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

Reversing Names In Place

Do you want a way to reverse names within a cell, making them "last, first" instead of "first last?" Here's a handy macro ...

Discover More

Unable to Set Margins in a Document

If you find that you cannot set the margins in a document, chances are good that it is due to document corruption. Here's how ...

Discover More

Personal Workbook Fails to Load

The Personal workbook is special; it is where you can store macros you want to use all the time in Excel. What do you do, ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Saving Common Formulas

It is not uncommon to reuse formulas in a variety of workbooks. If you develop some "gotta keep" formulas, here are some ...

Discover More

Determining Winners, by Category

Do you need to determine the top three values in a range of columns? The techniques discussed in this tip will come in ...

Discover More

Placing Formula Results in a Comment

Excel won't allow you to directly or automatically insert the results of a formula into a cell's comment. You can, however, ...

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 nine minus 5?

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.