No matter how much I may know about spreadsheets, I always like to have a reference nearby. The books to the right are mine. I bought them many years ago when I was first learning Excel. This is where it all started for me and they proved to be invaluable the more I opened them. As you can tell, I broke the binding in the VBA book. That’s because I actually read every single page in it. It’s the first and only technical book so far that I completely read that was over 850 pages and it was well worth it. I learned so much from it. I would like to take a moment to thank John Walkenbach for writing such great books. They truly taught me a lot.
Below I put together some Excel resources that I have personally used and recommend. As I find more resources to add, I will come back and update this page, so please check-in every now and then.
DisclosureI just want to let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. This costs nothing extra for you. They are all things that I recommend because I have found them both trustworthy and helpful, not because I may earn commissions from them. Please do not spend any money on these unless you believe you could benefit from them.
Excel 2010 Bible – Written by John Walkenbach, this book covers a TON of information. If you are a beginner or even a more advanced user and you love details, this is a great book to check out. It includes every day tasks such as data entry tips, report generation, and it even has a solid introduction to VBA (Excel’s programming language for automating tasks).
Excel 2010 Formulas – This book is not the kind you read from start to finish. After Part I, I would recommend using it as a reference book. It can get very detailed so whenever you have a question on a specific type of formula, go straight to that section and read that. It is clearly written with plenty of examples.
Excel 2010 Power Programming with VBA – If you want to get deep into Excel’s automation capabilities, this is a great resource. I gives you everything you need to know to get you very advanced and it is written very well.
RibbonX: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon – Anyone who created their own toolbars in Excel 2003 knows how broken those toolbars became once Excel 2007 unveiled the new ribbon. RibbonX clears up all the confusion by providing a very detailed explanation on how to customize the ribbon.
Professional Excel Development – This is not for the faint of heart. This is for the well-seasoned Excel VBA programmer. If you have at least 3 years of solid VBA development and you are looking for architecture techniques, best practices, and custom modifications to Excel’s native behavior, then this book is for you.
Don’t Make Me Think – This book teaches you to understand how your users use your products. Originally intended for web site usability, it talks about watching your users try to accomplish some task in your web site, like ordering a product. You would ask your user to try to order a product, without telling them how to do it, and you ask them to think out loud while they attempt to do this. By watching where they click and possibly some comments like “What does this do?” you can get a huge understanding of how others use your site. OK, so what does this have to do with spreadsheets? Well, you can apply exactly the same concept! Watching your users use your spreadsheets gives you a much better understanding of how intuitive your spreadsheet really is. And this book shows you the concepts to get the best results. I highly recommend it. It’s a very quick and eye-opening read.
The Excel Guru – Ken Puls is very active in the MS Office community. He has held a Microsoft MVP status for the past several years and he deserves it. He also co-authored RibbonX: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon. I first met Ken at VBA Express when I first started learning about VBA and we hit it off well. We are still good friends and I check out Ken’s blog and forum often. You can also follow Ken on Twitter.
Mr. Excel – Bill Jelen is Mr. Excel. He is one of the most active resources you can find on the internet. His YouTube channel alone has over 1,200 videos on Excel!!! He has authored many books, consulted & trained for many years, and he has a very active Excel forum.
VBA Express – This is a forum site aimed at Microsoft Office programmers. They cover all office products and have some really talented people over there. The atmosphere is very friendly and they are always helpful. This is the first VBA forum I ever started out with and I have learned so much by their expertise as well as helping others solve their problems.
Excel And Access – This is a consulting and training company that provides a very one-on-one feel for learning Excel. They offer classes, webinars, seminars, and personalized training. I am friends with one of the trainers, Zack Barresse, and I can personally attest that Zack knows his stuff. Check them out if you have a chance.
AutomateExcel – Steve from AutomateExcel has an active blog and discusses many Excel topics. However, the most impressive part of his site are his Interactive Tutorials. He covers Formulas, VBA, and Keyboard Shortcuts. The tutorials build upon each other and the fact that you can interactively learn these topics within the website is really awesome. Check it out!