Random Number Generation in Microsoft Excel

In this article, we will learn the random number generator in Microsoft Excel. To generate the random number, we will use the “RAND” and “RANDBETWEEN” function.

Rand function is used to returns the random number greater than or equal to 0 and less than 1, and also it recalculates all time when we do any activity in the sheet.

Syntax of “RAND” function:         =RAND()

For example:-

  • Select the cell A1 and write the formula.
  • =RAND(), press Enter.
  • The function can return any random number

Note:- Random numbers change every time a cell on the sheet is calculated.

 RANDBETWEEN:- This function is used to  extract a random integer number between the two specified (bottom & top) numbers. A new random integer number gets generated every time the worksheet is calculated.

Syntax of RANDBETWEEN:-  =RANDBETWEEN(bottom,top)

  • Select the cell A1 and write the formula.
  • =RANDBETWEEN(10,20), and press Enter.
  • Drag it with the mouse till the cell A5.
  • The function will return the random number in between 10, 20.

This is all about how we can produce the random numbers by using the formula Rand and Randbetween in Microsoft Excel.

Let’s take an example on array of random numbers without duplicates

In case you want to generate random number in Excel within a specified upper & lower limit without VBA, then you will have to generate Random numbers with Excel Randbetween function. In this article, let’s discuss how to apply this function.

Question: I want to create a list of random numbers between 1 to 10 in a column without repetition.

  • In cell A2, the formula is
  • {=LARGE(ROW($1:$10)*NOT(COUNTIF($A$1:A1, ROW($1:$10))), RANDBETWEEN(1,11-ROW(A1)))}
  • Copy the formula in range A3:A11

 Note: This is an array formula. Use CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER keys together

  • The above formula will generate a list of unique random numbers from 1 to 10.

In this way we can use RAND & RANDBETWEEN functions in excel.

Another way in Excel 2016

RANDBETWEEN function stands for Random number between the 2 numbers. To  get the same, follow the below steps.

RANDBETWEEN function returns the random numbers between any two numbers.


=RANDBETWEEN ( bottom, top )

Bottom : The smaller of the 2 numbers.

Top : The larger of the 2 numbers.

As we know a phone number have the following condition:

  1. It has 10 digits
  2. Cannot starts with 0

So the smallest possible number comes out to be 1000000000 and the largest possible number comes out to be  9999999999

So use the formula shown below to generate phone numbers

Use the Formula:

= RANDBETWEEN ( 1000000000 , 9999999999 )

1000000000 : smaller one

9999999999 : larger one

Just enter the formula once and repeat results using the drag down option in excel as shown in the above snapshot.

As you can see, you can get the random phone numbers in Excel.

Another ways to pick random values from given list

For this, we can opt for any of the two methods mentioned below. One method is using CHOOSE function. In this We need to input all individual values from the list to the function. You can use this formula for when number values in the list are less.

Formula using CHOOSE function:

= CHOOSE ( RANDBETWEEN ( 1 , n) , "value1" , "value2" , "value3",,,"value n" )

n : number of values in list

value1 , value2 , value3 , till value n : individual values from the list. These values can be input either using the cell reference or using directly with quotes or using the cell reference.

Another method is using the INDEX function where we will feed a random number as index which will result in the corresponding value at the index.

Formula using INDEX function:

=INDEX(data, RANDBETWEEN (1,ROWS (data)),col_index)

data : data array can be a list or table.

1 : start index

col_index : column index to point out the list in table.

Notes :

  1. The function returns an error, if the first number argument ( bottom ) is larger than the second number argument ( top ).
  2. The function returns error, if the argument to the function is non - numeric.

Hope this article about Random Numbers Generator without Repeat Numbers using VBA in Microsoft Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on generating random numbers or date values here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your fristarts on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write us at info@exceltip.com

Download - Excel Random Number Generator - xlsx

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