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Excel Guide

How to Use Goal Seek in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you need to determine the input required to achieve a specific output in Microsoft Excel, Goal Seek is a valuable feature to employ. This tool allows you to manipulate an input cell until a desired result is achieved in another cell. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use Goal Seek in Excel.
  1. Open the Excel worksheet containing the formula you want to analyze.
  2. Click on the cell with the formula result you intend to change.
  3. Navigate to the Data tab, find the Data Tools group, click on "What-If Analysis," and select "Goal Seek."
  4. In the "To value" box, enter the desired result you want the formula cell to produce.
  5. In the "By changing cell" box, input the reference for the cell containing the input value you want to modify.
  6. Click OK to initiate the Goal Seek analysis.

The Goal Seek Status dialog box will appear, displaying the new value of the changing cell and the difference between the original and new values.

Considerations when Using Goal Seek:

  • Goal Seek is designed for use with one input cell. For formulas involving multiple input cells, consider using the Solver tool.
  • Ensure that the cell with the formula result is indeed a formula cell; otherwise, Goal Seek won't function correctly.
  • The input value cell must be a constant value, a number, and must be referenced by the formula in the cell you want to change.

Troubleshooting Tips for Goal Seek:

  • Confirm that the formula result cell is a formula cell.
  • Verify that the input value cell is a constant value and a number.
  • Ensure that the input value cell is referenced by the formula.
  • For formulas with multiple input cells, use the Solver tool.

By adhering to these considerations and troubleshooting tips, you can effectively employ Goal Seek in Excel to determine the input required to achieve a specific desired output.