Random Numbers in Excel

Updated on December 31, 2023
Article byBabita Sehdev
Edited byNannila Jai Ratna
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Are Random Numbers In Excel?

Random numbers in Excel are used when we want to randomize our data for a sample evaluation. These numbers generated randomly. There are two built-in functions in Excel which give us random values in cells, RAND and RANDBETWEEN functions.

RAND() function provides us with any value from the range 0 to 1, whereas =RANDBETWEEN() takes input from the user for an arbitrary number range.

Randomness has many uses in science, art, statistics, cryptography, and other fields.

Generating Random numbers in excel is important because many things in real life are so complicated that they appear random. Therefore, to simulate those processes, we need random numbers.

For instance, we can generate a random number in excel using =RAND().

  • Step 1: Insert the =RAND() in cell A1.
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  • Step 2: Press Enter.
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Likewise, we can generate random numbers using random numbers in excel.

Key Takeaways

  • Random Numbers in excel is used to generate numbers in excel.
  • The Random numbers in Excel function help in generating random data for sample evaluation.
  • Remember, the Random Numbers in excel is a worksheet function (WS function)
  • Excel has two built-in Random functions which yield random values. They are =RAND() function and =RANDBETWEEN().
  • The =RAND() provides us with any value from the range 0 to 1, whereas the =RANDBETWEEN() function takes input from the user for an arbitrary number range.
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How To Generate Random Numbers In Excel?

There are several methods to generate a random number in Excel. We will discuss the two of them: RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() functions.

You can download this Generate Random Number Excel Template here – Generate Random Number Excel Template

#1 – RAND() Function

To generate a random number in Excel between 0 and 1(excluding), we have a RAND() function in Excel.

RAND() functions return a random decimal number that is equal to or greater than 0 but less than 1 (0 ≤ random number <1). In addition, the RAND function recalculates when a worksheet is opened or changed (volatile function).

The RAND function returns the value between 0 and 1 (excluding).

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We must type =RAND() in the cell and press Enter. The value will change whenever any change is made in the sheet.

How To Generate Random Numbers In Excel For More Than One Cell?

If we want to generate random numbers in Excel for more than one cell, then we need:

  • First, select the required range, type =RAND(), and press Ctrl+Enter to give us the values.
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How to Stop Recalculation of Random Numbers in Excel?

As the RAND function recalculates, if any change in the sheet is made, we must copy and then paste the formulas as values if we do not want values to be changed every time. For this, we need to paste the values of the RAND() function using Paste Special so that it would no longer be a result of the “RAND ()” function. It will not be recalculated.

To do this,

  • We need to make the selection of the values.
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  • Press the Ctrl+C keys to copy the values.
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  • Without changing the selection, press the Alt+Ctrl+V keys to open the Paste Special dialog box.
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  • Choose Values from the options and click on OK.
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We can see that the value in the formula bar is the value itself, not the RAND() function. Now, these are only values.

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There is one more way to get the value, only not the function as a result, but that is only for one cell. If we want the value the very first time, not the function, then the steps are:

  • First, type =RAND() in the formula bar, press F9, and press the Enter key.
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After pressing F9, we get the value only.

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Value From A Different Range Other Than 0 And 1 Using RAND()

As the RAND function returns a random decimal number between 0 and 1 only, if we want the value from a different range, then we can use the following function:

Let ‘a’ be the start point.

And ‘b’ be the end point

The function would be ‘RAND()*(b-a)+a’

For example, if we have 7 as “a” and 10 as “b,” then the formula would be “=RAND()*(10-7)+7.”

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As the function’s name indicates, this function returns a random integer between given integers. Like the RAND() function, this function also recalculates when a workbook is changed or opened (volatile function).

The formula of the RANDBETWEEN Function is:

  • Bottom: An integer representing the lower value of the range.
  • Top: An integer representing the lower value of the range.
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To generate random numbers in Excel for the students between 0 and 100, we will use the RANDBETWEEN function.

First, we must select the data, type the formula, =RANDBETWEEN(0,100), and press the Ctrl + Enter keys. You can prefer the below-given screenshot.

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As values will recalculate, we can only use Alt+Ctrl+V to open the Paste Special dialog box to paste as values.

Follow the steps given below in the screenshot.

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Like the RAND() function, we can also type the RANDBETWEEN function in the formula bar, pressing F9 to convert the result into value, and then press the Enter key.

Important Things To Remember

  • If the bottom is greater than the top, the RANDBETWEEN function will return #NUM! Error.
  • If either of the supplied arguments is non-numeric, the function will return #VALUE! Error.
  • Both RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() functions are volatile functions (recalculates). Hence, it increases the processing time and can slow down the workbook.

Random Numbers In Excel – Project 1

We can use the RANDBETWEEN() function for getting random dates between two dates.

We will be using two dates as the bottom and top arguments.

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After making the selection, we need to copy down the formula using the shortcut (Ctrl+D).

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We can change the start date (D1) and end date (E1) to change the top and bottom values for the function.

Random Numbers In Excel – Project 2 –  Head And Tail

To randomly choose head and tail, we can use the CHOOSE function in excel with the RANDBETWEEN function.

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We need to copy the formula into the next and next cell every time in the game, and Head and Tail will come randomly.

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Random Numbers In Excel – Project 3 – Region Allocation

Many times, we have to imagine and create data for various examples. For example, suppose we have data for sales, and we need to allocate three different regions to every sale transaction.

Then, we can use the RANDBETWEEN function with the CHOOSE function.

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We can drag the same for the remaining cells.

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Random Numbers In Excel – Project 4 – Creating Ludo Dice

Using the RANDBETWEEN function, we can also create dice for Ludo. We need to use the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel VBA for the same. Please follow the below steps:

  • Merge the four cells (B2:C3) using Home Tab → Alignment Group → Merge & Center.
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  • Apply the border to the merged cell using the shortcut key (ALT+H+B+T) by pressing one key after another.
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  • Center and middle align the value using Home Tab → Alignment Group → Center and Middle Align commands.
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  • To create the button, use Developer tab → Controls Group → Insert Command Button
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  • Create the button and choose View Code from the Controls group on Developer.
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  • After choosing CommandButton1 from the dropdown, paste the following code:

RN = (“=RANDBETWEEN(1,6)”)

Cells(2, 2) = RN

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Please save the file using the .xlsm extension as we have used the VBA code in the workbook. After coming to the Excel window, deactivate the Design Mode.

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Now, whenever we click the button, we get a random value between 1 and 6.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Random Numbers in excel?

Random Numbers in excel is a built-in function used to generate random values. It is used when we have to calculate sample evaluation for random values.

2. What are the two functions used to generate random numbers in excel?

In excel, we can generate numbers using two functions. They are: =RAND() and =RANDBETWEEN().

The =RAND() provides us with any value from the range 0 to 1, whereas the =RANDBETWEEN() function takes input from the user for an arbitrary number range.

3. How to use RAND function in excel?

RAND() generates random numbers between 0 to 1.

For example, consider the below image where we have inserted the RAND() in a blank cell.

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As soon as we press Enter¸ we can see that the function has generated a random number below 1 as shown in the below image.

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Similarly, we can generate random numbers between 0 to 1, using random numbers in excel function.

This article is a guide to Random Numbers in Excel. Here, we discuss generating random numbers in Excel using the RAND() and RANDBETWEEN functions along with multiple projects and downloadable Excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in Excel: –