# How to Use Goal Seek Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Use Goal Seek in Excel

Using Goal Seek in Excel is straightforward and extremely useful for solving problems where you know the desired result but need to find the correct input value to achieve it. To accomplish this, you follow a series of steps in Excel to set up your data and then use the Goal Seek feature to find the necessary input. This tool can help with budgeting, forecasting, and many other tasks that involve working backward from a known result.

## How to Use Goal Seek in Excel

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to use Goal Seek in Excel to find the specific input value needed to achieve a target result. Imagine you’re trying to figure out what sales volume you need to hit a certain revenue target. Goal Seek can help with that!

### Step 1: Set up your data

First, you need to have your data organized in a way that Excel can work with.

For example, if you’re trying to find the sales volume needed to reach a certain revenue, you should have a formula that multiplies the sales volume by the price per unit to get the revenue.

### Step 2: Select the cell with the result

Click on the cell that contains the formula result you want to change.

This is usually the cell where you’ve calculated the revenue or another target metric. It’s important to select the cell where the outcome appears.

### Step 3: Open Goal Seek

Go to the Data tab on the Ribbon, then click on What-If Analysis, and select Goal Seek from the dropdown menu.

This will open the Goal Seek dialog box, which is where you’ll input the necessary information to perform the analysis.

### Step 4: Define your goal

In the Goal Seek dialog box, set the ‘Set cell’ field to the cell with your result, the ‘To value’ field to your target number, and the ‘By changing cell’ field to the input cell you want to adjust.

Make sure the cell you’re changing is the one that directly affects the result. For example, this could be the cell with your sales volume.

### Step 5: Run Goal Seek

Click OK to start the Goal Seek process.

Excel will start adjusting the input value in small increments until the result cell matches your target value. It will notify you if it finds a solution or not.

After you complete these steps, Excel will have adjusted the input value to meet your specified goal. You’ll see the new input value in the designated cell, and the result cell will display your target value.

## Tips for Using Goal Seek in Excel

• Double-check your formulas: Make sure your formulas are correct before running Goal Seek to avoid incorrect results.
• Start with realistic values: Begin with an input value that’s close to your expected result to help Goal Seek work efficiently.
• Use for linear problems: Goal Seek works best for problems that have a linear relationship between the input and the output.
• Save your work: Always save a copy of your workbook before running Goal Seek to prevent unintended changes.
• Understand limitations: Goal Seek only works with one variable at a time. For more complex scenarios, consider using Solver.

### What is Goal Seek in Excel?

Goal Seek is a built-in Excel tool that finds the necessary input value to achieve a specific target result in a formula.

### Can Goal Seek work with multiple variables?

No, Goal Seek can only adjust one variable at a time. For multiple variables, you should use the Solver add-in.

### Will Goal Seek change my original data?

Goal Seek temporarily changes the input value to reach the goal. It’s a good idea to save your work before using it.

### Is Goal Seek available in all versions of Excel?

Yes, Goal Seek is available in all modern versions of Excel, including the web version.

### How accurate is Goal Seek?

Goal Seek is generally accurate for linear relationships. For non-linear problems, the accuracy may vary.

## Summary

2. Select the cell with the result.
3. Open Goal Seek.