Book review: Excel 2019 Bible

Excel 2019 Bible

Excel 2019 Bible

The subtitle of this book is 'The comprehensive tutorial resource', and that is a pretty accurate description. Given its length of over a thousand pages, Excel 2019 Bible is probably the only reference book for Excel you're likely to need. (Mind you, the authors do point out that should you require more guidance on Excel's programming functionality, they've written a book dedicated solely to that topic.)

The book is logically set out, with sections such as working with text, using formulae with dates and times, conditional analysis and others.

It's also very readable, with clear explanations and worked examples. In addition, to save you having to create your own worksheets and enter the data, the publishers have made a zip file containing example worksheets available on their website.

One thing I very much appreciated was the authors' willingness to point out the flaws in the program. For example, the way it treats the year 1900 could lead to errors, while elsewhere the user isn't warned of unexpected behaviour.

There are a couple of things I didn't like. One is the fact that you don't start entering formulae (as opposed to using a built-in function from a drop-down menu) until page 207. If you're reading the book chronologically, that's a bit of a slow start!

Also, I think the book would have benefitted from a section listing all of the functions in alphabetical order.

These, however, are mere quibbles. The book is ideal for dipping into, and a couple of well-structured tables of content plus a lengthy index make it easy to find the solution you're looking for.

Will the book be useful in the classroom? Well, yes and no. Yes from the point of view of serving as an excellent resource for the teacher.

Also, if you have a class ed tech library (, this book would be a worthy addition to its shelves. I speak from experience: when I set my class a programming problem to solve using any application they wished, a couple chose to use Excel and Visual Basic for Applications, as I reported in VBA Conundrum ( It was a book just like this -- perhaps even an earlier edition -- that the students and I used to help us work out a solution.

However, this is not a book designed to help teachers teach Excel, with school-appropriate examples. The book will help you understand Excel on a deep level; the rest is up to you.

Excel 2019 Bible (Amazon associate link)

This review was originally published in my newsletter, Digital Education.