Hey, Where Did Solver Go?

To this point in the blog, I’ve covered most of the new features that we’ve added to Excel 2007, but I wanted to quickly mention a couple of tools that folks use in Excel and where they can be found in Excel 2007 – specifically, the Solver and the Analysis ToolPak (ATP) Add-Ins.

Enabling Excel Add-Ins

First, a quick detour, since I haven’t covered this in great depth previously: enabling these add-ins is done through the Office Button | Excel Options | Add-Ins, which is where all Add-In management takes place.  Once there, selecting “Excel Add-ins” from the Manage drop down and clicking “Go…” will allow you to enable both the Solver and ATP.


Once you’ve enabled Solver, Excel will auto-install the Add-in if it is not already installed, and then it will be available on the Data ribbon in Excel.  We haven’t made many changes to Solver this release, but we have updated it to work with many of the new limits in Excel 2007 – most notably the increased row and column limits.

(Click to enlarge)

Analysis ToolPak

Just like Solver, once you’ve enabled the Analysis ToolPak, it will show up on the Data ribbon in the Analysis group, under a button called “Data Analysis.”  Unlike Solver, we have done some major work with the ATP this release to move the formulas that have been part of it in previous versions of Excel into the core Excel calculation engine, but the functionality available through the Data tab has remained the same (again, with updates for increased limits).