# How to Set the Mode on the TI-83 Plus

The TI-83 Plus Mode menu, which is accessed by pressing **[MODE]**, is the most important menu on the calculator; it tells the calculator how you want numbers and graphs to be displayed.

One item in each row of this menu must be selected. Here are your choices:

**Normal, Sci, or Eng:**This setting controls how numbers are displayed on the calculator. In Normal mode, the calculator displays numbers in the usual numeric fashion that you used in elementary school — provided it can display it using no more than ten digits. If the number requires more than ten digits, the calculator displays it using scientific notation.

In Scientific (

**Sci**) mode, numbers are displayed using scientific notation; and in Engineering (**Eng**) mode, numbers are displayed in engineering notation. Here, the first answer is displayed in normal notation, the second in scientific notation, and the third in engineering notation.In scientific and engineering notation, the calculator uses

**E**to denote multiplication by 10*n*.^{n}**Float 0123456789:**Select

**Float**if you want the calculator to display as many digits as possible. Select**0**if you want all numbers rounded to an integer. If you’re dealing with money, select**2**so that all numbers will be rounded to two decimal places. Selecting**5**rounds all numbers to five decimal places, and, well, you get the idea.**Radian or Degree:**If you select

**Radian**, all angles entered in the calculator are interpreted as being in radian measure; all angular answers given by the calculator will also be in radian measure. Similarly, if you select**Degree**, any angle you enter must be in degree measure, and any angular answer given by the calculator is also in degree measure.**Func, Par, Pol, or Seq:**This setting tells the calculator what type of functions you plan to graph. Select

**Func**to graph plain old vanilla functions,*y*=*f*(*x*). Select**Par**to graph parametric equations;**Pol**to graph polar equations; and**Seq**to graph sequences. (Sequences are also called*iterative equations*.)**Connected or Dot:**In

**Dot**mode, the calculator produces a graph by plotting only the points it calculates. In**Connected**mode, the calculator joins consecutively plotted points with a line.Select the

**Connected**mode because each of the graphing options (**Func**,**Par**,**Pol**, and**Seq**) allows you to select a graphing style, one of which is the dot style.**Sequential or Simul:**In

**Sequential**mode, the calculator completes the graph of one function before it graphs the next function. In Simultaneous (**Simul)**mode, the calculator graphs all functions at the same time. It does so by plotting the values of all functions for one value of the independent variable, and then plotting the values of all functions for the next value of the independent variable.**Simul**mode is useful if you want to see whether two functions intersect at the same value of the independent variable. You have to watch the functions as they are graphed in order to*see*if this happens.**Real, a + b***i*, orIf you’re dealing with only real numbers, select the

**Real**mode. If you’re dealing with complex numbers, select**a + b**if you want the complex numbers displayed in rectangular form. If you want complex numbers displayed in polar form, select the*i*mode.

**Full, Horiz, or G-T:**The

**Full**screen mode displays the screen as you see it when you turn the calculator on. The other screen modes are split-screen modes. The**Horiz**mode is for when you want to display a graph and the Y= editor or the Home screen at the same time. Use the**G-T**mode when you want to display a graph and a table at the same time.

If you’re planning on graphing trigonometric functions, put the calculator in Radian mode. Reason: Most trig functions are graphed for

That is approximately

That’s not a bad value for the limits on the *x*-axis. But if you graph in Degree mode, you would need —

for the limits on the *x*-axis. This is doable . . . but it’s easier to graph in Radian mode.