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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 48 reviews
Walkenbach did all the hard work to create these formulas. It was a lot easier to take what he offered here and use them than to build them from scratch, which is what I did. At the time I used this book, Excel was used a lot more extensively than it is now for accounting matters.
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on September 1, 2001
I hesitated to buy this book, even though I knew the author to be an expert. (I have his Excel utility program, and I've seen him answer questions in Excel user groups.) Why did I feel uncertain? I had bought several large computer books over the past several years...and I found them difficult to understand and use. As a financial consultant, I had used a lot of financial functions. But I just couldn't see how to use much of the materials in those other books. I couldn't get the feel of them.
"Excel 2000 Formulas" is far better than I had even hoped. Now I've find myself naturally using naming techniques, pivot tables (which are amazingly powerful and easy to use), simple and more complex lookups, arrays, and other tools that I'd never even worked with before. The CD-ROM that comes with the book lets me quickly and smoothly play with and understand the Excel tools that I'm learning.
Only a few days after buying this book, I've already read, highlighted, and marked up this book. And benefited more than I could have imagined. I'm using Excel far more effectively...and at huge time savings.
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on November 23, 2003
As an intermediate Excel user, I was comfortable with writing basic formulas, simple conditional formating, pivot tables, etc. I've been using Excel for ten years, and was very familiar with writing formulas in previous versions, but needed to brush up on 2000 in my new job.
I read this book nearly non-stop, from cover to cover, almost as one would read a novel, instead of a text book. Walkenbach writes in a style that is understandable, and presents outstanding examples and tips which will definately take you to the next level. There are so many useful examples that this book is now permanently located within reach on my desk top.
The section on using lookups, and the section on array formulas were very useful, as was the section included within working with databases and dealing with advanced filtering - which may give you techniques that are just short of amazing.
Drawbacks: If you're a beginner to Excel, this may not be the best choice. Furthermore, the book is not always logically organized; it can be difficult to find that example that you KNOW was given, but don't know exactly where you saw it. Finally, the last three chapters on programming with VBA would have been better left to a whole seperate book, as there was only enough detail to add confusion (in fact, I believe this author has a book devoted to that).
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on January 5, 2001
I can't express just how useful John Walkenbach's books are! I am constantly amazed at the simplicity and "elegance" of his formulas and codes. I am a programmer by trade and have utilized the author's techniques to creat macros and spreadsheets that require minimal user attention and effort. Just yesterday I modified a weekly spreadsheet that originally took the user two hour to complete. The user now only has to spend one minute updating 15 cells and everything else (including charts and reference points) automatically updates! Contrary to one review's remark, the lack of the disc does not render the whole book useless. Most of the book covers one line formulas that requires minimal computer entry. Unless you want to copy some of the more complex macros, you won't need the disc!
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on December 17, 2016
I built my career creating spreadsheets and John Walkenbach's books have been right there with me everyday. Walkenbach is the best in the business.
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on August 9, 2013
I got this to learn how to operate my excel, and still refer to it often, when I come to something new. (at my age, I can't take in too much information at once, so it is nice to have good references like this. I often want to do a new formula for my forms, and this is a great way to grab ideas and information on how to do it, if it can be done.
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on January 31, 2003
I would personally rate this book as 5+ stars. The author gets right to the point in each chapter, the examples are easy and you also get real world applications. I would personally recomend it to anyone who is interested in going beyond the basic and most popular functions that Excel offers. The part that I enjoyed the most, and have gotten more use from, was Part V, dedicated to developing custom worksheet functions. What else can I say? It's a great book, one that will definitely not be lost high in a bookcase or stored away. This is the type of book you will always want to have near your desktop.
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on December 30, 2005
I do all my serious scientific work with Mathematica. However most of my colleagues use Excel for simple data presentation and analysis, so I've recently started using Excel to be able to converse with them.

Since most of the fundamental things that one would do with Excel are relatively straightforward, Excel's built-in help capability is quite adequate as a learning resource. However, as with any product, there are useful tricks that go beyond the scope of vendor supplied documentation. Exposing such tricks is where good books come in, as they can guide the user to a higher level of expertise. Because most of the reviews of​ Walkenbach's book were favorable, I thought the book would be a good place to get some deeper insights into Excel. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Indeed, the book contains a wealth of useful examples, and for that reason, I gave it two stars. The major problem, however, is that the book does a poor (and often non-existent) job of explaining why the examples work.

A case in point is the example on page 402 which shows how to graph a function without populating values in a worksheet. There is a recipe in the text for accomplishing the task. However, the recipe is so sketchy that I don't believe anyone would be able to produce a graph by just reading the text.

Fortunately, there is a working example on the CD that comes with the book. And more fortunately, the pattern can be easily modified to produce graphs of other functions. This is all very good! However, Walkenbach does not explain why the example works. Moreover, he makes no attempt to explain the obscure functions (OFFSET, SUBSTITUTE, EVALUATE) which the example is based on. Thus, all the reader is left with is a template for accomplishing a task. If he keeps the template around, he'll have something useful. But if he's asked to develop the template on his own, from material presented in the book, he will not be able to do so.

The graphing example is not an isolated case in the book. Time and time again I found myself frustrated with poor explanations throughout the book -- which do not provide an understanding of why things work.

Understanding why things work is extremely important because without such an understanding it is impossible to devise solutions to situations that one has not encountered before. Cookbook recipes are useful for producing tasty meals, but one cannot become a master chef without understanding the principles of cooking. The same goes for expository books. This book is at best a reasonable cookbook, but a very poor expository work.
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on December 26, 2003
There is nothing more frustrating than an excel book claiming charting is an advanced feature. As an analyst for a consulting firm I am always pouring through different databases, and being quicker and more efficient is definitely something I wanted to accomplish. This book helped me immensely. My favorite discovery was array formulas, they are wonderful in cutting out a lot of middle steps in financial modeling. This book will save you lots of time and sanity - I highly recommend it for anyone who works in the manipulation of large amounts of data.
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on August 6, 2002
Walkenbach's book on formulas is terrific for the novice. I've been using it to explain the syntax of formulas that I have been working with over the past several months. His explanation of formulas, and how Excel works, has really enhanced my understanding of Excel and how to use its true power.
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