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Goal Seek in Excel- Tutorial and Instructions

by / Wednesday, 04 January 2017 / Published in Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 365

Goal Seek in Excel: Overview

            You can use Goal Seek in Excel when you know the result you want a formula to return, but do not know the value needed to create the desired result. Anytime you have a situation where you know the result that you need to obtain, but are unsure of one of the values that would be needed to attain that goal, you can use “Goal Seek” to help you find the missing value required.

            For example, if you knew that you could pay up to $600 dollars per month on a loan, Goal Seek could help you determine what the amount that you could borrow would be for known loan terms.

            To use “Goal Seek,” just click the “What-If Analysis” button in the “Data Tools” group on the “Data” tab in the Ribbon. Then select the “Goal Seek…” command from the drop-down menu to open the “Goal Seek” dialog box. In this dialog box, you will need to enter three pieces of information: the cell that contains the result that you want to set to a given “goal” value, the “goal” value itself, and which cell contains the value that you need to change to achieve the goal value.

Goal Seek in Excel- Tutorial: A picture that shows how to use Goal Seek in Excel.

Goal Seek in Excel- Tutorial: A picture that shows how to use Goal Seek in Excel.

            Click into the “Set cell:” text box and then click the cell within the worksheet that contains the result that you want to set to a given goal value. Then click into the “To value:” text box and enter the goal value that you want to find. Then click into the “By changing cell:” text box, and then click the cell in the worksheet that contains the variable that you want to change to achieve the desired result. After entering that, just click the “OK” button to instantly see the result. To accept the result and place it into your worksheet, click the “OK” button again or just click the “Cancel” button to discard the information.

Goal Seek in Excel: Instructions

  1. To use Goal Seek in Excel, click the “What-If Analysis” button in the “Data Tools” group on the “Data” tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Select the “Goal Seek…” command from the drop-down menu to open the “Goal Seek” dialog box.
  3. Click into the “Set cell:” text box and then click the cell within the worksheet that contains the result that you want to set to a given goal value.
  4. Then click into the “To value:” text box and enter the goal value that you want to find.
  5. Click into the “By changing cell:” text box and then click the cell in the worksheet that contains the variable that you want to change to achieve the desired result.
  6. Click the “OK” button to instantly see the result.
  7. To accept the result and place it into your worksheet, click the “OK” button again or click the “Cancel” button to discard the information.

Goal Seek in Excel: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Using Goal Seek,” shows you how to use Goal Seek in Excel. This video is from our complete Excel training, titled “Mastering Excel Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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