Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Finding optimal solutions by using Solver
Finding optimal solutions by using Solver
Goal Seek is a great tool for finding out how much you need to change a single input value
to generate a desired result from a formula, but it’s of no help if you want to find the best
mix of several input values. For example, marketing vice president Craig Dewar might want
to advertise in four national magazines to drive customers to Consolidated Messenger’s
website, but he might not know the best mix of ads to reach the greatest number of
readers. He asked the publishers for ad pricing and readership numbers, which he recorded in a
spreadsheet, along with the minimum number of ads per publication (three) and the
minimum number of times he wants the ad to be seen (10,000,000). Because one of the
magazines has a high percentage of corporate executive readers, Craig does want to take out at
least four ads in that publication, despite its relatively low readership. The goal of the ad
campaign is for the ads to be seen as many times as possible without costing the company
more than the $3,000,000 budget.
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TIP It helps to spell out every aspect of your problem so that you can identify the cells you
want Solver to use in its calculations.
If you performed a complete installation when you installed Excel on your computer, the
Solver button is available on the Data tab in the Analysis group. If not, you need to install
the Solver Add-In. To do so, click the File tab, and then click Options. In the Excel Options
dialog box, click Add-Ins to display the Add-Ins page. At the bottom of the dialog box, in
the Manage list, click Excel Add-Ins, and then click Go to display the Add-Ins dialog box.
Select the Solver Add-In check box and click OK to install Solver.
TIP You might be prompted for the Microsoft Office system installation CD. If so, put the
CD in your CD drive, and click OK.
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