Important note: The keys of the HP 12C calculator have been assigned multiple functions. Keys are assigned white, orange and blue color codes. To enable the white coded function, just press the desired key. For the orange coded function, press the key at the bottom of the calculator followed by the desired key. For the blue coded function, press the key at the bottom of the calculator followed by the desired key. In this guide, all keys are referred to by their white coded function, as they are easier to read and easier to identify.

Before you start using the calculator, you may want to perform a system reset using the following procedure. click here.

The following is a list of the basic preliminary set up features of your hp12c. You should understand these keystrokes before you begin work on statistical or Time Value of Money (TVM) functions.

Please note that your calculator’s sign convention requires that one of the TVM inputs ([PV], [FV], or [PMT]) be a negative number. Intuitively, this negative value represents the cash outflow that will occur in a TVM problem.

1. To set the number of decimal places that show in your HP12C display screen:

< f > {Desired # of decimal places}
For the exam, I would make sure that the number of decimal places is set to 5.

2. To switch between annuity-due [BEGIN] and ordinary annuity modes:

To switch to the begin mode, [g] [BEG] (The word BEGIN will be displayed at the bottom of the display screen.)

To switch back to the ordinary annuity mode, [g] [END] (The word BEGIN will disappear from the display screen.)

3. Clearing the HP12C screen:

To clear the calculator screen, press [CLX]

4. To clear the HP12C time value of money memory registers:

< f > [x><y] (This is the key to the left of the white [CLX] key in the second row
from below.)

This function clears all entries in the time value of money functions (n, i, PV, PMT
and FV). This function is important because each TVM function button represents a
memory register. If you do not clear your memory you many have erroneous data left
over when you perform new TVM computations. Pressing the [CLX] key clears the
screen only. It does not clear the memory registers for the TVM functions, so please
be careful.

5. Clearing your work from the statistical data entry registers:

To clear the single value and (X, Y) coordinate pairs from the statistical memory
registers, press: < f > ! [SST]

6. Additional HP12C memory registers:

HP 12C provides 20 additional memory registers for data storage. These are numbered 0 to 9 for the first ten, and .0 to .9 for the last ten registers (yes that is a period before 0 and 9!). To enter data into a memory register press {Desired value} [STO] [Any memory register number, 0 to .9]

Example: Store the number 125 in the memory register .8
125 [STO] [.8] will do the job.

To recall a stored value, press

[RCL] [Desired memory register number]

In the above example, to recall the stored value 125, press

[RCL] [.8] (This will display 125 on the screen.)

To clear all memory registers press

< f > [CLX] (This will clear all memory registers as well as the TVM registers.)


  1. On 04-Jan-2014, Sam wrote: 
    12C, changed batteries and the STO stop working
    Your reply to Sam

  2. On 13-Jan-2013, Louis wrote: 
    Why doesn’t the clx key not clear the display?
    Your reply to Louis
    • On 14-Jan-2013, Anonymous replied: 
      Keyboard may be faulty. Use this 12c keyboard test procedure to verify. http://www.educalc.net/1474487.page
      Your reply to Anonymous

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