**Microsoft Excel** is a powerful tool that can perform different mathematical operations. In this article, we will learn to **solve a differential equation in Excel**. A differential equation defines the relationship between one or more functions and their derivatives. Today, we will show step-by-step procedures to solve a differential equation in Excel. Using these steps, you can easily solve any differential equation in Excel. So, without any delay, let’s start the discussion.

**Table of Contents**hide

## Download Practice Book

You can download the practice book from here.

## What Is Differential Equation?

A differential equation is an equation that contains one or more functions and the derivatives of one variable with respect to another variable. The differential equation can be written as:

`dy/dx=f(x)`

We have different order differential equations. The highest order of the derivative is called the order of the differential equation. Differential equations are mainly used to calculate growth and decay over time. Also, these equations are used to create different models. We can also see a huge application of differential equations in the field of physics.

## Step-by-Step Procedures to Solve Differential Equation in Excel

Today, we will demonstrate the procedures to solve a first-order differential equation using Euler’s method in Excel. Let’s take a look at the question we will be solving today.

Suppose, we have a differential equation **dy/dt+y=t** and an initial value **y(0)=0.5**. So, the equation can be written as **dy/dt = t-y**. We need to compute the **y**–**values **in a **time interval (0,1.2)**. Let’s follow the steps below to see how we can solve the differential equation.

### STEP 1: Create Dataset

- First of all, we need to create a dataset to insert the
**iteration number**(**n**),**time value**(**t**),**y value**,**y**–**exact****value**, and**delta_t**. - The
**delta_t**is the separation value. - Also, you can display the equations to find the
**t(n+1)**and**y(n+1)**values. We will implement these equations in the following sections. - We have also added the
**time interval**and**initial value**to make the calculation easy.

### STEP 2: Apply Formula for Time Values & Y-values

- Secondly, we will apply formulas to calculate the
**time values**and**y-values**. - At the start of the iteration,
**n**is**0**,**t**is**0**, and**y**is**5**. - Now, insert these values in
**Cells B5**,**C5**, and**D5**respectively.

- After that, we will insert a formula to calculate the
**t-values**. - To do so, select
**Cell C6**and type the formula below:

`=C5+$G$5`

- Press
**Enter**.

- In the following step, we will find the
**y-values**. - So, select
**Cell D6**and type the formula below:

`=D5+(C5-D5)*$G$5`

- Press
**Enter**to see the result.

**Read More:** **How to Solve an Equation for X When Y is Given in Excel**

### STEP 3: Fill Columns

- In the third step, we will fill the values of the
**n**,**t**, and**y**columns. - First of all, we will fill the iteration number (
**n**) column. - To find the number of iterations, we need to divide the
**time interval**by the**delta_t value**. - In our case, iteration number (
**n**) = (**2**/**0.1**) =**12**. - So, we need to fill the iteration column from
**0**to**12**.

- After that, select both
**Cells C6**&**D6**and drag the**Fill Handle**down.

- Finally, you will get all the
**t**and**y**–**values**.

**Similar Readings**

**How to Solve Polynomial Equation in Excel (5 Simple Methods)****Solve Exponential Equation in Excel (4 Suitable Examples)**

### STEP 4: Plot Data

- At this moment, we need to plot the
**t**and**y**–**values**. - For that purpose, select the
**range C4:D17**.

- After that, go to the
**Insert**tab and click on the**Insert Scatter**icon. A drop-down menu will appear. - Select
**Scatter with Lines**from there.

- As a result, you will see a chart on the sheet.
- You can change the chart title according to your preferences.

### STEP 5: Format Axis

- In
**step 5**, we will format the axis of the graph. - To do so,
**double**–**click**on the**horizontal axis**. It will open the**Format Axis**options on the right side of the sheet. - Set the
**Minimum**value to**0**and**Maximum**value to**1.2**in the**Bounds**section and press**Enter**to proceed.

- Similarly,
**double**–**click**on the**vertical axis**. - Then, set the
**Minimum**value to**0.****3**and**Maximum**value to**0.65**in the**Bounds**section and press**Enter**to proceed.

- As a result, the graph will look like the picture below.

### STEP 6: Find Exact Solution

- Now, we will calculate the exact solution of the differential equation and match it with the numerical values.
- In our case, the exact solution of the differential equation is
**y = -1 + t + 1.5*exp(-t)**. - So, select
**Cell E5**and type the formula below:

`=-1+C5+1.5*EXP(-C5)`

- After that, press
**Enter**and drag the**Fill Handle**down.

- Finally, you will know the
**y-values**of the exact solution.

**Read More: How to Solve Algebraic Equations with Multiple Variables (3 Ways)**

### STEP 7: Plot Exact Solution on Same Chart

- To compare the
**y-values**of the exact solution with the numerical values, we need to plot them on the same chart. - To do so,
**right**–**click**on the chart to open the menu. - Click on the
**Select Data**option.

- In the
**Select Data Source**dialog box, click on**Add**.

- Now, insert the
**Series X**and**Y**values in the**Edit Series**box.

- Finally, click
**OK**to get the plot of the exact solution.

**Read More: How to Solve For x in Excel (2 Simple Ways)**

### Final Output

- Finally, if we change the
**delta_t**value in**Cell G5**, then the whole dataset will automatically update and show the solution for the updated**delta_t**value.

- Furthermore, the graphs will also update automatically.

## Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed step-by-step procedures to **Solve a Differential Equation in Excel**. I hope this article will help you to perform your tasks efficiently. Furthermore, we have also added the practice book at the beginning of the article. To test your skills, you can download it to exercise. Also, you can visit **the ExcelDemy website** for more articles like this. Lastly, if you have any suggestions or queries, feel free to ask in the comment section below.