Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Generating Random Numbers
type some numbers into the cells, but it’s easier to let Excel ill in some realistic data for
you. The secret is to use either of the following two functions:
=RAND() uses no parameters and returns a random number between 0 and 1, carried
to 14 decimal places
=RANDBETWEEN(bottom,top) requires two parameters, which can be constants or
cell references; it returns whole numbers that are greater than or equal to bottom and
less than or equal to top .
Using either of these functions can require a little ingenuity and a combination of other
functions. If you’re building a worksheet to analyze sales at a restaurant or retail store, you
might want a large collection of data to simulate a series of typical sales. If the minimum
transaction is $25.00 and the maximum is $150.00, neither function alone will work. RAND
returns results that are well outside the range you’re looking for, while RANDBETWEEN
returns only whole numbers instead of the dollars-and-cents data you need. The solution?
Combine the two functions in a single formula you can use in the range containing sales
amounts:
=RANDBETWEEN(25,150)+ROUND(RAND(),2)
The first function generates a random whole number between 25 and 150, inclusive. The
second function generates a number between 0 and 1 and rounds it to two decimal places.
The combination equals a perfect mix of dollars and cents.
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