Microsoft Excel includes a workbook, Solvsamp.xls in the Office\Samples folder, that demonstrates the types of problems you can solve.

You can use the sample worksheets in Solvsamp.xls to help you set up your problems. To use any of the six worksheets— Product Mix, Shipping Routes, Staff Scheduling, Maximizing Income, Portfolio of Securities, and Engineering Design— open the workbook, switch to the worksheet you want to use, and then click Solver in the Analysis group on the Data tab. The objective cell, constraint cells, and decision variable cells for each Solver model are already specified:





Decision Variables

Quick Tour

Profit (Max)

Advertising budget

Ad spending by quarter

Product Mix

Profit (Max)

Parts inventory on hand

Number of products to build

Shipping Routes

Shipping Cost (Min)

Supplies at plants, demands at warehouses

Number of products to ship on each route

Staff Scheduling

Payroll Cost (Min)

Employees needed each day of the week

Number of employees on each of 7 weekly schedules

Maximizing Income

Interest Earned (Max)

Cash balance at end of each month

Amount to invest in 1-, 3- and 6-month CDs

Portfolio of Securities

Portfolio Return (Max)

Portfolio total and risk (variance)

Percentage to invest in each of 4 stocks plus T-bills

Engineering Design

Charge (Value Of)


Resistor value in circuit


Comments on each worksheet explain more about each Solver model.  To find an optimal solution, click Solve.