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Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to the world of Microsoft Excel.

This new Fast & Easy book from Premier Press will help you use the many and varied features of one of the Microsoft Office products—Microsoft Excel, the most popular and powerful worksheet program in the world.

What is a worksheet program? A worksheet is a program with a huge grid designed to display data in rows and columns where you can create calculations to perform mathematical, logical, and other types of operations on the data you enter. You can sort the data, enhance it, and manipulate it a plethora of ways including creating powerful charts and graphs from it. Whether you need a list of names and addresses, or a document to calculate next year’s sales revenue based on prior years’ performance, Excel is the application you want to use.

You will find the information that you need to quickly and easily get the jobs done in the Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Fast & Easy guide. This book uses a step-by-step approach with illustrations of what you will see on your screen, linked with instructions for the next mouse movements or keyboard operations to complete your task. Computer terms and phrases are clearly explained in non-technical language, and expert tips and shortcuts help you produce professional-quality documents.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Fast & Easy provides the tools you need to successfully tackle the potentially overwhelming challenge of learning to use Microsoft Excel. Whether you are a novice user or an experienced professional, you will be able to quickly tap into the program’s user-friendly integrated design and feature-rich environment.

Through this book you learn how to create worksheets; however, what you create is totally up to you—your imagination is the only limit! This book cannot teach you everything you can do with Microsoft Excel, nor does it give you all the different ways to accomplish a task. What I have tried to do is give you the fastest and easiest way to get started with this fun and exciting program.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is divided into five parts, an appendix, and a glossary of terms. Each part focuses on a different area of Excel and at the end of each part, you’ll find ten review questions to help you test your understanding of the covered materials.

In Part I, I show you how to create a basic worksheet. While it’s not the most exciting section of the book, it’s certainly the most practical. Look out after that— things start to be lots of fun! In Part II, you learn about creating formulas to make Excel do all the calculating work for you, while in Part III you discover how to make it all look appealing and interesting to your audience. Part IV shows you how to use some of Excel’s powerful analysis tools and tools that improve your worksheet quality. In Part V you learn how easily Excel integrates with other people and other Office applications. Finally, the helpful appendix will show you how to save your valuable time with keyboard shortcuts.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book can be used as a learning tool or as a step-by-step task reference. The easy-to-follow, highly visual nature of this book makes it the perfect learning tool for a beginning computer user as well as those seasoned computer users who are new to Microsoft Excel. No prerequisites are required from you, the reader, except that you know how to turn your computer on and how to use your mouse.

In addition, anyone using a software application always needs an occasional reminder about the steps required to perform a particular task. By using the Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Fast & Easy guide, any level of user can look up steps for a task quickly without having to plow through pages of descriptions.

Added Advice to Make You a Pro

You’ll notice that this book uses steps and keeps explanations to a minimum to help you learn faster. Included in the book are a few elements that provide some additional comments to help you master the program, without encumbering your progress through the steps:

NOTE

Tips often offer shortcuts when performing an action, or a hint about a feature that might make your work in Excel quicker and easier.

NOTE

Notes give you a bit of background or additional information about a feature, or advice about how to use the feature in your day-to-day activities.

Read and enjoy this Fast & Easy book. It certainly is the fastest and easiest way to learn Microsoft Office Excel 2003.

—Diane Koers

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