Note on the Use of Solver in Excel

by: Roman Kapuscinski

Publication Date: November 16, 2012
Length: 10 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-308

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product does not have a teaching note.


Spreadsheet programs (e.g., Lotus, Excel, Quattro-Pro) make it very easy to solve linear and non-linear programming (LP and NLP) problems that previously could be solved only by using very specialized programming software. The feature that allows this in Excel is called Solver.Solver also allows for inclusion of various constraints (e.g., available budget, storage space, or maximum work-hours). By varying the values of input cells, we can see how the value of our objective function (say, profit) changes. Consequently, for small problems we can manually find the best values of input cells. For bigger problems, however, the manual search becomes quite tedious. Solver is very systematic and efficient in performing the search. Especially for LP problems, the speed is rapid and the solutions are exact.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Establish the spreadsheet dependencies (links).
  • Indicate the objective function, changeable cells (input cells), and constraints.
  • Find optimal values of changeable cells (input cells).