Calculator Tape

Updated: 2024-06-06

The Tape is a hybrid between an adding machine tape and a calculator. Adjust the options to make it behave how you wish (see below).

Basic Adding

Basic addition

By default, the TaxCycle tape works like an adding machine. Type the number and then you press the operator key to tell the tape what to do with the number.

For example, to add 100 + 75 + 150 = 325 together, you would:

  1. Press the plus key (or Ctrl+F8) to open the tape.
  2. Type 100, then press the Plus Sign.
  3. Type 75, then press the Plus Sign or Enter.
  4. Type 150, then press the Plus Sign or Enter.
  5. Press Enter to total amounts.
  6. Press Enter to close the tape.

Order of Operations

In cases where you have a more complex calculation, use subtotals to add two calculated numbers. 

For example, if you want a tape calculate the following:

0.13 × 500 ÷ 1.13 + 0.13 × 200 ÷ 1.13 = 80.53

Because of the order of operations, at first it can be difficult to figure out how to get to this result, as essentially, the calculation needs to be done as follows:

= 0.13 × 500 ÷ 1.13 + 0.13 × 200 ÷ 1.13
= 57.52 + 23.01
= 80.53

In TaxCycle’s tape, you would press Enter to subtotal and indicate you want to add each of the numbers. Then, a final S to subtotal.

Here are the keystrokes for this sample calculation:


Sample tape with the order of operations 

Tape descriptions Line Descriptions

  1. To view and add descriptions to each line on the tape, click the descriptions button, or press Alt+D
  2. Press the space bar to move to the description field. The descriptions field auto-completes based on the keystroke history in the field. Learn more in the Auto-complete text help topic.
  3. Check Carry forward descriptions to keep the tape descriptions in the following year.
  4. Click the descriptions button again, or press Alt+D to close the descriptions.


Ctrl+F8 or + Start a tape in the field
N or Alt+N New tape
C Clear amount
S Subtotal
T Total
P or Alt+P Total and post to the field
space Add description (if the description pane is already visible)
Enter Subtotal or total (depending on what you have set in options, see below)
Enter Enter Close tape (depending on what you have set in options)
+ Add (or open the tape window if there isn’t one in the field)
= Add
* Multiply
/ Divide
Alt+D Toggle Descriptions open and closed
Ctrl+6 through Ctrl+9 Add review marks to the line on the tape.

To see all the keyboard shortcuts and operators for the tape while you are working, hover your cursor over the number entry box. A pop-up will appear with the list of keyboard controls. 

Tape help while working

Right-click to edit a tape

Edit an Existing Tape

Once you have a tape, it is possible to go back and edit the contents:

  1. Click in the amount field and type to change the value.
  2. Click in a description field and type to change the text.
  3. Right-click to insert or delete a row in an existing tape.
  4. Click on a row in a tape and press + or - to change the operator between plus and minus.
  5. Click on a row in a tape and press * or / to change the operator between multiplication and divide.
  6. Click on a row and press T to change a subtotal to a total. Press S to change a total to a subtotal.

Copy and Paste Tapes

Click once in a field with a tape to select the entire contents of the field. Press Ctrl+C to copy or Ctrl+X to cut the contents. Click once in a different field and press Ctrl+V to paste. The tape goes with the field values.

tape-review636380785321914006 Add Review Marks to Tape Lines

  1. Hover over a line on the tape to see the check mark.
  2. Click it once to mark a first review (blue).
  3. Click it again for a second review (green).
  4. Click a third time to remove it.
  5. Keyboard shortcuts to add review marks also work—Ctrl+6 through Ctrl+9.

Finding Tapes

  1. Fields that contain a tape have a blue box with an equal sign in them (on the left side of the field). Click it to open or close the tape.
  2. To see a list of all forms with tapes, select Tapes from the View menu in the Prepare sidebar. Click on an entry to jump to the form.
  3. For a list of all tapes, select Tapes from the Data menu in the Review sidebar. Then, click on an entry to go to the field with the tape.
  4. Hover over the entry in the Review sidebar to see a preview of the tape.


Tapes Summary

The Tapes summary shows all the tapes in a return. Look for it in the Summaries section of the Prepare sidebar, or search for it with the name Tapes:


Print Tapes After the Form

To print tapes on a new page after the form, check the Print tapes option:


Tape Options

Specific options allow you to configure how the tape works:

  1. From the Start screen, click Options in the blue bar on the left side. If you have a file open, go to the File menu, then click Options
  2. On the left, expand Return Preparation and click Edit
  3. On the right side, scroll to the sections called Memos and Tapes and Tape.