus reminds me of a Mac which has the same mentality. Picture below to see what I am talking about with the steps above.

enter image description here

This works in these versions of Ubuntu (if you are using Unity):

  • 11.04
  • 11.10
  • 12.04 LTS

Hope this helps.

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Yeah, that took me two weeks to discover. Great answer and use of screenshots. – hexafraction May 3 '12 at 20:41
You are welcome and thank you for the comment =) – ruffEdgz May 4 '12 at 15:04
In gnome-shell (Ubuntu 12.10), you have to right-click on the name of the calculator to see the menu. Three weeks to find it. Grrrr.... Fortunately, once you select advanced mode, it will remember it for the next time. Could not grab the screenshot because screenshot does not work if the right-click menu is visible, re-grrrrr... – Rmano Jan 27 '13 at 10:26
Hmm, does me no good since I use openbox, and my right mouse is bound to Lower. does not seem to be a command line option either. Where is the setting stored? – djb Apr 8 '15 at 15:39

I found this can be changed via dconf, for those of you (like me) who don't use Gnome or Unity and can't access this hidden menu

$ dconf write /org/gnome/calculator/button-mode "'basic'"; gnome-calculator
$ dconf write /org/gnome/calculator/button-mode "'advanced'"; gnome-calculator
$ dconf write /org/gnome/calculator/button-mode "'programming'"; gnome-calculator
$ dconf write /org/gnome/calculator/button-mode "'financial'"; gnome-calculator
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gsettings is a more preferred way to set these values: gsettings set org.gnome.calculator button-mode basic; gnome-calculator. – muru Apr 8 '15 at 16:51

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