Most helpful positive review
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
An excellent training aid
on September 19, 2010
Excel 2010: the missing manual is part of a growing series of reference manuals for popular software products. Mr MacDonald has also written Access 2010 among other books. A CD with training exercises is not available but a website is available to download the necessary essentials.
Before starting the tutelage, the author describes all the new stuff Microsoft built into this latest version. Throughout the book, there are also many illustrations to help the reader follow the narrative. There are also samples of dialogs that you'll meet in using the program, giving tips on how best to use the dialogs. Interesting sidebars also adds to your learning experience.
The manual targets the absolute novice who hasn't used a spreadsheet before and people who have been using Excel for a while but at a basic level and will transport them to an intermediate level of expertise if so desired. The author starts at the beginning, showing how to open a spreadsheet and then taking a tour of the many features the program has. He slowly and deliberately progresses to adding and moving data, formatting, managing multiple sheets as well as printing your work. Moving on, building formulas and using the many built-in formulas including using the family of "if" statements, math, financial, time, text etc is given high priority. Moving into more interesting fields, List Management, Grouping Data, building templates and creating charts and adding pictures is presented. The program also has clip art and a decent drawing editor that the author shows you how to use.
Moving deeper into Databases, creating Scenarios, Pivot tables, web queries and connecting to a SQL server is next, followed by using Excel with other programs.
The last two chapters cover using VBA in automating tasks. Its pretty rudimentary but its sufficient to show how to record macros. It also shows and describes the macro window, the editors and explains the critical property and methods concerns in programming in Excel. It also shows the value in using variables, looping functions among other essential stuff to get you started in writing macros. Its sufficient to get you started but if you really like using VBA and want to progress beyond this book, you'll need to buy a dedicated book like "Excel 2010 Power Programming with VBA" by John Walkenbach.
This review just scratches the surface of what is presented in this 854 page tome and the author does a nice job in explaining the many features. This is a very credible manual and for anyone wanting to improve their spreadsheet skills should consider it.