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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

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on 8 July 2014
This is the best software book I have ever purchased, I taught Excel to 11-16 year olds for years, I now get 'how do I' questions from staff in industry on Excel all the time as I know my Excel. I can not believe how much I have learnt from this book in a couple of days, and theres so much still to take in.

The design of this book means I can quickly progess through areas I understand or read the detail on topics I am not sure of. The support materials available to practice with are varied and relevant to business.

A very well thought out resource.
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on 3 April 2015
I have used Excel for many years for basic analytical purposes in the course of a career in engineering with only some brief training at the basic level. Two things prompted me to buy this book: a switch from the 2003 version of Office to the 2010 version (Excel became much more powerful from the 2007 edition) and taking on the task of treasurer for a local charitable organisation.

There are two requirements to get the best out of this book: 1. You do need to have a reasonably good working knowledge of Excel basics (if not you would be best off starting with the 'essential skills' book in this series). There is an appendix in this book summarising the content of the earlier book. 2. You will not benefit much from sitting in an armchair and reading the book or trying from the outset to use it as a quick reference manual: it is all based on practical exercises (with files downloadable from Mike Smart's website) and you do need to be sitting at your PC working through the exercises to get the full benefit of this book.

Strengths of the book:

It is very well designed: the book is broken down into eight main sections with each section comprising a large number of bite-sized practical lessons, typically taking a few minutes each. Each section uses a standard page layout with a main text section describing the exercise and sidebars with additional 'Note', 'Tips' and 'Important' (notes and tips being optional additional information and important sidebars warning of possible pitfalls). A short introductory section clearly explains the design including typographical conventions used.

The order of the main sections broadly covers the more commonly used features early on with more complex and/or less commonly used features later. In many cases the downloadable teaching files are modified during one lesson and then modified further in succeeding lessons. However multiple versions of the files are provided so that in many cases it would be possible to dive into a section halfway through the book and download the teaching file appropriate for that section. Having said that I think the greatest benefit is obtained by working through all sections in the printed order: I found that even in areas with which I was quite familiar I found useful tricks that I wasn't previously aware of.

Once you have worked through the sections that are of interest the book then becomes a useful reference resource, though in some cases you might need to reload the teaching file for the section to remind yourself of the detailed procedures. The book includes a comprehensive index including function names to quickly find the lesson relevant to a particular topic.

The outcome for me of working through this book is that I have discovered tools that I might never have found on my own and have been able to provide my charity committee with a greatly enhanced level of timely information on their finances. It has saved me many hours of time - strongly recommended.
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on 23 November 2015
Very useful - am learning lots as I work through it. Definitely value for money
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on 27 March 2017
Good book. Quick deli ery
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on 8 June 2017
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on 12 June 2014
If you are an Excel 2013 "Intermediate" level user, then I can recommend, thoroughly, that you purchase this book. It is extremely well written and the exercises provided will, indubitably, help you consolidate your knowledge and expertise. I found the section on Pivot Tables most useful and the chapter on OLAP and Data models was simply quite amazing. I am writing this review as an IT trainer with 30 years experience, though recently retired, who has bought and attempted to read through the many volumes of Excel that are available. For me this is the best...great stuff. I might be sticking my neck out here but buy this volume and you probably will not need, or want to, attend an actual course!
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on 13 February 2015
Having worked through the expert skills book, I must say that I find both the book and accompanying online video tutorials and workbook downloads, to be absolutely fantastic. The pace of the instructions in the video is very deliberate and absolutely clear. Advanced features are made to look easy and the book is structured in such a way as to make searching for & revisiting topics a doddle. Prior to starting Mike Smart's books I considered myself to be reasonable competent in excel, but the lid has been blown off several times in terms of excel's capabilities, not to mention my competence with it which is coming on immeasurably. I look at spreadsheets compiled by me just a few months back and consider them amateurish!
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on 11 May 2015
Finished it in 7 days. It consists of 8 chapters so you can do 1 chapter a day. I was doing Excel course anyway so this book was a supplement. Loved it through. Thought me things i didn't know,. Although this is an expert book, it is not as comprehensive as i hoped. For example for IF function it does not mention how complicated it can get. HLOOKUP is not in the book too, only VLOOKUP. Mixed cell referencing (very important) and DMAX function also not mentioned in the book. Last chapter is the most beautiful one. Thought out the book he sometimes goes back to previous chapters reminding you which I like very much. Anyway the Book does touch most of the subjects you will need but Excel 2010 application goes more beyond this book. There could also be plenty more practices & tests for the subjects mentioned.
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on 10 July 2013
I really like this book! It goes straight to the point without having to wade through page after page of introductory material. Very clear examples with downloadable file examples to work with. I have been using Excel for many years but found so much new material in this book. An excellent purchase for anyone who wants to literally excel with Excel!
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on 30 October 2014
Great book. love how it is set up in sessions (approx 90 mins each). Also, the layout is such that if you know how to do a particular bit, you can ignore it and just go into the next step. Just need to find the time to go through it.
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