Exploring Microsoft 365: Excel 2021, 1st edition

Published by Pearson (February 7, 2022) © 2023

  • Mary Anne Poatsy
  • Jason Davidson Butler University
  • Keith Mulbery Utah Valley State College


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For advanced courses in Microsoft® Excel.

Beyond point-and-click

The Exploring Microsoft® 365 series moves beyond rote tasks to a deeper comprehension of how, when, and why to apply Office skills in a cloud-based world. For over 20 years, the series has helped students achieve at a higher level by engaging them in hands-on practice. 12 activities in each chapter range from multiple-choice questions and problem-solving exercises to cumulative projects that assess understanding and skill mastery.

Fully revised for Microsoft 365 and Office 2021, the new edition is Mac compatible and includes assignments that build critical thinking skills for the 21st-century.

Hallmark features of this title

Focus on outcomes

  • Clear objectives in each chapter are outlined, identified by icons, and self-assessed in review.
  • Designed for problem-solving, the text adds meaning to step-by-step instruction, clarifying which app, function, or feature achieves specific goals.

Skills in context

  • The text supports deeper understanding by design, with white pages highlighting theory-based content and yellow pages for hands-on exercises.
  • Content for MOS exams is woven in seamlessly and easily identified via icons and a MOS Certification Guide.

Active learning

  • Hands-on exercises throughout connect to an on-going case study, while Application Capstone exercises test knowledge of an app in its entirety.
  • Mid-level exercises apply creative and analytical uses for each app.

New and updated features of this title

  • NEW: Critical Thinking questions in each chapter reinforce the how and why behind skills, while Cumulative Chapter projects test skill development.
  • UPDATED: The Common Features chapter promotes familiarity with recurring features, identifying the ones seen in most Microsoft 365 apps.

In sync with the latest tech

  • NEW: The latest in Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 apps is reflected in updates to coverage of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint functionality.
  • NEW: A Microsoft Teams chapter prepares students to collaborate in academics and business using this essential application.

Expanded coverage

  • NEW: A Windows and macOS chapter covers the essentials of operating systems and file management.
  • NEW: All content has been created, updated, and tested to provide a seamless experience for Mac users. Each chapter includes Mac How To boxes, Mac Tip boxes, and Mac Troubleshooting tips.

Features of Pearson eText for Exploring 2021

  • NEW: Strategic hyperlinks connect white and yellow pages. Students just click to connect to the exact theoretical content (white pages) that underlies each hands-on activity (yellow pages).
  • UPDATED: Semesterly updates to the eText are made seamlessly by the authors. You'll keep pace with ongoing changes to Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 without missing a step.
  • Each Hands-On Office Exercise links to a video embedded in the eText, so students can watch experts walk step-by-step through each activity, weaving in key learning as they go.

Microsoft Office 2021

  1. Operating Systems and File Management
  2. Microsoft Teams
  3. Microsoft 365 Common Features


  1. Introduction to Excel
  2. Formulas and Functions
  3. Charts
  4. Datasets and Tables
  5. Subtotals, PivotTables, and PivotCharts
  6. What-If Analysis
  7. Specialized Functions
  8. Statistical Functions
  9. Multiple-sheet Workbook Management
  10. Power Add-ins
  11. Additional Specialized Functions
  12. Templates, Workbook Inspection, and Macros

About our authors

Mary Anne Poatsy (series editor) is a senior faculty member at Montgomery County Community College, teaching various computer application and concepts courses in face-to-face and online environments. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College and an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Mary Anne has more than 25 years of educational experience. She has taught at Gwynedd Mercy College, Bucks County Community College, and Muhlenberg College. She also engages in corporate training. Before teaching, she was Vice President at Shearson Lehman in the Municipal Bond Investment Banking Department.

Dr. Keith Mulbery (Excel author) is a Professor in the Information Systems and Technology Department at Utah Valley University (UVU). Keith has served in a variety of positions, including Department Chair, Interim Associate Dean in the School of Computing, and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Technology. He has taught computer applications, introduction to programming, management information systems, systems analysis and design, and global and ethical issues in information systems and technology. Keith has authored textbooks for over 28 years. In addition, he served as Series Editor for the Exploring Office 2007 series and Developmental Editor on two Word textbooks for the Essentials Office 2000 series. Keith received his B.S. and M.Ed. in Business Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and earned his Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Business Information Systems at Utah State University.

Jason Davidson (Excel author) is a faculty member in the Lacy School of Business at Butler University, where he teaches Data Analysis and Business Modeling, Business Intelligence, Data Network Engineering, and introductory management information system courses. With a background in media development, prior to joining the faculty at Butler, he worked in the technical publishing industry. Along with teaching, he currently serves as an IT consultant for regional businesses in the Indianapolis area and currently serves as the Vice President of the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering EECT division. He holds a B.A. in telecommunication arts from Butler University and an M.B.A. from Morehead State University. He is also a MCSA in BI Reporting and Microsoft Office master certified. He lives in Indianapolis, IN. with his wife Sarah and son Miles.

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