Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Creating Scenarios.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 9, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365
You already know that Excel provides the ability to play "what if" with your worksheets. As an adjunct to this capability, Excel provides the Scenario Manager, which allows you to save different data scenarios. Using this tool, you can save different variables for your sheet and call them up quickly and easily.
As an example, let's suppose that you work for Talbot Industries, and you have been charged with developing a profitability analysis for a new product—the Potato Chip Peeler. You develop your sheet, taking into account all the appropriate information. However, you know that it is prudent at your company to actually prepare three forecasts. The first would be the worst-case scenario, the second is the most-likely scenario, and the final is the best-case scenario.
To save a scenario, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Scenario Manager dialog box.
Figure 2. The Add Scenario dialog box.
Once you have a scenario saved, you can make changes to your workbook and save your changed figures under a different scenario.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8567) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Creating Scenarios.
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