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Jim Chapple is now working full time on iphone/ipod touch and iPad applications.

Jim Chapple also works on Mac OS X Apps.

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# Fractions Calculator

• Do you struggle to remember how to add fracrions, let alone how to divide them? I did so I wrote this App. The fractions calculator lets you Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide fractions.
• Now that in itself would be enough but this App aims to be educational and it does that by providing a comprehensive explanation of each of the steps necessary to go from the values you type in to the answer given.
• It covers finding the least common denominator, simplifying the fraction, taking the whole number parts into account.

## When the Application Starts

The App initialises itself to read all the last settings used. Obviously the first time it starts there are no saved items.

You can select the type of the calculation to perform: Add, Subtract, Divide and Multiply using the large buttons. You can then specify the fractions and the App will work out the answer for you. You can specify either simple fractions with no whole part (such as 1/3 - one third) or fractions that have whole parts (such as 2 and one fifth).

Just select the fields you want to change and use the keypad to make the changes. You can select whether each fraction is positive or negative.

If you change any of the numbers then a question mark is shown between the two fractions and you must then select one of the for calculation buttons. This allows you to specify all six fields of the new fractions and then select what calculation you want done. Select a calculation button and the answer and explanation are given.

## Multiplying Fractions

Possibly as hard as dividing fractions multiplication stretches the mind when the numbers are large. The example shown at one point has a fraction 11830/1232. It is not easy to do this type of fraction in your head. The explanation comprehensively explains how this fraction is arrived at and also how it is reduced down to a proper fraction with a whole part.

## Subtracting Fractions

Subtracting fractions can be quite easy until you end up with a subtraction like the one shown. Once again the explanation takes you through the steps to get to the answer. It is important that you understand these steps so that you can do it on your own if you have to.

## Dividing Fractions

I think dividing fractions is the hardest of the four calculations that can be done. Both of these fractions are also negative. The explanation takes you through each step to arrive at the answer. With division of fractions the answer sometimes look completely wrong. I have, at times, had to convert the fractions to decimals and used a calculator to confirm the answer. Every time the answer was correct. It is just it is hard to see how sometimes.

Note: Because both fractions are negative you could actually ignore the minus signs and treat everything as positive. A negative fraction divided by a negative fraction will always yield a positive fraction.