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Using scenarios in formulas

From: Excel 2010 Essential Training

Video: Using scenarios in formulas

Excel's Goal Seek and Data Tables features are really great, but there are times when you might want to change more than just one or two variables at a time or maybe you want a nicely formatted report of all your possibilities. That's what the Scenario Manager is and it's also under the What-If button that we've been looking at in this chapter. So, go to the Data Tab and over here click What-If Analysis and choose the Scenario Manager. Now, we haven't created any scenarios yet so that's why this is blank. And the way it works is you create sets of data.

Using scenarios in formulas

Excel's Goal Seek and Data Tables features are really great, but there are times when you might want to change more than just one or two variables at a time or maybe you want a nicely formatted report of all your possibilities. That's what the Scenario Manager is and it's also under the What-If button that we've been looking at in this chapter. So, go to the Data Tab and over here click What-If Analysis and choose the Scenario Manager. Now, we haven't created any scenarios yet so that's why this is blank. And the way it works is you create sets of data.

Each set of data has a name that you give it. It's a friendly name. It's not a file name. You can call it just about anything you want. You typically give it names like low, medium, high, very high, whatever it is that suits your particular need. So let's start by clicking Add and let's say the scenario name we'll call this as Low amount. This will be perhaps the lowest amount that we would borrow. So, go over here for Changing cells and just delete whatever is in there and we want to select these three numbers here on the worksheet.

Now, keep in mind you don't want to select that Monthly payment because that is a calculated amount. So we don't change the calculated amount directly. We change the inputs that create it. And delete the comment here. Let's call this something like Lowest amount and click OK. So, now we can change those amounts. So, let's say the lowest amount we would borrow is maybe 80,000. So I type in 80,000. Maybe we figure that if we borrow 80,000 perhaps we could get a lower interest rate than 6%.

So, let's change that to maybe 5.5%. Maybe we could pay this off over fewer than 10 years. I'll just press the Tab key this time and say maybe we could pay that off over 8 years. Now, click OK and you see that Low amount scenario was put in the Scenario box. We have the cells were changing and that comment. Well, let's add a few more. So click Add, and maybe let's call this Original amount. The cells that we are changing should be the same, and let's change the comment here and we'll call this Original amount to borrow and click OK.

Now, we don't have to change anything of course because this is the original amount. Now, rather than clicking OK, just click Add. So, that saves us the step of going back into the main Scenario Manager dialog. So we can just add one scenario after another. It's just a little easier. So let's call this scenario A little more. I'll just press the Tab key, Changing cells, that's the same, the comment and let's say Borrowing slightly more and click OK. So let's say maybe for this we'll borrow 125,000. Maybe we'll estimate that we will get maybe a .0625% interest and because we are borrowing a little more, maybe we'll have to pay this off over 12 years and click Add. And let's say add just one more and we'll call this a High amount to borrow.

I'll just press Tab, leave the Changing cells alone, press Tab again and the comment is Highest amount, click OK. Let's say the highest amount we might borrow is 175,000 and I'll leave the interest rate alone for this. There is nothing that says that you have to change all of the values of all of your input cells. So I'll leave that 6% alone, but because we are borrowing a lot more maybe we'll have to pay this off over let's say 18 years and click OK. So now we have all of our scenarios.

So how do we go and use them? Just double-click any one. Double-click the Original amount, the Low amount, A little more, High amount. Now, let's say if you just want to leave it the way it is you can click Close. And at any time, you could back to the Data tab, back to What-If Analysis and bring up the Scenario Manager and just continue looking at them. But wouldn't it be great if we could see all of these all at the same time? Click Summary and this asks us, what kind of summary do we want? We could have a traditional scenario summary or we could take everything and put it into a PivotTable report.

We'll talk about PivotTables later in this course. So, let's choose Scenario summary. Now the Result cell is correctly guessing that it's that calculated amount, so click OK, and here we have our Scenario Summary and it shows us all of these named scenarios, and if you click any of these you notice in the Formula bar these are not linked to the original. These are simply copied and pasted. What you might want to do over here into Changing cells is instead of putting the cell references, give those meaningful names also.

See I not going to call this something like Present Value, Interest, Years and so forth, and you can adjust those column widths if you need to. Well, this will print out pretty much the way you see it. So either press Ctrl+P or go to your File tab, choose Print, and here's your preview. It kind of cutoff as you see over here. This is two pages. You might want to go instead of Portrait Orientation choose Landscape Orientation. Of course, that all depends on the size of the scenario you are creating. Now, let's just press the Escape key and come back out.

Now, just one more thing. These scenarios are not dynamic. So if you go back let's say into your original and you change these some more or you add or delete scenarios, this Scenario Summary sheet will not change. You'll have to create an additional scenario report, but that's okay because you could have as many as you like.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Essential Training
Excel 2010 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 129939 viewers

Bob Flisser
Author

 
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  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis Toolpak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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