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How to Win Friends and Influence People
AuthorDale Carnegie
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon and Schuster (1936)
Publication date
October 1936
Media typePrint (hardcover / paperback)
Pages291 pp

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How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time.[1] In 2011, it was number 19 on Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential books.[2]

Carnegie had been conducting business education courses in New York since 1912.[3] In 1934, Leon Shimkin of the publishing firm Simon & Schuster took one of Carnegie's 14-week courses on human relations and public speaking;[3] afterward, Shimkin persuaded Carnegie to let a stenographer take notes from the course to be revised for publication. The initial five thousand copies[3]Trainee. of the book sold exceptionally well, going through 17 editions in its first year alone.

In 1981, a revised edition containing updated language and anecdotes was released.[4] The revised edition reduced the number of sections from six to four, eliminating sections on effective business letters and improving marital satisfaction.

Major sections and points[edit]

Twelve Things This Book Will Do For You[edit]

  1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
  9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
  12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

The book has six major sections. The core principles of each section are explained and quoted from below.[5]

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People[edit]

  1. Don't criticize, condemn, or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. To get what we want from another person, we must forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others. When we can combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.

Six Ways to Make People Like You[edit]

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people. 'You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.'[6]:52 The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
  2. Smile. Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
  3. Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. 'The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.'[6]:73 People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don't want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person's interest. The royal road to a person's heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking[edit]

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Whenever we argue with someone, no matter if we win or lose the argument, we still lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must try to avoid arguments whenever we can.
  2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say 'You're wrong.' We must never tell people flat out that they are wrong. It will only serve to offend them and insult their pride. No one likes to be humiliated; we must not be so blunt.
  3. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Whenever we are wrong we should admit it immediately. When we fight we never get enough, but by yielding we often get more than we expected. When we admit that we are wrong people trust us and begin to sympathize with our way of thinking.
  4. Begin in a friendly way. 'A drop of honey can catch more flies than a gallon of gall.'[6]:143 If we begin our interactions with others in a friendly way, people will be more receptive. Even if we are greatly upset, we must be friendly to influence people to our way of thinking.
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes. Do not begin by emphasizing the aspects in which we and the other person differ. Begin by emphasizing and continue emphasizing the things on which we agree. People must be started in the affirmative direction and they will often follow readily. Never tell someone they are wrong, but rather lead them where we would like them to go with questions that they will answer 'yes' to.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. People do not like listening to us boast, they enjoy doing the talking themselves. Let them rationalize and talk about the idea, because it will taste much sweeter to them in their own mouth.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers. People inherently like ideas they come to on their own better than those that are handed to them on a platter. Ideas can best be carried out by allowing others to think they arrived at it themselves.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view. Other people may often be wrong, but we cannot condemn them. We must seek to understand them. Success in dealing with people requires a sympathetic grasp of the other person's viewpoint.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires. People are hungering for sympathy. They want us to recognize all that they desire and feel. If we can sympathize with others, they will appreciate our side as well and will often come around to our way of thinking.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives. Everyone likes to be glorious in their own eyes. People believe that they do things for noble and morally upright reasons. If we can appeal to others' noble motives we can successfully convince them to follow our ideas.
  11. Dramatize your ideas. In this fast-paced world, simply stating a truth isn't enough. The truth must be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic. Television has been doing it for years. Sometimes ideas are not enough and we must dramatize them.
  12. Throw down a challenge. The thing that most motivates people is the game. Everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment[edit]

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation. People will do things begrudgingly for criticism and an iron-fisted leader, but they will work wonders when they are praised and appreciated.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly. No one likes to make mistakes, especially in front of others. Scolding and blaming only serve to humiliate. If we subtly and indirectly show people mistakes, they will appreciate us and be more likely to improve.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. When something goes wrong, taking responsibility can help win others to your side. People do not like to shoulder all the blame and taking credit for mistakes helps to remove the sting from our critiques of others.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. No one likes to take orders. If we offer suggestions, rather than orders, it will boost others' confidence and allow them to learn quickly from their mistakes.
  5. Let the other person save face. Nothing diminishes the dignity of a man quite like an insult to his pride. If we don't condemn our employees in front of others and allow them to save face, they will be motivated to do better in the future and confident that they can.
  6. Praise every improvement. People love to receive praise and admiration. If we truly want someone to improve at something, we must praise their every advance. 'Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.'[7]
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. If we give people a great reputation to live up to, they will desire to embody the characteristics with which we have described them. People will work with vigor and confidence if they believe they can be better.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct. If a desired outcome seems like a momentous task, people will give up and lose heart. But if a fault seems easy to correct, they will readily jump at the opportunity to improve. If we frame objectives as small and easy improvements, we will see dramatic increases in desire and success in our employees.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest. People will most often respond well when they desire to do the behavior put forth. If we want to influence people and become effective leaders, we must learn to frame our desires in terms of others' desires.

Letters That Produced Miraculous Results[edit]

In this chapter, the shortest in the book, Carnegie analyzes two letters and describes how to appeal to someone with the term 'do me a favor' as opposed to directly asking for something which does not offer the same feeling of importance to the recipient of the request.

Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier[edit]

  1. Don't nag.
  2. Don't try to make your partner over.
  3. Don't criticize.
  4. Give honest appreciation.
  5. Pay little attentions.
  6. Be courteous.
  7. Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.


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Before How to Win Friends and Influence People was released, the genre of self-help books had an ample heritage. Authors such as Orison Swett Marden, and Samuel Smiles had enormous success with their self-help books in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dale Carnegie began his career not as a writer, but as a teacher of public speaking. He started out teaching night classes at a YMCA in New York and his classes became wildly popular and highly attended. The success of the classes in New York prompted YMCAs in Philadelphia and Baltimore to begin hosting the course as well.[8] After even greater success, Carnegie decided to begin teaching the courses on his own at hotels in London, Paris, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

Because he could not find any satisfactory handbook already in publication, Carnegie originally began writing small booklets to go along with his courses.[9] After one of his 14-week courses, he was approached by publisher Leon Shimkin of the publishing house Simon & Schuster.[10] Shimkin urged Carnegie to write a book, but he was not initially persuaded. Shimken then hired a stenographer to type up what he heard in one of Carnegie's long lectures and presented the transcript to Carnegie.[11] Dale Carnegie liked the transcript so much he decided to edit and revise it into a final form.[12] He wanted it to be extremely practical and interesting to read.

To market the book, Shimkin decided to send 500 copies of the book to former graduates of the Dale Carnegie Course, with a note that pointed out the utility of the book for refreshing students with the advice they had learned.[13]:141 The 500 mailed copies brought orders for over 5,000 more copies of the book and Simon & Schuster had to increase the original print order of 1,200 quickly.[13]:142 Shimkin also ran a full page ad in the New York Times complete with quotes by Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller on the importance of human relations.[14]

Originally published in November 1936, the book reached the New York Times best-seller list by the end of the year, and did not fall off for the next two years.[13]:141 Simon & Schuster continued to advertise the book relying heavily on testimonials as well as the testable approach the book offered.[14]



How to Win Friends and Influence People became one of the most successful books in American history. It went through 17 print editions in its first year of publishing and sold 250,000 copies in the first three months. The book has sold over 30 million copies worldwide since and annually sells in excess of 250,000 copies.[15] A 2013 Library of Congress survey ranked Carnegie's volume as the seventh most influential book in American history.[16]

How to Win Friends and Influence People was number eight on the list of 'Top Check Outs OF ALL TIME' by the New York Public Library.[17]

Critical assessment[edit]

After How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in November 1936 and ascended rapidly on best-seller lists, the New York Times reviewed it in February 1937. They offered a balanced criticism arguing that Carnegie indeed offered insightful advice in dealing with people, but that his wisdom was extremely simple and should not overrule the foundation of actual knowledge.[18]

The satirical writer Sinclair Lewis waited a year to offer his scathing critique. He described Carnegie's method as teaching people to 'smile and bob and pretend to be interested in other people's hobbies precisely so that you may screw things out of them.'[19][20] However, despite the criticism, sales continued to soar and the book was talked about and reviewed as it rapidly became mainstream.

Scholarly critique however, was little and oscillated over time. Due to the book's lay appeal, it was not significantly discussed in academic journals. In the early stages of the book's life, the few scholarly reviews that were written explained the contents of the book and attempted to describe what made the book popular.[21] As time passed however, scholarly reviews became more critical, chiding Carnegie for being insincere and manipulative.[22]

Despite the lack of attention in academic circles, How to Win Friends and Influence People was written for a popular audience and Carnegie successfully captured the attention of his target. The book experienced mass consumption and appeared in many popular periodicals, including garnering 10 pages in the January 1937 edition of Reader's Digest.[23]

The book continued to remain at the top of best-seller lists and was even noted in the New York Times to have been extremely successful in Nazi Germany, much to the writer's bewilderment. He wrote that Carnegie would rate 'butter higher than guns as a means of winning friends' something 'diametrically opposite to the official German view.'[24]

Despite the negative comments from his critics, Carnegie's book established a new genre. Carnegie described his book as an 'action-book' but the category he created has since become known as the self-help genre. Almost every self-help book since has borrowed some type of style or form from Carnegie's 'path-breaking best seller.'[25]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Warren Buffett took the Dale Carnegie course 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' when he was 20 years old, and to this day has the diploma in his office.[26]
  • The title of Lenny Bruce's autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People is a parody of the title of this book.
  • English rock band Terrorvision titled their second album How to Make Friends and Influence People in reference to the book.
  • American punk band Screeching Weasel titled their seventh studio album How to Make Enemies and Irritate People as a parody of this book.
  • In August 2015, the book was featured on Showtime's Masters of Sex, with portions recited in a voiceover as a main character studies the text.
  • The title of Toby Young's memoir How to Lose Friends & Alienate People is a parody of the title of this book. The memoir was also adapted into a 2008 film of the same name starring Simon Pegg.
  • An episode from season 7 of Cheers is called 'How to Win Friends and Electrocute People' as a play on the title of the book.
  • Season 7 episode 9 of Supernatural is titled 'How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters', in reference to the title of the book.
  • Season 2 episode 3 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is titled 'Making Friends and Influencing People', in reference to this book. It aired October 7, 2014.
  • The book is referenced in the 2016 film Imperium, in which an undercover FBI agent uses principles from the book to infiltrate an extremist group.
  • In the November 2, 2017 episode of Young Sheldon, 'Rockets, Communists, and the Dewey Decimal System', Sheldon Cooper reads the book and attempts to apply its advice to his life.
  • A 2018 Wired article about Margit Wennmachers, venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, is titled 'How to Win Founders and Influence Everybody'.[27]
  • The book is said to have greatly influenced the life of television and film actress Donna Reed. It was given to her by her high school chemistry teacher Edward Tompkins to read as a sophomore at Denison (Iowa) High School in 1936. Upon reading it she won the lead in the school play, was voted Campus Queen and was in the top 10 of the 1938 graduating class.[28]
  • Charles Manson used what he learned from the book in prison to manipulate women into killing on his behalf.[29]


  1. ^New York Times, 2011 at
  2. ^'How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age'. 2011. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  3. ^ abcCarnegie, Dale (2006). How to win friends & influence people. UK: Vermilion. pp. 12–18. ISBN978-1409005216.
  4. ^Walters, Ray (September 5, 1982). 'Paperback Talk'. New York Times. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  5. ^Each section is a paraphrase of the main ideas written and developed by Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (Gallery: New York, 1998).
  6. ^ abcCarnegie, Dale (1998). How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Gallery.
  7. ^Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People New York: Gallery, 1998. 220.
  8. ^Lowell Thomas, Shortcut to Distinction Introduction to How to Win Friends and Influence People. (New York: Gallery, 1998) 103.
  9. ^Steven Watts, Self-Help Messiah (New York: Other, 2013)
  10. ^Korda, Michael (1999). Another Life: A Memoir of Other People. Random House. pp. 149. ISBN9780679456599. It was not for nothing that Shimkin had been the discoverer of Dale Carnegie, whose lectures he had attended with results that changed both Carnegie's life and his own: How to Win Friends and Influence People became the biggest best-seller in S&S's history.
  11. ^Silverman, Al (2008). The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers, Their Editors, and Authors. Truman Talley. pp. 252–254. ISBN978-0312-35003-1.
  12. ^Giles, Kemp. Dale Carnegie (New York: St. Martin's, 1989) 137–141
  13. ^ abcGiles, Kemp. Dale Carnegie (New York: St. Martin's, 1989)
  14. ^ ab'Display ad 42 – no title'. New York Times. December 7, 1936. ProQuest101624338.
  15. ^Irwyn Applebaum, president of Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster's mass-market arm, cited that sales of the book had been over one million between 1982 and 1986. work=New York Times, October 25th, 1986.
  16. ^Steven Watts, Self-Help Messiah (New York: Other, 2013) 2–4
  17. ^
  18. ^'Miscellaneous Brief Reviews'. New York Times. February 14, 1940. p. 104. ProQuest101971502.
  19. ^Sinclair Lewis, quoted in Tom Sant, The Giants of Sales. (New York: AMACOM, 2006) 96.
  20. ^Giles, Kemp. Dale Carnegie (New York: St. Martin's, 1989) 152.
  21. ^Symons, A. E. 1937. The Australian Quarterly, 9 (3). Australian Institute of Policy and Science: 115–16. doi:10.2307/20629470
  22. ^Parker, Gail Thain. 1977. 'How to Win Friends and Influence People: Dale Carnegie and the Problem of Sincerity'. American Quarterly 29 (5). Johns Hopkins University Press: 506–18. doi:10.2307/2712571
  23. ^'Display ad 49 – no title'. New York Times. January 25, 1937. ProQuest102017737.
  24. ^'Books and Authors'. New York Times. December 29, 1940. p. 1. ProQuest105230738.
  25. ^Giles, Kemp. Dale Carnegie (New York: St. Martin's, 1989) 147.
  26. ^Lasson, Sally Ann (February 16, 2009). 'Warren Buffet: The secret of the billionaire's success'. The Independent. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  27. ^Hempel, Jessi (January 21, 2018). 'How to Win Founders and Influence Everybody'. Wired. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  28. ^'75-year history of Broadway Elementary building celebrated'. Denison Bulletin-Review. March 20, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  29. ^Brady, Diane (July 22, 2013). 'Charles Manson's turning point: Dale Carnegie classes'. Business Week. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.

External links[edit]

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NOTE: Please do not reply to this post with a question. Read this post to see where and how to ask your question.

You’ve exhausted the built-in and online help provided by Microsoft, and don’t have what you need. So where do you go to get help in Excel?

There are a large number of resources available to you. Search engines, online forums, and a number of useful general Excel topic web sites, and a huge selection of Excel books.

What Have You Tried?

In What Have You Tried?, Matt Gemmell bemoans the questions from people who have not done their homework. Here are some preliminary suggestions from Matt to ensure that you are ready to be helped:

  • Have you broken the question or problem down sufficiently to really ask something concrete?
  • Is your problem the sort of standard question for which there’s definitely already some sample code and documentation available? Skim the documentation, or do a quick search.
  • Try searching the web. If you’re having trouble getting a decent result, you need to narrow things down. Someone else has probably asked your question – or maybe a hundred someones.

Direct Inquiries

It’s tempting to send an email directly to me or to another expert whose previous website or forum post has been helpful. I get a dozen or more unsolicited emails a week asking for general Excel help. I welcome questions and clarifications regarding topics posted on my web site, but I don’t often have the time (or motivation) to address emails out of the blue. It’s more effective to post a question on a forum with a broader audience (see below), because many more people will see the question, and several people will respond to a public post before a single busy individual even notices a stray email. I’d rather answer a public question, because it becomes part of the body of public knowledge, more people will see it, and Google will have a chance to pick it up.

Posting a question in a comment to an unrelated blog post is also not very effective. You’ll either have your comment deleted, or if you’re lucky you might get a link to a more relevant post. If you’re on someone’s blog, use their search box to find a more relevant post yourself.

Search Engines

Go to the source, Google. Search for a few related keywords. If the results aren’t what you need, they may at least give you ideas for better keywords. I even use Google to search Microsoft’s site. Use as one of your keywords to focus the search on


There are a large number of forums devoted to Excel. For some reason, new forums keep popping up, even though a new forum lacks the core of experts and depth of archived information of an established forum. The established forums include Mr Excel, OzGrid, Excel Help Forum, Experts Exchange. I visit various forums from time to time to see if I can answer a few questions.

Choosing a Forum

Qualities of a good forum include:

  • Lots of traffic: dozens or hundreds of new threads each day.
  • A long history: archives extending back five years or more.
  • Recognized experts: members with designations indicating expertise (but watch out for too much game-like clutter, like badges and medals and point counts).
  • Relatively few unanswered threads.

How to Ask a Forum Question

  • Take a couple minutes to try Google first. Many questions have been asked and answered a thousand times before.
  • Spend a few minutes searching the forum’s archives.
  • Use a descriptive subject line. I skip posts with subjects like Help!! or Excel Question.
  • Write a concise and clear problem statement. State what you are trying to do, what steps you took, and what happened. (Sometimes framing a question well is enough to clarify the problem in your own mind, and you figure it out yourself.) If you get an error message, include the description in its entirety and not just the error number. Sure it’s an effort to retype it, but the error number may correspond to several different descriptions. Error number 1004 means a procedure halted during execution: very informative.
  • Include the Excel version somewhere in your problem statement.
  • Write clearly, DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS, don’t use text message shorthand LOL, proofread your post.
  • Don’t look for a button to upload your workbook. If you can’t describe your problem without attachments, most people won’t bother trying to answer. If someone wants more information, they will ask for a workbook.
  • Be courteous and patient. If your question isn’t answered within several hours or a day, reread the question.
  • Don’t bump your own post to bring it to the top of the list. Not everyone is in your time zone or takes breaks when you do, so let your question mellow until someone finds it. Also, adding a post to the thread, even just yourself bumping it, makes the thread look answered, so someone who is looking for unanswered questions will skip yours.

Why isn’t the Forum Answering My Question?

  • Is the subject line vague, as in I need excel help!!!?
  • Is it so simple that a Google search would have uncovered the answer in 60 seconds?
  • Is it written so poorly that nobody wants to try to decipher it?
  • Does it look too much like you want someone to do your homework?
  • Does it look like you’re asking for someone to do a whole project for free?
  • Is it written discourteously?

A Few Forums

Mr Excel is undoubtedly the best of the forums. Mr Excel receives more traffic than the rest, hosts a huge archive of solved issues, and has a large number of knowledgeable users willing to answer questions.

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OzGrid used to be focused more on revenue than on the content of the forum, but this has improved in recent years. OzGrid has decent traffic, a good archive, and a number of experts who respond to posts.

While Mr Excel and OzGrid receive a meaningful amount of traffic, most other forums don’t seem to have critical mass.

StackOverflow and SuperUser, which are respectively developer- and power-user-targeted partner forums, have moderate amounts of Excel traffic, and I like the flow of their layout. They are relatively new, but their Excel traffic and archive are expanding.

Microsoft has a number of relevant forums, such as Microsoft Office Excel, Excel for Developers, and VBA. Microsoft’s used to host very good newsgroups, but they ditched the newsgroups in favor of their own forums. The early versions of the forums were unusable. (MS suffers from an incredible case of Not Invented Here, so they are continuously reinventing the wheel, and as we know, Wheel 1.0 is often square.)

The Microsoft forums have improved, and they get a huge amount of traffic, redirected no doubt from the helpless online help, but they lost most of their knowledgeable members when the newsgroups were liquidated. Instead, numerous helpdesk-style contractors respond semi-intelligibly on Microsoft’s behalf.

Excel Help Forum is somewhat active, but you can scroll through a few days’ new posts in just a couple minutes.

Experts Exchange is a good quality forum, but it’s a paid membership service, and its structure is very constraining. Plus it’s overly concerned about scoring answers, to the extent that once a responder got upset that I added to his answer, because he didn’t want to share points. Sheesh, if I’m trying to answer someone’s question, I care if the answer helped. Why do I need points to prove how smart I am?

VBA Express and XL Guru are of good quality, but unfortunately their traffic is too low. Tek-Tips has Office and VBA forums which are intermediate in quality and traffic.

LinkedIn has recently appeared on the scene with its forums. So far most of these these forums have had no value. Most members have no apparent experience with forums, have not developed forum etiquette, and ask dumb questions with answers found easily elsewhere. Then someone will give a lame answer as if it’s actually helpful, and seventeen others will respond with “Me, too!”

I once suggested that a member of a LinkedIn forum visit Mr Excel, and was told by several forum members that the personal interaction on the LinkedIn forum was a great feature. Uh, what? You get the same interaction on Mr Excel and the other forums, only it’s with smart people who can actually help. I no longer spend any time on the LinkedIn forums.

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Specific Web Sites

There are a large number of useful Excel web sites and blogs. You’ll find most of them if you use Google well, and if you take note of who is answering questions on the forums. But here are a few noteworthy sites.

Chip Pearson’s Excel Source has hundreds of pages covering a wide variety of topics using worksheet formulas and VBA.

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The Spreadsheet Page is John Walkenbach (Mr Spreadsheet)’s site filled with free tips, downloads, and other stuff, plus information about his books and other Excel products.

ExcelUser is Charley Kyd’s site directed toward business users of Microsoft Excel. ExcelUser has written about Excel dashboards, and offered dashboard-related products for Excel, since authors of other dashboard web sites were still in grade school.

Contextures is Debra Dalgleish’s site of Excel Tips and Tutorials. If you have a question about pivot tables, autofilters, conditional formatting, data validation, you’ll find the answer here. has a number of free and paid Excel learning resources by everyone’s favorite, Chandoo.

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Excel Books

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There are innumerable books on all aspects of working with Excel. I won’t list them here; instead I’ll direct you to my web page that lists the Excel Books that I own and actually use. (I own others that I don’t find useful, and I’ve left them off the list.) I update this book list every so often, when I’ve gotten a couple new books or when a new version of Excel has been released. Disclosure: the book page contains Amazon Affiliate links, as does the sidebar of this page, so if enough of you buy enough books, I’ll be able to start posting from exotic vacation destinations.