Mac users with Excel may want add-on applications for more functionality. Solver for Excel 2011 for Mac integrates well into the existing Excel program and performs additional operations on spreadsheet data.
The program is available for free and is actually included in later versions of Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program for Mac. Solver for Excel 2011 for Mac downloads and installs directly onto the Excel program without any problems or user input required. After opening Excel, the user must go to the add-in area and select the Solver program. It then imports and installs a button in Excel's Data tab. Technical support and user tutorial videos are available through the developer's Web sites. Once the program button is selected in Excel, the add-on's interface matches Microsoft's well. The user can manually type in the cells to which it will apply, or they can be clicked from the main area. Max, Min, and Value of functions are clearly labeled, as is the entry box for constraints. Once this information is entered, the user can then select from several solving methods, which are clearly explained in a separate text box. The basic test functions applied worked well and the application ran smoothly within Excel.
For those who need additional operations in Excel, Solver for Excel 2011 for Mac adds more functionality to Microsoft's program and integrates well.
Solver for Excel 2011 for Mac has the same new features and user interface as Solver for Excel 2010 for Windows -- which is greatly enhanced over Solver for Excel 2007.
Includes New Evolutionary Solving Method
Based on genetic algorithms, this method complements Solver's linear programming and nonlinear optimization methods. Use it to find solutions for models with IF and LOOKUP functions.
Global Optimization for Nonlinear Models
Automatically run the GRG Nonlinear Solver from multiple, intelligently chosen starting points, to find better solutions when the old Solver would be "trapped" in a local optimum.