Solving Simultaneous Equations

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 19, 2016)

2

David is facing the task of solving some simultaneous equations in Excel, most with ten variables or more. He asked if there were some resources he could reference that would be good for learning how to do this.

Working with simultaneous equations is not for the mathematically faint-of-heart. The easiest way to solve simultaneous equations is to use matrix math, which is built into Excel. Such tasks are definitely not in the realm of simple mathematics, and a full discussion of simultaneous equations would be beyond the scope of ExcelTips. There are, however, several good resources you can use to help bring you up to speed. The following three sites have been suggested as starting points by other ExcelTips subscribers:

http://www.duncanwil.co.uk/simult.html
http://educ.jmu.edu/~drakepp/spreadsheet/howto/matrices.pdf
http://homepage1.nifty.com/gfk/renritu-excel-e.htm

If you prefer to use printed books instead of online resources, you might try Guide to Microsoft Excel 2002 for Scientists and Engineers (ISBN 0750656131) in which simultaneous equations are addressed beginning on page 210. While this book is obviously for an older version of Excel, the techniques relative to simultaneous equations are still applicable to later versions of Excel. In fact, you could visit Amazon and simply search for "simultaneous equations" (with the quotes) and find a good number of potential sources for detailed information.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3079) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding the VLOOKUP Function

Functions are at the heart of Excel's power in working with data. One of the most misunderstood functions provided by Excel ...

Discover More

Controlling Sorting Order

When you sort information either in a table or the body of you document, Word follows a very specific set of rules to do the ...

Discover More

Displaying the Selected Cell's Address

Need to know the address of the cell that is currently selected? There is no worksheet function to return this information, ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Viewing Formula Results

When editing information in a cell, you may need to know the result of a portion of your formula. The shortcut described in ...

Discover More

Combining Cell Contents

Excel allows you to easily combine text together. The key is to understand and use the ampersand operator.

Discover More

Incrementing References by Multiples when Copying Formulas

You can easily set up a formula to perform some calculation on a range of cells. When you copy that formula, the copied ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

2014-06-14 10:42:20

John Markey

Another good hint: Before you publish an article to the world is to check that it is error free. The second formula shown in the referenced "edu.jmu.edu" link should read "a-2c=0" and not "a-c=0". The matrix also represents "a-c=0". In the Excel example the author did use the correct formula and representation, otherwise an error would have occurred.


2014-06-07 09:55:06

Bill Tastle

An excellent tip, and one that is easy to understand. And, it seems to me, not at all that mathematically "advanced." If one can add and multiply, one has already learned the concepts necessary to learn matrix manipulation, at least to the level presented here. This is something every business person should be able to do. What may be the harder part of this activity is the identification of equations from the real world.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.