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# Using Functions: A Preview

In simplest terms, a function is a predefined formula. Many Excel functions are shorthand versions of frequently used formulas. For example, the SUM function adds a series of cell values by selecting a range. Compare the formula =A1+A2+A3+A4+A5+A6+A7+A8+A9+A10 with the formula =SUM(A1:A10). The SUM function makes the formula a lot shorter, easier to read, and easier to create.

### Cross Reference

For more information about functions, see Chapter 13. For more about the SUM function, see Chapter 14.

Some Excel functions perform complex calculations. For example, using the PMT function, you can calculate the payment on a loan at a given interest rate and principal amount.

All functions consist of a function name followed by a set ...

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