book is another in the A to Z series of quick reference books for Microsoft
productivity software. Excel 2002 from A to Z published
by Redmond Technology Press and written by Stephen L. Nelson has a publication
date of 2001 and has the ISBN # 1-931150-22-2. The four-page introduction
gives information on the Windows online tutorial in case you lack familiarity
with Windows, gives a brief review of the important parts in the Excel
program window, and a quick explanation about the book. A very short
paragraph, probably less than 100 words, on the back cover of the book
is devoted to the author. Stephen L. Nelson’s Field Guide and Pocket Guide
quick references have been translated into more than a dozen languages
and Nelson has sold more than 4 million of the books he has written. Nelson
is referred to as the best selling author writing about how to use computers
This book is set up very much like an encyclopedia and as a result there
is neither an index nor a table of contents. There is a four page introduction
and then the information starts on page one with Absolute Cell References
and ends one hundred and ninety-three pages later with an entry for Zoom.
The Introduction provides basic information for the user by stating what
the user should know about Windows (the operating system), providing a
graphic of the Excel window with an explanation of the parts, discussing
dialog boxes and previews, and explaining what the reader should know about
the book. Screen captures or graphics are liberally sprinkled throughout
the book in locations where they will help the user to understand the terminology.
There is information in this book that will benefit the new user and the
experienced user equally. One entry in particular, “Boolean Algebra”, provided
me with that I S-E-E feeling that one only gets when something finally
makes sense. [And, no, in spite of many algebra classes, it never sunk
in before.] One thing that I particularly like about this book is that
it provides the user with the ability to find information even if the user
uses terminology somewhat different from what the author considers correct.
As an example looking up “indentation” refers the user to “Formatting Toolbar”.
Excel 2002 from A to Z explains the use of Lotus 1-2-3 as well as how to
create and use “Macros”.
This book is an excellent reference book and probably belongs on the
desk of everyone who uses spreadsheets. It is a reference book, though,
and I feel that the person who is new to spreadsheets may want to work
with a more comprehensive instructional book to learn the program first
and then use this book to look up specific items.
I went to CompUSA and Office Depot looking for Excel 2002 from
A to Z and did not find it on their shelves, but since the publication
date is June of 2001, it may be on the shelves by the time that you read
this review. I checked the Internet and found it at the publisher
for $11.95. I went to Amazon
and found the book for $9.56 new and $8.60 used. It is also available digitally
(download) from Amazon for $9.95. Barnes
and Noble is selling this book for $12.95. Yes, according to the Barnes
and Noble Web site, their price is $1.00 higher than the publisher. Borders
Book Stores are a part of Amazon and probably would order Excel 2002
from A to Z for you. Barnes and Noble is always willing to order
books for you to pick up at the store, also. At a recent jaunt to Barnes
and Noble I noticed a table of Current Computer books discounted by 20%.
This discount table is worth looking for and look you must because the
discounted computers were near the history section, not the technology
section. It is also possible to order from the publisher
Redmond Technology Press
8581 154th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052.
This book is an excellent reference for anyone who uses Microsoft
Excel. You can thumb through it and learn a lot or just look up a new task
or reinforce an old task, term or trick. The vast majority of tasks, terms
and tricks also are used in Excel 2000, so if you have that version and
want a good reference book, this book is for you. I found this book not
only to be easy to use but also easy to understand and follow. At $11.95
Excel 2002 from A to Z is certainly an affordable addition
to anyone’s technology library.