### Welcome to the OpenSolver on-line help.

We hope that most of your questions will be answered on the Using OpenSolver page. However, if you still have a question, please post it below.

## Building Linear Programming models

Writing optimisation models that only use linear mathematical equations and inequalities is not easy. However, most of the time you want to build these “linear programming” models (and avoid non-linear models) because these are easier and more reliable to solve using packages such as OpenSolver. (OpenSolver uses CBC by default to solve these linear programmes.) Check out this Wiki page on linear programming.

The AIMMS folks have a great online chapter describing how to take non-linear requirements (local copy of pdf) and model them using linear programming. (Thanks to Stu Mitchell of PuLP fame for pointing out this resource.) The NEOS guide is also a great resource. If you still have a modelling question (e.g., how do I express this requirement using the rules for a linear program), please ask it on https://www.or-exchange.org/.

## Common Software Problems

Excel can have problems dealing with add-ons. Visit http://www.add-ins.com/how_to_repair_office.htm for a guide on fixing these.

### 1. OpenSolver not loading – July 2016 Office update (no error message)

In July 2016, MicroSoft released an update to Office 365 which prevents OpenSolver from loading unless the .zip file is “unblocked” before the files are extracted. (We expect this change to appear in other versions of Excel.) The symptoms are simply that OpenSolver does not appear in the Data tab; there is no error message shown. To fix this, delete your old OpenSolver files (but not the downloaded .zip file), right click the downloaded OpenSolver .zip file, choose Properties, and click the Unblock button which will show if the file is blocked. Once the file is unblock, close the properties dialog, and then un-zip the files and open up OpenSolver.xlam as usual.

### 2. Unable to find the external solver …

If OpenSolver reports this problem, then it could not find a solver file that comes with OpenSolver. Please check that you have extracted (i.e. un-zipped or uncompressed) all the files from the OpenSolver download.

### 3. The solver did not create a solution file.

If this error is reported, then it is likely that OpenSolver was unable to run the solver executable. This may happen if the OpenSolver files are in an ‘untrusted’ location, and so Windows will not let them be run. First check whether the solver is shown as found in the “About OpenSolver” form. If not, go to the folder identified in the “About OpenSolver” form and double click on this solver file. You should then see a command window open that gives the solver name and version information etc. If you don’t see this, then Windows should give you an error message to help you diagnose the problem. It may help to move the OpenSolver folder (and all the files it contains) into a location such as your Documents, or even into Program Files, and try again.

### 4. Solver crashes; OpenSolver reports no solution file

The files in the “Solver” folder provided with OpenSolver contain the actual solver code. These solvers are being continually upgraded as bugs are reported and fixed. If OpenSolver reports that no solution file was generated, then the solver may have crashed. This can happen on big problems when the solver runs out of memory, but also on smaller problems that happen to hit a solver bug. In such cases, you should check if a newer version of OpenSolver is available since we regularly update the solvers included with OpenSolver as they are released.

With CBC, a typical OpenSolver error for thois problem message might be: ‘The CBC solver did not complete, but aborted with the error code -1073741510’

If needed, you can download the latest version of CBC, Bonmin or Couenne from AMPL. Download the either the Windows or Mac version as appropriate. For Windows, get the 32-bit version if you have 32-bit Windows, or the 64-bit version otherwise. (The 64 bit version will solve much larger problems than the standard 32 bit version included in OpenSolver, so always choose this if possible. Right-clicking on Computer, and choosing Properties, will tell you if have a 32 or 64 bit system type.) Right click on the downloaded .zip file, choose Properties, and click the Unblock button if there is one. Then, open the .zip file, and drag the files into the right location in your OpenSolver Solvers folder (the win32, win64 or osx folder as appropriate), replacing the existing files. This may fix your problem.

**Report a CBC bug**

If after installing the latest version of CBC, CBC still crashes on you, then you may wish to report a bug. Please be sure to include the .lp file produced by OpenSolver; you can open this file using “View Last Model .lp File”. CBC bugs can be reported by either:

- The online CBC TRAC bug reporting system (which you will have to register for), or
- The CBC mail list

**Switch from CBC to Gurobi**

Since August 2014, OpenSolver has also supported solving models using the Gurobi solver. You can obtain a copy of this solver at no charge if you are at a university. Gurobi is faster and more stable than CBC, and comes highly recommended.

### 5. Repairing Excel

Sometimes it is useful (if all else fails) to repair your Office installation:

**Windows**

See these Microsoft Office 2010 and later instructions (or in Excel 2007, use Excel’s application menu, then Excel Options, then Resources, then “run Microsoft Office Diagnostics”). You might also want to look at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/166273, which talks about this.

**Mac**

Unfortunately there is no easy way to repair the Office 2011 installation. The best option is to follow these instructions to completely uninstall Office. You can then install Office again from scratch to get a clean version installed.

### 6. ‘Can’t find project or library’ : Missing Reference Errors

OpenSolver uses the “RefEdit” control, which we need but which can cause problems because of missing references caused by version changes. To check for missing references, using the VBA editor (which you access using Alt-F11), select OpenSolver (openSolver.xlam) in the Project window, choose Tools… References, and look for a “Missing:” line. If you see this, un-check that line, close the dialog, and choose File … Save OpenSolver.xlam to update the file. If this doesn’t help, try the above steps for repairing Excel.

**7. Error 70: Unable to delete the file: C:\Users\XXXXXX\AppData\Local\Temp\log1.tmp**

This errors happens if Excel crashes while OpenSolver is running, leaving log1.tmp open. Please restart your computer, which will close this file, and try again.

**8. OpenSolver was working on my Mac. Then I updated to Excel 16.16.7 (released late 2018) and OpenSolver stopped working. What do I do?**

We have had numerous users report this issue. We are looking for a Mac user with VBA experience to help us diagnose this problem. Please contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required if you can help.

**9. OpenSolver does not work in Excel installed from the ****Windows Store**

Windows Store versions of Office applications do not support Add-ins such as OpenSolver; see this link, or this support page for another add-in, or this technical article from Add-in Express. This Dell article explains a little more. If you have a Windows Store version, it will display this in the Excel Version information, such as in the following example:

Version 1807 (Build 10325.20082 Microsoft Store)

The solution is to un-install Excel, and install the click-to-run versions, in which case the Excel version will change from ‘Microsoft Store’ to ‘Click-to-Run’. Standard installs (meaning not Office 365) don’t have this issue.

I installed open solver and the icons appeared in my excel bar at the top right. But the problem is that nothing happens when I click on any of the buttons. I’m on windows 11. Can you help me please?

Hello,

I am trying to find the best sigmoid curve equation for my data. A 3-order polynomial trendline is the best that Excel can do, which results in an equation that works sort of OK near the center, but results in very inaccurate guesses once you’re reasonably far away. The data lie absolutely perfectly on a sigmoid curve, so there must be an equation that fits 100%. No matter what I do, however, I cannot get a solution that fits anywhere near as well as the equation for Excel’s 3-order polynomial trendline. I have put in constraints that keep the data between 0 and 1, and that make sure that as x goes up, y cannot go down. Every engine I’ve tried either fails or gives me a much, much worse fit per my sum of squares. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you,

nibiyabi

Dear;

I Just Installed Opensolver Addin.

I used it for a problem of maximizing of feasibility of finished products under material availability constraints.

Our Finished Products Also Require the Production of Semi-finished Products.

So it is a multi-stage linear problem.

I Used The CBC Engine In Open Solver.

The nomencalutures of our finished & semi-finished products are modeled by a large matrix.

As a First Step – And As a Test – I Maximized the Feasibility for a Single Finished Product: I Noticed That the Calculation of Maximum Feasibility (Objective Function) Is Exact.

But The Problem Was That The Values Of The Decision Variables Are Caotic… Can You help ?

Many Thanks.

Hi, Before I start trying can I ask if this works with latest MS 365 Excel?

It works for me. Andrew

Does anyone know how to install Gurobi for the opensolver on a mac? ive downloaded the gurobi solver and got the license. but i cant seem to make it interact with the opensolver

Good evening, thanks for making Open Solver – fantastic 🙂

Is it possible to use HiGHS with OS? I see you have it listed on your Solvers page, and I have tried copying the highs.exe into OS’s ‘Solvers\win64(or win32)’ folder but it doesn’t appear in the Model->Solver Engine -> solvers list. How do I actually install HiGHS so OS can use it?

Thanks!

Ooops! That’s our mistake. We are in the process of updating OpenSolver for HiGHS, and have done the web site update but not yet finalised the code. Watch this site for a release hopefully in the next few months.

Hi Andrew! Is Highs Solver already available?

Sorry, still working on it…