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Introduction

Introduction

IN THIS INTRODUCTION

What's in the Book

This Book's Special Features

The old 80/20 rule for software—that 80% of a program's users use only 20% of a program's features—doesn't apply to Microsoft Excel. Instead, this program probably operates under what could be called the 95/5 rule: 95% of Excel users use a mere 5% of the program's power. On the other hand, most people know that they could be getting more out of Excel if they could only get a leg up on building formulas and using functions. Unfortunately, this side of Excel appears complex and intimidating to the uninitiated, shrouded as it is in the mysteries of mathematics, finance, and impenetrable spreadsheet jargon.

If this sounds like the situation you find yourself in, and if you're a businessperson who needs to use Excel as an everyday part of your job, then you've come to the right book. In Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Excel 2003, I demystify the building of worksheet formulas and present the most useful of Excel's many functions in an accessible, jargon-free way. This book not only takes you through Excel's intermediate and advanced formula-building features, but it also tells you why these features are useful to you and shows you how to use them in everyday situations and real-world models. This book does all this with no-nonsense, step-by-step tutorials and lots of practical, useful examples aimed directly at business users.

Even if you've never been able to get Excel to do much beyond storing data and adding a couple of numbers, you'll find this book to your liking. I show you how to build useful, powerful formulas from the ground up, so no experience with Excel formulas and functions is necessary.

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