Excel Integration

Integrate Open solver into with Excel

Jump to


    Integrating OpenSolver into Excel elevates the capabilities of spreadsheet analysis by providing advanced tools for solving complex optimization problems. Whether you are dealing with linear or non-linear models, OpenSolver offers a robust solution that extends beyond the limitations of Excel's built-in solver. This integration is essential for professionals and researchers who require precise, efficient, and scalable options for data modeling and decision making. On this page, we'll delve into the importance of integrating OpenSolver into Excel, outline the necessary prerequisites for setting up the integration, guide you through the integration process, explore various use cases, assist with troubleshooting, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

    By leveraging OpenSolver, users can transform their Excel experience, taking full advantage of the add-in's capabilities such as cloud solving and access to advanced solvers like CBC and Gurobi for Mac users, or utilizing the COIN-OR solvers for Windows. The integration process is tailored for compatibility with different versions of Excel across Mac and Windows platforms. It's crucial to understand the appropriate setup and use cases to optimize your workflows effectively. From model creation to solving intricate optimization problems, OpenSolver integration with Excel is a powerful enhancement to your analytical toolkit.

    Integrating OpenSolver with Excel

    OpenSolver offers multiple methods for integration with Excel, ensuring flexibility and efficiency for users. It capitalizes on its compatibility with existing Solver models and extends functionality through additional powerful solvers. Whether you are a novice or an expert in optimization, OpenSolver provides intuitive tools and advanced features to meet your needs.

    Using OpenSolver with Existing Solver Models

    One of the simplest ways to integrate OpenSolver into Excel is by working with your existing Solver models. OpenSolver is designed to be compatible with these models, allowing you to switch from Excel's Solver to OpenSolver without changing your spreadsheets. This ensures a seamless transition to take advantage of OpenSolver's extended capabilities.

    Building Models with OpenSolver's Model Editor

    For those who prefer a more intuitive interface, OpenSolver's own model editor can be accessed using the Model button. This editor offers a user-friendly way to build and manage optimization models and is considered more intuitive than Excel's built-in editor. It automatically highlights constraints on the sheet, making the model-building process more transparent.

    Solving Models with Quick Solve and Parameter Cells

    OpenSolver's Quick Solve feature is an efficient tool for users who need to solve the same model repeatedly with different constraint values. By defining parameter cells through the Set Quick Solve Parameters menu, you can swiftly solve models with varying parameters. This feature is particularly helpful for debugging and iterative analysis.

    Advanced Integration through VBA

    For advanced users seeking full control, OpenSolver can be integrated with Excel through VBA. By utilizing the OpenSolver API, you can automate the solving process and customize functionality to suit your specific requirements. The API allows for the use of additional solvers, such as Gurobi if installed, and includes the ability to use callback functions like \"OpenSolver.NOMAD_CallbackAbort\" to prompt the user for cancellation during the solve process.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Integrating OpenSolver with Sourcetable

    Integrating OpenSolver with Sourcetable instead of traditional spreadsheet tools like Excel can significantly enhance your data analysis and decision-making processes. Sourcetable offers a platform that syncs live data from a wide array of apps and databases, providing a more dynamic and automated workflow. This seamless integration ensures that your data is always up-to-date, eliminating the need for manual updates and reducing the risk of human error.

    With Sourcetable, you gain the advantage of a spreadsheet interface that is familiar yet more powerful due to its ability to automatically pull in data from multiple sources. This capability allows for real-time querying and analysis, making Sourcetable an excellent tool for business intelligence and automation. By combining Sourcetable with OpenSolver, you can optimize your data-driven decision-making with the latest information, leading to more accurate and timely results.

    Common Use Cases

    • O
      Excel Integration
      Use OpenSolver to solve linear and integer programming models
    • O
      Excel Integration
      Quick solving with OpenSolver may be used to solve the same model repeatedly after making changes
    • O
      Excel Integration
      Canceling a solve process from inside the callback macro is useful for when the escape button is pressed during a solve
    • O
      Excel Integration
      Use OpenSolver’s model editor to build a model
    • O
      Excel Integration
      Use OpenSolver to view the model’s adjustable cells, objective cell, and constraints

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I install OpenSolver for Excel?

    First, download OpenSolver from the official website. Then, unblock the .zip file by right-clicking on it and choosing 'Properties', followed by clicking 'Unblock'. After that, extract the files and place the OpenSolver add-in file into the Excel add-in directory to ensure it loads on Excel start. For Mac, use the OpenSolver installer to set up Gurobi, if using that solver, in a whitelisted directory.

    Why is OpenSolver not loading in Excel?

    OpenSolver may not load if the files are in an untrusted location, if Excel crashes while OpenSolver is running, or if Excel is installed from the Windows Store, which does not support add-ons. Ensure that OpenSolver is installed to a trusted location and that you are not using the Windows Store version of Excel.

    Can I use OpenSolver with Excel for Mac?

    OpenSolver is available for Mac OS X, including Excel for Mac 2011 and newer versions than OS X 10.7. However, there is limited support for Excel 2016 on Mac, and it does not work with Excel 16.16.7 or on Mac OS Mojave with Excel. Make sure you are using a compatible version and follow the specific installation instructions for Mac.

    What solvers does OpenSolver use, and how can I troubleshoot if it's not working?

    OpenSolver uses CBC by default for linear programming problems and can also work with the Gurobi solver. If the external solver crashes, or OpenSolver can't find it, it may not create a solution file. Ensure that OpenSolver is installed correctly and that the solvers are in a trusted location. Gurobi requires a license file and must be set up using the OpenSolver installer on Mac.

    How do I ensure OpenSolver runs when I start Excel?

    To have OpenSolver load automatically with Excel, you can place the OpenSolver add-in file in the Excel add-in directory. Make sure to set up OpenSolver to load on Excel start through Excel's options for managing add-ins.


    In summary, OpenSolver for Excel is a powerful and free VBA add-in developed by Andrew Mason and his team at the University of Auckland, enabling users to tackle larger and more complex optimization problems than Excel's built-in Solver. It provides an intuitive model editor, highlights key parts of your model directly in the spreadsheet, and allows for quick iterative solving, which is particularly beneficial when making repeated adjustments to constraints. With its compatibility with existing Solver models and the ability to solve linear, integer, and non-linear programming models, OpenSolver is a robust tool for enhancing Excel's capabilities. However, for those seeking an alternative without the need to integrate with Excel, Sourcetable offers a seamless solution. Sign up for Sourcetable today to get started and experience the ease of solving complex problems efficiently.

    Connect your Open solver into Data

    Analyze data, automate reports and create live dashboards
    for all your business applications, without code. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.