How to Use a TI-83 to Convert to Metric

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Calculators aren't just for figuring out simple math problems anymore. Scientific and graphing calculators can draw graphs and even come up with solutions for algebraic equations. The TI-83 calculator is a Texas Instruments graphing calculator, and among the functions on the calculator, the user can convert units of measurement into metric. However, this conversion application must be downloaded from the Texas Instruments website. Make sure you have the current software for the calculator before trying to install the separate application.


    Plug your calculator into your computer using your TI-GRAPH LINK cable. Attach a 9-pin to 25-pin adapter to your cable only if you are using a computer with a 25-pin serial port. Install the TI-GRAPH LINK software following the instructions with the software.

    Press down on the "APPS" button if your Science Tools application isn't running. If Science Tools is running, skip to Step 6.

    Highlight "SciTools" by moving your arrow keys and then press "ENTER." A new information screen will come up.

    Press any key to display the SELECT A TOOL menu.

    Highlight "UNIT CONVERTER" by moving the arrow keys on your calculator and press "ENTER." A new menu will come up displaying the UNIT CONVERTER application. Skip steps 6 and 7 and continue to the next section of the article.

    Press "2nd" then "QUIT" to display the SELECT A TOOL menu.

    Highlight "UNIT CONVERTER" and press "ENTER." The menu displaying the UNIT CONVERTER will come up.


    Pick the conversion category. For example, if you want to convert a measurement of length, you would choose "Length."

    Enter the value that you want to convert. For example, if you want to convert 12 inches to centimeters, you would enter the number "12" and press "ENTER."

    Pick which unit from which you are converting on the menu by moving the arrow keys and highlighting your choice. So, for converting 12 inches, you would choose the option "in" and press "ENTER."

    Pick which unit you want to convert to by moving the arrow keys and highlighting your choice. If you are converting 12 inches into centimeters, choose the "cm" option and press "ENTER." Your answer will be displayed.

    Things You'll Need

    • TI-GRAPH LINK cable
    • 9-pin to 25-pin adapter


    • All conversion displays will have the abbreviated term for each. For example: kilometers will be displayed as km and millimeters will be displayed as mm.

      Make sure your calculator has the latest updated software so that you can install the Science Tools application.



About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.

Photo Credits

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