need help with c++ calculator

ted larsson on November 14, 2018

So I am taking a c++ course and I am on my third assignment. The first was a simple calculator, get 2 numbers and then Display the results for ad... [Read Full]
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so i had an idea how to create this using while and if loops and switch and so and started working on that, got that working and was pretty happy with the result. then i reached out to the techer and asked if i was on the right track. well i was not, i need to make this calculator using string. they should be able to write the formula and then get the calculated answer. ex: 10+10-5(7*8).

now i havent used string and vectors in the other assignmenst and iv'e spent countless hours reading and watching youtube lessons on string. the problem is most of the tutorials i find arent advanced enough, they are only using at most 2 numbers and 1 operator and no (). Now this is programming 1, a introduction course, and this seems to be way more advanced than i thought so i think i need more than a little help here :P does anybody know where i can find a tutorial or something that explains this so that a beginner understands this? i want to learn this really badly and it feels like i almost do i just need something that makes my brain go aha thats how it works!


Thanks for your inputs! I tried sitting down and making a flowchart. I kind of see the things I need to do. Now I'm just gonna figure out how to do them, and I don't know if I over complicate the project.


Complementing Jason, you start here:
"The user must be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide as many times as he/she/it wants then get the result of be able to clear and start over."

Verbs are hints to subtasks: add, sub, mul, div, clear, get the result.
(Nouns are hints to variables and later on objects).: result

You thought a nice loop.
User goes: number, op, number, op, number,..., clear or result.

Or maybe: number, op, number, number, op, number,..., clear or result.
Should you reuse the result as operand for the next op?
Should the user be able to ask for "a sub formula"?
How do you track if user wants to use result as operand?
For example i_1 + i_2 - (i_3 + i_4)
Can the user go: "i_1 + clear" instead? What happens then?

A nice way to think and reason is a flow chart
Make a square for each action or calculation, put a arrow without anything when one thing leads to another.
Write an arrow for each different outcome of the box.
For example:

Hint: For now, you can ask for a number input and give options 1,2,... to interact with the user. Later, you can use c++ string, char and regex classes.
Try the simplest thing first, and then think about how you can make it better/closer to the expected.
You can always evolve from the simple later.

Best wishes.


It sounds like you're making the jump from having all the steps happen the same way in order, to working with functions.

Get out a literal piece of paper and figure out the following:

  • What information do you need to store as the program runs?

  • Break the problem down into pieces. What do you need to be able to do? e.g. you should be able to add, subtract, etc. Each piece should probably be a separate function.

  • What information do you need from the user? How do you want to ask them for it? How will you store it?

You'll do well to review and make use of the following programming structures:

  • Loops

  • Conditional statements

  • Functions


Look up the Shunting Yard algorithm. At some point you're going to need it.

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