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# General Math Functions

Excel's Math & Trig category contains functions that go a step beyond the basic mathematical operators (like +, -, /, *, and ^) to help you figure out things like absolute values and greatest (and least) common denominators.

### Note

Poker fan alert: the COMBIN( ) and PERMUT( ) functions may help you keep your game sharp even when you're away from the table.

This section covers 14 of the most commonly used functions in this category.

## PRODUCT( ), FACT( ), POWER( ), and SQRT( ): Products, Factorials, Powers, and Square Roots

These four functions actually offer the same services provided by many of the simple operators covered in the last chapter, but, in some cases, they come with a few twists that may save you time.

The PRODUCT( ) function takes up to 30 arguments, multiplies them together, and gives the result. For example, the following formula multiplies 2*3*3, and arrives at 18:

`=PRODUCT(2,3,3)`

One interesting characteristic of the PRODUCT( ) function is that in addition to accepting individual cell references, it also supports cell ranges. This means you can use PRODUCT( ) to multiply all the numbers in a range in the same way you use SUM( ) to add numbers. Here's an example:

`=PRODUCT(A2:A12)`

You can use the FACT( ) function to calculate a factorial , which is a sequence of numbers (starting at 1), each of which is multiplied together to arrive at the result. For example, 5! (pronounced "five factorial") translates into 5*4*3*2*1, which works out to 120. Rather than ...

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