Most people don't need much convincing to use Excel, Microsoft's premier spreadsheet program. That's because Excel comes pre-installed on a lot of computers, making it the obvious choice for millions of number crunchers. Despite its wide use, however, few people know where to find Excel's most impressive features or why they'd want to use them in the first place. Excel for Starters: The Missing Manual fills the void, explaining everything from basic Excel concepts to time- and frustration-saving shortcuts.
This book steps you through not only how the program works, but how to use Excel's tools to answer real-world questions like, "How many workdays are there between today and my vacation?", "How much money do I need in the bank right now to retire a millionaire?", and "Statistically speaking, who's smarterDemocrats or Republicans?" Best of all, you'll steer clear of obscure options that aren't worth the trouble to learn, while homing in on the hidden gems that'll win you the undying adoration of your coworkers, your family, and your friends. Or at least your accountant.
Note: Although this book is written with Microsoft's latest and greatest release in mind (Excel 2003), most of the concepts, features, tricks, and tips work equally well with Excel 2002 (the version of Excel released with Office XP). If you're using Excel 2002, this book will still be useful because each chapter clearly spells out any differences you'll encounter. The Mac version of Excel is covered in Office 2004 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual.