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Chapter 21. Mastering Excel's Solver and... > Solving Problems with Goal Seek

Solving Problems with Goal Seek

Although Excel's Goal Seek feature is similar to Solver, it is generally faster and easier to use because it doesn't provide as many options as Solver does. Use Goal Seek if you want to produce a specific value in a formula cell by adjusting only one input cell that influences a value; otherwise, if you have one or more input cells and have constraints on the solution, or if you want to maximize or minimize a formula cell, you must use Solver.

To find out how much you can afford to borrow in order to purchase a car, for example, the formula cell would contain the PMT function, which you decide should return an amount of $400 (representing your budgeted auto loan payment of $400 per month). Figure 21.11 shows a sample worksheet for this auto loan example. The formula bar shows the PMT function entered in cell C6, which calculates the monthly loan payment based on a $20,000 loan, a 48-month term, and an interest rate of 10 percent. You decide that you can't afford a payment of $507.25 per month for a $20,000 car, so you want to find out exactly how much car you can afford for $400 per month.


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