Frequently asked questions

About Soulver - the world's best notepad calculator

If your question is not answered here, send us an email or a tweet. We're happy to help.

Availability & platforms

Where can I get Soulver 3?

Soulver 3 for Mac is available as a one-time (non-subscription) purchase of $34.95 on the Mac App Store and as a direct download on our website.

Soulver 3 for iPad ($20) and Soulver 3 for iPhone ($14) are available on the App Store.

All versions of Soulver are also available on Setapp (240 apps for $9.99/month).

What are the system requirements for Soulver 3?

Soulver 3 for Mac requires macOS 12 (Monterey) or later, and works great on the latest macOS 14 (Sonoma).

If you're still on macOS 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), or macOS 11 (Big Sur) you can download an older version of Soulver 3.

Soulver 3 for iPhone & Soulver 3 for iPad require iOS/iPadOS 16 or later, and work great on the latest iOS/iPadOS 17.

Can I try Soulver before purchasing?

Yes: we offer a no-commitment 30-day trial.

You are not charged when the trial ends. You may purchase or delete Soulver at any time, during or after the trial.

After the trial ends, you can continue to view any sheets you have created (although they will no longer be editable).

Should I get Soulver directly from you, or from the App Store, or from Setapp?

Benefits of the direct download version

  • A single serial number works on up to 5 Macs, even with different App Store accounts

  • We make slightly more per sale than from the App Store (and supporting indie developers is a good thing).

  • We are able to refund your transaction if required, issue tax invoices, and offer student discounts

Benefits of the Mac App Store version

  • Automatic updates in the background & no serial number to keep track of

  • Family sharing included

  • Subscribe to optional data services, like AI assistant, Live Stocks & Advanced Weather ($26/year)

Benefits of the Setapp version

  • Get all platforms (Mac, iPhone & iPad) as part of your Setapp subscription

  • Never pay an upgrade fee for a major update (for Soulver 4, Soulver 5, etc)

  • Complementary access to AI assistant, Live Stocks & Advanced Weather (ordinarily $26/year)

Purchasing & licenses

Why are Soulver 3 for Mac, iPad & iPhone all separate purchases?

We craft Soulver individually for each platform we build for. Soulver is a best-of-class native Mac app (AppKit), and a best-of-class app for the iPad and for the iPhone (UIKit).

Some developers with a similar engineering approach charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee for access to all platforms (Bear & Fantastical for example). If you like this model, subscribe to Setapp and get all versions of Soulver (+240 other apps) for $10/month.

We prefer one-time purchases per major release. Like Things & iA Writer, we set appropriate prices for each platform. You save money by only paying for the platforms you need, and only paying once.

Each major release typically comes with years of free updates & support (our historical average is 6 years per major version on the Mac, and 14 years on iOS).

Do you support family sharing on the App Store?

Yes โ€“ share Soulver with your family when you purchase through the App Store.

Note that it takes about an hour for the purchase to become available to your family members (due to Apple's policy).

The direct download Mac version of Soulver can also be used on up to 5 Macs in a household (so feel free to share the license code with your family).

Can I use a serial number with the Mac App Store version of Soulver?

Unfortunately Apple doesn't allow this (or offer developers a way to migrate customers from other sales channels, to the App Store).

Use the direct download version of Soulver if you have a serial number.

My purchase of Soulver 3 (via the App Store) is not being recognized on a new Mac or after an update

Please try deleting Soulver and reinstalling from the Mac App Store.

Do ensure you're signed into the same App Store account that you used to purchase originally.

Sheets & Syncing

How do I sync my sheets using iCloud?

On Mac

Go to the General Settings (โŒ˜-,) and select In iCloud under Sheetbook Location

Why can't I see my sheetbook file in iCloud Drive?

You might be wondering why the sheetbook file doesn't appear inside iCloud Drive or Files (on iOS).

This is because it's stored in a private (not user visible) part of iCloud Drive reserved for Soulver.

You can still reveal the sheetbook in Finder in the Mac version, by clicking the little arrow button in the bottom right of General settings.

On iPad & iPhone

Tap the cog to go to Settings > then Sheets & Syncing and select in iCloud under Store Sheetbook

Alternatively, if you just need to sync a single sheet, export it (by dragging it out of the sidebar, or going File > Export > Soulver 3 File), and save it to a synced location, like Dropbox or iCloud Drive.

How do I import my Soulver 2 files into Soulver 3?

On Mac

Go File > Open, click Show Options and tick "Import to Sheetbook".

If you synced your Soulver 2 files with iCloud, you can probably find them under iCloud Drive / Soulver.

On iPad & iPhone

Tap the Files button and choose "Import Soulver Files"

If you synced your Soulver 2 files with iCloud, you can probably find them under Files / Soulver.

Why isn't Soulver for Mac remembering my sheets' window positions?

Soulver supports "Resume", a feature in macOS which restores the position of your windows on launch.

For Resume to work correctly:

  • Don't close your window manually before you quit Soulver

  • Ensure "Close windows when quitting an app" is disabled in the macOS Desktop & Dock settings

Common questions

Can I get Soulver to ignore certain numbers in my text?

Sure, use a comment (// this is a comment), or a label (this is a label: ):

Additionally, if the number is surrounded by parenthesis and accompanied by at least one other word, it will be ignored by Soulver.

Soulver tells me 1 GB equals 1000 MB. But 1 GB is actually 1024 MB, isn't it?

Soulver conforms to the industry standard binary prefix system, which you can read about here:

The gist of it is that units like kB, MB & GB behave like normal base-10 SI units.

Additional units have been introduced to represent base-2 binary units (KiB, MiB, GiB, etc)

Can I turn off notation in answers?

By default Soulver formats your large answers with SI notation:

To disable this notation go to the Format menu and untick Notation for Large Numbers .

You can also access line specific formatting settings by clicking the action button on an answer:

To turn off notation for all lines, go to

Settings > Calculator > Number Formatting

and disable Notation for Large Numbers

History & design goals

Was Soulver the first notepad calculator?

Soulver (first released in 2005) was the first notepad calculator to use an answer column on the right side of a text editor, and the first notepad calculator to let you use words alongside numbers.

The first notepad calculator we know of is MathPad by Mark Widholm, originally released for Macintosh in 1993.

Calca is a modern version of the MathPad design. Like MathPad, Calca prioritizes commenting over math, and uses a special symbol (=>) to manually invoke calculation.

We prefer the Soulver approach though, with your expression being evaluated as soon as you type it, because there is no extra calculation step required.

Soulver is a natural language calculator. Is it using machine learning or AI to achieve this?

Actually, no. Soulver does not use machine learning algorithms, or even regular expressions.

Soulver is powered by a natural language calculation engine called SoulverCore.

SoulverCore scans text for particular phrases (much like a data detector), and evaluates the last valid mathematical expression on a line of text.

If you're curious about how we built SoulverCore, check out the wonderful Crafting Interpreters by Robert Nystrom.

What were the original design goals for Soulver?

For the first Soulver (back in 2005) our goal was to invent a better calculator interface for computers, where:

  1. Answers would be calculated as you type - no extra "equals" step required

  2. A way to see, edit & reference previous calculations (unlike a traditional calculator)

  3. Support for commenting words alongside numbers (for added clarity & context)

  4. Support for declaring variables to be used in further calculations

We succeeded in these goals by placing an "answer column" alongside a notepad, inventing a new kind of notepad calculator in the process.

This approach also took advantage of the powerful document & text editing infrastructure in macOS.

What are the current design goals for Soulver?

  1. Providing useful calculation phrases & functions to take a load off your brain when working through problems

  2. The ability to personalize your calculation environment (with global variables, custom units, & visual settings)

  3. Best-in-class, beautiful native apps (with deep OS integration)

We strive to improve Soulver over time, without making it more complicated.

Windows & Linux

Will Soulver ever be available for Windows, Android or Linux?

Maybe.

There are numerous clones of Soulver available for other platforms you can use in the meantime:

For the Web

For Android

For Windows

Cross-platform Electron (Mac, Windows & Linux)

We support Soulver clones on other platforms. We believe everyone benefits when great UI concepts are copied, evolved upon, and widely used.

If you make a calculator product inspired by Soulver, please do consider writing an acknowledgment of the source of this idea (somewhere on your website, or in your application credits perhaps).

Then let us know so we can feature it here ๐Ÿ™‚.

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