I found an interesting — and inexpensive — ebook called 101 Secrets of an Excel Addict. Priced at only $14.97, it is packed full of interesting tips and tricks that most users don’t know.
I would bet that almost every one of these tips can be found in some form or another on the Internet, and for free. But, the real problem is that you don’t know to look for the tip because the thought hasn’t occurred to you. Or, perhaps, because you have looked for it but haven’t picked the right words for a search term.
I was impressed. I use Excel for personal use and also use it extensively at the office. But, I don’t spend hours reading through all the help tips in Excel to figure out things that I might be able to do.
That’s the big advantage of a tip book — it opens your mind to the idea that you COULD do the task (that’s the subject of a particular tip). Knowing you can do it, or thinking of the task you want to do, is half the problem when you’re working with a program. Of course, the ebook tells you how to do the task, too.
The web site notes that the ebook was written for Excel 2003 and the tips haven’t been tested with Excel 2007. There may be some that don’t work. However, the ones I tried worked in Excel 2007 once I paid attention to what I was reading (if the tip says the Shift key, it doesn’t mean the Control key — Duh!).
The publisher is also offering a bonus ebook Secrets of Microsoft Word with the purchase of 101 Secrets of an Excel Addict for $14.97.
That makes this a package that almost every reader should be able to afford. After purchase, you download the PDF files to be able to read them on your own computer (be sure to download and save them, not just "Open" them).
I’ve also purchased and like Carol Bratt’s set of four ebooks of tips for Excel 2007, Powerpoint 2007, Outlook 2007 and Word 2007. These are more expensive, but cover two more programs, too. Carol is offering a bonus of one year membership at her site, which includes the premium version of her newsletter as well as access to her newsletter archives.