View Full Version : Excel 2007: The Missing Manuals

Zack Barresse
01-09-2007, 05:44 PM
Excel 2007: The Missing Manuals

Matthew MacDonald

ISBN-10: 0-596-52759-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52759-4

O'Reilly Media

Printing Date:
December 2006


Target group:
Beginning spreadsheet users through advanced usage

On a scale from 1 to 5: 4.0
On a scale from 1 to 10: 8

This is an interesting read. There are some very good things written with this book. The writing style is one where it is like an expert is over your shoulder. The author does a very good job of keeping a very upbeat and humorous feeling throughout. Some practices did not meet up to what I would define as "best practices" and some of the examples and pictures could have shown themselves better. Most of it was a good and enjoyable read.

I would say if somebody is coming into Excel for the first time with version 2007, or has very little experience from 2002 or 2003, this might be a good book for them. If somebody wants an all-around book that hits a variety of topics, beginner to advanced, on the new 2007, this might be a good book for them.

The book did seem to have a good chapter base:

Worksheet Basics
Formulas and Functions
Organizing Worksheets
Charts and Graphics
Advanced Data Analysis
Sharing Data with the Rest of the World
Programming Excel

All-in-all it has good looking images, a lot of material to play with, a quick witted nature and many in-depth examples. For around $40 (USD) I would recommend this book to the serious Exceller, from beginner to intermediate and those wishing to get more familiar with Excel 2007.

01-09-2007, 07:51 PM
Thanks Zach. Did you buy it for a friend or are you gonna try and learn something about excel finally?


Ken Puls
01-09-2007, 08:53 PM
Just out of curiosity, under the Joel Spolsky code of ethics (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/12/28.html), shouldn't we mention that you got a free copy? (http://www.vbaexpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7914&highlight=missing+manuals) :devil2:

01-09-2007, 09:09 PM
Great blog read. How do I get on THAT mailing list? (I mean the one where MS is giving away Ferrari 1000's)

Ken Puls
01-09-2007, 09:13 PM
Dunno, Pete. John Walkenbach asked the same question on Dick's blog. If they aren't getting called, I don't know that we stand a chance. ;)

Bob Phillips
01-10-2007, 02:47 AM
You mean you didn't get one?

Seriously, whilst one can intellectually agree with everything Joel says, who could resist such an offer? It is easy to take such a stance if you are making the sort of money wher it makes no difference, but I personally do not make enough fromn this game to be so pure. And anyway, the marketeers out ther always dream up some new method, pay per post, click thru advertising, etc.

I have Google Ads on my site. It doesn't make me much but it pays for a few nights out. At present I don't have PayPal donate, but I am thinking about it as it takes time and effort and money to maintain a site. Are these ethically impure?

Ken Puls
01-10-2007, 07:38 AM
LOL! No, didn't get one... and honestly? I couldn't turn it down if I were offered either.

I have Google adwords on my site as well. They don't pay much for me at all... not even enough to cover my hosting, actually, but it's something. The paypal donate feature never earned me a dime before I took it down on my site, and hardly gets used at VBAX either. The good news is, though, that when someone is motivated to contribute that way, it's normally more than a few cents. ;)

Zack Barresse
01-10-2007, 09:05 AM
Yes, I did get a free copy of the Excel 2002/2003 Missing Manual book. As unbiased as I would like to be, I guess I cannot fully be unbiased. I have mixed feelings about this, especially as I tech reviewed this particular book (Excel 2007). I did not want to mention it for fear of others thinking my opinion was swayed one way or the other. In all honesty, there are things that I've seen about this book that nobody else will see, which I have great heartburn with.

In the end I tried giving this book a very fair and thorough review. I felt I was obligated as I don't know anybody else here that would buy the book and give a review. Hopefully others who read this book can agree with me. :)

And no, I was not offered a free laptop, but it gives me something else to complain to MSFT about. :devil2:

Ken Puls
01-10-2007, 10:57 AM
Zack, is your name in the credits as Editor? If so, better that people find out now, rather than buy the book and find out after. Disclosure keeps the credibilty higher. :)

For what it's worth, I know you fairly well, and I truly believe that you did try to be as unbiased as possible in your review.

Zack Barresse
01-10-2007, 11:02 AM
I did get a small couple of lines about me. Nothing much, but it is there. The whole book process was an eye-opening experience for me, I'll tell you that! And thanks for your support Ken, I do try. :)

Bob Phillips
01-10-2007, 12:18 PM
I did a technical review on a book, and that was an experience too. We'll swap stories in March... over the whisky.

But it pales compared to publishing ...

Ken Puls
01-10-2007, 12:48 PM
I'd be quite curious to hear both of your experiences on that subject. :)