7 Best Excel Books to Level Up Your Excel Skills (in 2020)

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Learning Excel can be a uphill task. After all, there are so many features, functionalities, and functions to learn about.

And with every version and update, there are new functionalities being added to it.

If learning Microsoft Excel is on your bucket list this year, you would need all the good resources to make the best use of your time.

My Top Excel Books Recommendations

I am listing the best Excel Books (basic & advanced) that have helped me learn Excel. I highly recommend these Excel books to anyone who is looking to learn Excel.

I have personally gone through each of these Microsoft Excel books (Yes! All of it) and have learned a lot from it.

This Excel 2016 book is written by John Walkenbach, who is a leading authority in spreadsheets. It justifies its name, and is indeed a bible about Excel spreadsheets.

It is divided into seven parts where each part handles an aspect of Excel in detail.

  • Part I: Getting Started with Excel
  • Part II: Working with Formulas and Functions
  • Part III: Creating Charts and Graphics
  • Part IV: Using Advanced Excel Features
  • Part V: Analyzing Data with Excel
  • Part VI: Programming Excel with VBA
  • Part VII: Appendixes

This book tries to cover a lot of different topics, and is a good starting point. If you're an intermediate/advanced Excel user, I recommend this as the Best Excel book (and I always keep it as a reference with me).

It dives into basic Excel features such as Excel functions, Excel charts, data analysis, and then goes onto cover some advanced concepts. If you properly go through this book (which might take some time), you can easily claim to be an Excel advanced user.

Also, while it covers almost all important topics in Excel, it will not go into too much detail on topics such as VBA or dashboards, etc. It also doesn't cover new features such as Power Pivot or Power Query.

One things that I don't like about this book is that it's too dry and verbose sometimes. It makes it a bit difficult to go through this book. I wish it was written in a more conversation tone. Nevertheless, a highly recommended Excel resource you must posses if you work with Excel and intend to become a power user.

This Excel 2016 All-in-one for Dummies book is written by Greg Harvey, who started teaching computers in 1980's and have authored multiple Excel books.

This one is best suited for Excel beginners (as evident by the name).

While it covers all the major Excel features, it does so in an easy to follow tone. It covers the following Excel topics:

  • Excel Basics
  • Worksheet Design
  • Formulas and Functions
  • Worksheet Collaboration
  • Charts and Graphics
  • Data Analysis & Management
  • Macros and VBA

This Microsoft Excel book is not going to make a power user, but it will give you enough working knowledge to do 99% of the tasks in Excel. Once you're done with this book, you can move to other more advanced Excel books/topics.

If you're looking for the best excel books for beginners, I highly recommend getting this textbook by Greg Harvey to begin with.

This short Excel quick start guide is written by William Fischer.

It is strictly for Excel newbies and is meant to act as a quick starting point or basic Excel refresher.

This Excel book is best suited when you have an Excel interview to ace and you want to quickly brush up on some Excel skills. Again, this is quite basic so get it only if you're a beginner.

The good thing about this books is that it's only 100 pages long and if you buy it on Kindle, it only costs a few bucks.

It's designed to be consumed quickly, so don't expect it to get into the details of any topic. It will cover topics such as Excel functions, Excel charts, formatting, etc., but not in detail.

Also, the hard cover copy quality is not the best. 

What works in this books favor is that it delivers on what it promises, quick refresher that can be life saver when appearing for interviews. 

If you're beginning with Pivot Tables, this is one of the best Excel books to get strated with.

It's written by Bill Jelen (aka Mr Excel) who is an Excel MVP and a leading authority in Excel spreadsheets (and one of my personal favorite).

This book covers the basics of Pivot Table in detail and then takes you through some of the advanced concepts in Pivot Table (such as Power Pivot and VBA).

It comes with a download of example files that are used throughout the book to showcase Pivot Table concepts.

You will also get many practical case studies in this book that really helps in getting a clear picture of when and how to use Pivot Tables.

However, if you're looking for advanced Pivot Table or Power Pivot learning, this Excel book is not for you.

This book is written by Rob Collie and Avichal Sign and is one of the best Excel books for people starting out with Power Pivot, Power Query, and Power BI.

Even the advanced users of Power Pivot would find some golden tips and tricks in it.

The book does a great job in introducing you to the benefits of Power Pivot and is full of practical examples.

It also covers DAX formulas in detail.

Note that I don't recommend this Microsoft Excel book if you're a beginner. To benefit from this book, you need to have a basic idea of Pivot Table, Tables, relationships, and databases.

The tone of writing is engaging and the use of practical examples make it easy to follow.

This amazing Excel book on Dashboard and Reports is written by Michael Alexander and John Walkenbach.

This is one of my favorite Excel books (since I love Excel dashboards).

It is divided into five parts:

  • Part 1: Getting Started with Excel Dashboards
  • Part 2: Introducing Charts in Your Dashboards
  • Part 3: Advanced Charting Concepts
  • Part 4: Pivot Table Driven Dashboards
  • Part 5: Working with the Outside World

The best part about this book is that it doesn't try to give you everything. Rather, it focuses on important dashboard concepts and shows you how to best use it.

It is full of important dashboard rules and guidelines that will help you create world class Excel Dashboards.

My take - if you want to learn how to create awesome dashboards, go for this advanced Excel textbook. It will not show you how to create a dashboard from scratch,but it will give you all the tools and techniques you need to know to build one.

Another wonderful book by John Walkenbach

If you're a beginner in VBA, this is one of the best Excel books about VBA to get started with (that's what I did).

It is divided into 6 parts:

  • Part 1: Getting Started with Excel VBA
  • Part 2: How VBA Works in Excel
  • Part 3: Programming Concepts
  • Part 4: Communication with your Users
  • Part 5: Putting it All Together
  • Part 6: The Parts of Tens

This book focuses on giving you a great start that will create a strong foundation for further Excel VBA learning. If you're already writing codes in VBA, this Excel book is not for you. 

The writing is simple and engaging. It covers a lot of VBA best practices and Do's & Don'ts.

My take - start with this book and read it a couple of times (it's not a big book so won't take you a lot of time). Once you've clarity of simple concepts, you can go for an advanced VBA book (or a VBA course).

Remember that this is just a starting point and this book on Excel VBA will not make you an expert. But it does a fantastic job in introducing you to the programming language and make a strong foundation.

If you're looking for the best book to learn Excel VBA, go for this one

This VBA power resource book is written by Michael Alexander and Dick Kusleika, both of whom are experts in VBA and programming languages.

I call this book the Excel VBA Bible.

It is aimed at beginners as well as power users. A lot is covered in this book and I recommend going one chapter at a time.

This book is best suited for people who have a little bit of VBA knowledge. If you've a working knowledge of how VBA works, this book can be used as a reference.

It is divided into 4 parts:

  • Part 1: Introduction to Excel VBA
  • Part 2: Advanced VBA Techniques
  • Part 3: Working with Userforms
  • Part 4: Developing Excel Applications

While the tite of this book may suggest that this is for Excel 2016, you can use tit even if you have prior versions (Excel 2013, 2010, 2007 or even 2003) or later versions of Excel.

My take - If you're a complete newbie to VBA, go for the "Excel VBA Programming for Dummies" book. This books is huge and can be overwhelming for a beginner. Get it only if you're already familiar with basics of VBA. I am not saying that this Excel book will not cover those concepts, in fact, it will cover a lot more, and that may be hard to digest at once.

And if you know a little bit of VBA, this is must have. I have it and I have read it cover to cover.

PS: If you like any of these Excel books and decide to purchase it using the link in this article, I get a small commission (without any additional cost to you). I personally own and have gone through each of these Excel books.

Trumpexcel.com is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

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