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About the Author
John Walkenbach is the author of approximately three dozen spreadsheet books.
Visit his Web site at http://.j-walk.com.
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T hanks for purchasing the Excel 2003 Bible. My goal in writing this book is to
share with you some of what I know about Excel, and in the process, make you
more efficient on the job.
The book contains everything that you need to know to learn the basics of Excel
and then move on to more advanced topics at your own pace. You’ll find many use-
ful examples and lots of tips and tricks that I’ve accumulated over the years.
Is This Book for You?
The Bible series from Wiley Publishing, Inc. is designed for beginning, intermediate,
and advanced users. This book covers all the essential components of Excel and
provides clear and practical examples that you can adapt to your own needs.
In this book, I’ve tried to maintain a good balance between the basics that every
Excel user needs to know and the more complex topics that will appeal to power
users. I’ve used Excel for many years, and I realize that almost everyone still has
something to learn (including myself). My goal is to make that learning an enjoyable
This book was written for Excel 2003 for Windows. However, Excel hasn’t really
changed much lately, so most of the information also applies to earlier versions and
also to the Macintosh version. If you use a version prior to Excel 97, you’ll find that
a significant portion of this book does not apply.
Conventions This Book Uses
Take a minute to scan this section to learn some of the typographical and organiza-
tional conventions that this book uses.
In Excel, as in all Windows programs, you select commands from the pull-down
menu system. In this book, such commands appear in normal typeface. An option
available under a particular menu is indicated after an ➪ symbol, as in “Choose
File ➪ Print to print your document.”
Filenames, named ranges, and your input
Input that you make from the keyboard appears in bold. Named ranges may appear
in a code font. Lengthy input usually appears on a separate line. For instance, I
may instruct you to enter a formula such as the following:
=”Part Name: “ &VLOOKUP(PartNumber,PartList,2)
Names of the keys on your keyboard appear in normal type. When two keys should be
pressed simultaneously, they are connected with a plus sign, like this: “Press Alt+E to
select the Edit menu.” Here are the key names as I refer to them throughout the book:
Alt down arrow Num Lock right arrow
Backspace End Pause Scroll Lock
Caps Lock Home PgDn Shift
Ctrl Insert PgUp Tab
Delete left arrow Print Screen up arrow
Excel’s built-in worksheet functions appear in uppercase, like this: “Enter a SUM for-
mula in cell C20.”
You’ll come across some of the following mouse-related terms, all standard fare:
✦ Mouse pointer: The small graphic figure that moves onscreen when you move
your mouse. The mouse pointer is usually an arrow, but it changes shape
when you move to certain areas of the screen or when you’re performing cer-
✦ Point: Move the mouse so that the mouse pointer is on a specific item: for
example, “Point to the Save button on the toolbar.”
✦ Press: Press the left mouse button once and keep it pressed. Normally, this is
used when dragging.
✦ Click: Press the left mouse button once and release it immediately.
✦ Right-click: Press the right mouse button once and release it immediately. The
right mouse button is used in Excel to pop up shortcut menus that are appro-
priate for whatever is currently selected.
✦ Double-click: Press the left mouse button twice in rapid succession. If your
double-clicking doesn’t seem to be working, you can adjust the double-click
sensitivity by using the Windows Control Panel icon.
✦ Drag: Press the left mouse button and keep it pressed while you move the
mouse. Dragging is often used to select a range of cells or to change the size
of an object.
What the Icons Mean
Throughout the book, you’ll see special graphic symbols, or icons, in the left mar-
gin. These call your attention to points that are particularly important or relevant
to a specific group of readers. The icons in this book are as follows:
Note This icon signals the fact that something is important or worth noting. Notes may
alert you to a concept that helps you master the task at hand, or they may denote
something that is fundamental to understanding subsequent material.
Tip This icon marks a more efficient way of doing something that may not be obvious.
Caution I use this symbol when a possibility exists that the operation we’re describing
could cause problems if you’re not careful.
Cross- This icon indicates that a related topic is discussed elsewhere in the book.
On the This icon indicates that a related example or file is available on the companion
New This icon indicates a feature that is new to Excel 2003.
How This Book Is Organized
Notice that the book is divided into six main parts, followed by five appendixes.
Part I: Getting Started With Excel: This part consists of seven chapters that pro-
vide background about Excel. These chapters are considered required reading for
Excel newcomers, but even experienced users will probably find some new informa-
Part II: Working with Formulas and Functions: The chapters in Part II cover every-
thing that you need to know to become proficient with performing calculations in
Part III: Creating Charts and Graphics: The chapters in Part III describe how to
create effective charts as well as use graphics in your workbooks.
Part IV: Analyzing Data with Excel: Data analysis is the focus of the chapters in
Part IV. Users of all levels will find some of these chapters of interest.
Part V: Using Advanced Excel Features: This part consists of nine chapters dealing
with topics that are sometimes considered advanced. However, many beginning
and intermediate users may find this information useful as well.
Part VI: Programming Excel with VBA: Part VI is for those who want to customize
Excel for their own use or who are designing workbooks or add-ins that are to be
used by others. It starts with an introduction to VBA programming and then pro-
vides coverage of UserForms, add-ins, toolbars, menus, and events.
Part VII: Appendixes: Part VII contains a wide variety of appendixes that cover
everything from Excel worksheet functions, to the contents of the book’s CD-ROM,
to some fun games and diversions created using Excel.
How to Use This Book
This book is not intended to be read cover to cover. Rather, it’s a reference book
that you can consult when:
✦ You’re stuck while trying to do something.
✦ You need to do something that you’ve never done before.
✦ You have some time on your hands, and you’re interested in learning some-
The index is comprehensive, and each chapter typically focuses on a single broad
topic. If you’re just starting out with Excel, I recommend that you read the first few
chapters to gain a basic understanding of the product and then do some experi-
menting on your own. After you become familiar with Excel’s environment, you can
refer to the chapters that interest you most. Some users, however, may prefer to
follow the chapters in order.
Don’t be discouraged if some of the material is over your head. Most users get by
just fine by using only a small subset of Excel’s total capabilities. In fact, the 80/20
rule applies here: 80 percent of Excel users use only 20 percent of its features.
However, using only 20 percent of Excel’s features still gives you lots of power at
New Features in Excel 2003
This section briefly describes the new features in Excel 2003, relative to Excel 2002.
Where applicable, I provide additional details later in this book. You’ll notice that
the list is surprisingly short.
Excel 2003 has improved support for XML (eXtensible Markup Language). This
means that you can import XML data and assign the data elements to specific cells
in a worksheet.
You can define a portion of a workbook as a list range. This may make it a bit easier
to work with the list — for example, add new items and summary formulas. You can
also export the list range to SharePoint Team Services to share it with others. The
list on a Web site based on SharePoint Team Services can be linked to the original
range of cells.
A new feature, Research Pane, lets you search standard reference books and Web
sites by using Excel’s Task Pane.
Smart tag improvements
In the past, smart tags could either be turned on or off. It’s now possible to enable
smart tags only for a specified range of cells.
Advanced users often complain about the inaccuracy of some of Excel’s statistical
functions. Microsoft claims to have corrected these long-standing problems.
What’s on the Companion CD and Web Site
Wiley has provided so much add-on value to this book that we couldn’t fit it all on
one CD! With the purchase of this book, you not only get access to over 200 bonus
software programs and demos, but you also get an entire eBook — free!
Please take a few minutes to explore the bonus material included on the CD:
✦ Author-created materials: Demonstration and sample files from the book.
✦ Bonus software materials: Over 200 programs (shareware, freeware, GNU
software, trials, demos, and evaluation software) that work with Office. A
ReadMe file on the CD includes complete descriptions of each software item.
✦ Office 2003 Super Bible eBook: Wiley created this special eBook, consisting
of over 500 pages of content about how Microsoft Office components work
together and with other products. The content has been pulled from select
chapters of the individual Office Bible titles. In addition, some original content
has been created just for this Super Bible.
✦ PDF version of this title: As always, if you prefer your text in electronic for-
mat, the CD offers a completely searchable, PDF version of the book that you
hold in your hands.
After you familiarize yourself with all that we have packed onto the CD, be sure to
visit the companion Web site at www.wiley.com/compbooks/officebibles2003/.
Here’s what you’ll find on the Web site:
✦ Links to all the software that wouldn’t fit onto the CD
✦ Links to all the software found on the CD
✦ Complete, detailed tables of contents for all the Wiley Office 2003 Bibles:
Access 2003 Bible, Excel 2003 Bible, FrontPage 2003 Bible, Office 2003 Bible,
Outlook 2003 Bible, PowerPoint Bible, and Word 2003 Bible
✦ Links to other Wiley Office titles