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New Perspectives on Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Comprehensive (New Perspectives Series: Comprehensive) [Paperback]

June Jamrich Parsons , Dan Oja , Roy Ageloff

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Book Description

23 Sep 2007 1423905857 978-1423905851 Comprehensive Ed
In the "New Perspective" series, this title takes a case-based, problem-solving approach to teaching Microsoft Excel 2007 skills.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achieving "Application Specialist" Excel Know-How 7 Aug 2008
By Thomas J. Schriber - Published on
Three cheers for this book and the other Thomson/Course Technology "Comprehensive" books addressing various applications in Microsoft Office 2007 (and, earlier, in Office 2003, etc.). The books are designed for successful use (either on a self-study basis, or in formal courses) on the part of those who, starting with no prior knowledge, want to bring themselves up to a skill level corresponding to what Microsoft terms "Microsoft Certified Application Specialist." Here are some of the distinguishing features of this Excel 2007 book:

(1) The book makes effective use of color, including frequent and well annotated screen shots.

(2) The book presents material in a highly readable, step by step way. (This might be a disadvantage for fast-track users of the book who do not need or want that much "hand holding," but it does mean that just about any motivated person who works conscientiously with the book can achieve success.)

(3) Each of the 12 chapters is set in the context of a "case" providing meaningful settings within which the application potential of Excel is brought into focus, usually in a "business-related" way. (This contrasts with some books that describe "how to do this" and "how to do that," but might lack motivation for WHY it might be of interest to be able to do this or do that.) Peripheral benefit: the book provides an informal introduction to some aspects of business, in the sense of extracting information from data to provide insights and perhaps support fundamental decision making.

(4) Each chapter concludes with a set of five exercises or "cases," starting with an exercise in which the reader is asked to extend the material developed in the body of the chapter. Starting-point workbooks for these exercises (and for the case presented in the body of the chapter itself) can be downloaded from the publisher's website. Workbook "solutions" for the cases can be downloaded by instructors using the book in a course setting. (Although some of the exercises include "explore" steps, the exercises do largely tend to take a "follow the bouncing ball" approach, which helps the user ease into the material but probably falls short for fast-track users who might want to be challenged to be more creative in applying the material, i.e., "Here's a situation, and here's the information that is to be developed in this situation. Starting from scratch and using your own wits entirely, develop the information. No step by step approach is provided for your use. You're on your own. Go to it!"

(5) The book is certified by Microsoft as containing the Excel material that, when mastered, puts the user in a position to pass Microsoft's "Certified Application Specialist" exam. This certification, in turn, can be a valuable resume' entry for some people in the workforce. (Ditto for similar certifications for Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, and so on.)

(6) There is a companion book ("Casegrader," by Crews and Murphy, ISBN 978-1-4239-9823-5) consisting of twelve "cases" integrated with the Excel material presented in the corresponding chapters in the Parsons, Oja, Auer, and Carey book. After developing the workbook for a Crews and Murphy case, the workbook can be uploaded to a website for automatic scoring, with a step by step analysis and report produced as a result. (The Crews and Murphy cases fall into the "follow the bouncing ball" category, but have the virtue of forcing use of the Parsons et al. material after the material has been studied. In my opinion, Parsons et al. and Crews and Murphy are best used together in this sequence: (a) Study a Parsons et al. chapter. (b) Do the corresponding Crews and Murphy case, keeping at it until you score 100% on it. (c) Do at least two of the Parsons et al. exercises at the end of the chapter. (d) Proceed to the next Parsons et al. chapter, etc.)

All best wishes for success to users of Parsons et al.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: Only for instructor-led classes, not self-study! 22 Mar 2010
By Donna Lee - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At the end of each tutorial there are case problems and assignments that allow you to practice what you've learned. The required student data files are downloaded from the internet. However, you are NOT able to check your work. You will have no idea whether you are completing the assignments accurately or if you need to spend additional time learning a particular topic.

Workbook solutions are only available to instructors; an email and password are required to download solutions, practice exams and other great learning tools.

I wish I had known this before purchasing this very expensive book. If anyone can help me to access the solutions, I would be most grateful.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Learning Tool 14 Dec 2008
By Enica Castaneda - Published on
This text book is very thorough: It provides excellent pictures, so there is no guess work as to whether you did something right or not; it walks you through everything step-by-step; gives you real life scenarios of projects; and also gives you necessary information as to what is and is not professional - when certain visuals should be used as opposed to other for given information, data, statistics. This is definitely a book that I will not be selling back to the school bookstore :0). I'm tabbing it up so I know where to jump to when I need help and keeping it until Excel 2012 comes out!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn Excel! 1 Aug 2009
By dropin'em - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you own Excel and have never used it, this is a wonderful way to learn. This book is very comprehensive and is used as a textbook for college courses on Excel. The book starts with the most basic skills, such as entering text in a cell, navigating the spreadsheet, copying and pasting, ect. In the subsequent chapters you learn pretty much every feature Excel has to offer. When you get this book, there is a web address in the back where you can go to download the Excel files for your lessons. Each chapter has its own set of lessons. For example, Chapter 2 is about formatting a spreadsheet. At the beginning of the chapter you open the file for the chapter 2 tutorial. This file is an Excel spreadsheet which you will format as you go along with the lesson. The book clearly explains every step and tells you what to type, which buttons to click on, ect. Each chapter also contains troubleshooting tips for common errors begining users make. At the end of each chapter there are are also several Excel problems which you can complete for additional practice.

I have been working on this book consistently and am almost done. All in all it looks like I will have taken about 7 weeks total by the time I finish. Keep in mind that I work on it roughly an hour a day and sometimes more. Also, there are 5 problems at the end of each chapter and I usually do about 1 or 2.

As far as the difficultly level, I would say that this is a pretty easy book, especially in the first several chapters. When you get to the advanced formulas it can make you scratch your head a little and may require a little extra effort, but if you have some basic computer and math skills, then you shouldn't have to worry about getting stuck. Of course, you can always take a course or have someone who already knows the program help you if you do run into problems.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Comprehensive Excel Reference/Tutorial Available 15 Nov 2009
By C. Moore - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I expected this book to be like most all other reference books on MS Office software: dumbed-down. I was unbelievably surprised! This book is so incredibly complete in its coverage that I was amazed. It was even beyond my expectations as to what it addressed - things I didn't even know Excel could do! (And I thought I knew Excel - wrong!)

Even if you "know" Excel, I would highly recommend this book. You will be amazed at its depth of content. It seems expensive, but this book is PACKED with information - LOTS OF IT. TRULY WORTH THE PRICE IN EVERY WAY!
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