Well, had a bit of a weird experience. I had written a full blog post on how to use Solver to identify what numbers make up a specific number. Let me give you a specific example. Many years ago – when I was working in an office – I’d have a difference in my bank reconciliation e.g. 101.80 so I’d want to see what numbers in my list of bank transactions made up that number. It was a tedious thankless task – especially since I didn’t have Excel at the time…

However it turns out that it completely disappeared..so here I am writing it again…

So recently I was giving a course and one of the participants told me that she had come across a way – using Solver – to sort this perennial problem for accounts. I was immediately intrigued and went off to research it. Turns out that Solver was the key…

Can’t find Solver?

Solver is not installed by default. So to get it to appear on your Data ribbon…here is what you need to do..

  1. Go to File – Options – Add-ins (this is for both Excel 2010 /2013)
  2. Find Solver in the list (it will probably be under the Inactive Applications Add-ins)
  3. Click on the Go button beside the Manage Excel Add-ins box at the bottom of the screen
  4. Tick the box for Solver…
  5. It will now appear on the right hand side of your Data ribbon


Using Solver to solve your “what numbers make up this number?” dilemma

The original solution was developed by Tom Ogilvy MVP