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Redundant actuation of parallel manipulators can lead to internal forces without generating end-effector forces (preload). Preload can be controlled in order to prevent backlash during the manipulator motion. Such control is based on the inverse dynamics. The general solution of the inverse dynamics of redundantly actuated parallel manipulators is given. For the special case of simple overactuation an explicit solution is derived in terms of a single preload parameter. With this formulation a computational efficient open-loop preload control is developed and applied to the elimination of backlash. Its simplicity makes it applicable in real-time applications. Results are given for a planar 4RRR manipulator and a spatial heptapod.