==[]-- Slide Rule Operations

This document is not intended as slide rule manual or slide rule tutorial. It assumes that you already know what a slide rule is and how to use it. See list of references below for good introduction and examples.

This page is under developement (and, hopefuly, always will be). Informations on recent changes and contributions can be found on What's new page.


  1. Short notation for slide rule algorithms
  2. Basic Operations
  3. Automated enumeration of slide rule algorithms
  4. Proportions
  5. Equations
  6. Addition/subtraction
  7. Trigonometric calculations
  8. Combinatorics
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Short summary of all described algorithms

This document is a collection of slide rule algorithms. I am trying to collect all simple algorithms used to solve practical propblems that make use of I am also interested in other algorithms that are specific for slide rule or that allow slide rule specific shortcuts to solve certain "standard" problems.

Some manufacturers experimented with alternative scale designs and scale layouts. These experiments sometimes resulted in new ways to perform old things better. These new ways should not be forgotten and I am trying to collect and describe them too.

Slide rule emulator

Sometimes described algorithms use uncommon scales (like BI scale) or exotic scale layouts (like trig scales both on slide and stock) or both. If you do not have appropriate rule you may wish to try my virtual slide rule. It allows you to choose scales and layouts in vast variety. Scales are provided in low resolution and intended not for precise calculation but rather to get feeling of the desired layout.

If ==[]-- icon is inserted in the algorithm description, then by clicking on this icon you will get a slide rule with all scales needed for the described algorithm.

If frame with slide rule is present, then emulator will create new slide rule in this frame (and remove any old slide rule that was there). If the frame was removed, then virtual slide rule will be created in a separate new window. If at some point you wish to get rid of this frame click deframe link located of the bottom of each page on this site.

Circular slide rules

Here is different emulator for circular slide rule КЛ-1 and other.

Slide rule and art

Like many other neat things slide rules always inspired writers, poets, dancers, singers (I guess) and artists. You may see some of the works of art at Slide rule art page.

Contact author

Andrew Nikitin <nsg21@hotmail.com> if you know interesting slide rule algorithms you would like to share, or if you have any comments of any kind.


Simple how tos for beginners:
  1. Article on slide rule in Wikipedia
  2. http://www.hpmuseum.org/srinst.htm
  3. http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Library/3238/mannheim.html

  4. To move further:
  5. Teach Yorself manual from R.Manely's site