Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Ordering Items
The total number of items must be the same as or greater than the number of
items to use, or else an error is generated.
You may be confused about why the function takes two arguments. On the
surface, it seems that the first argument is sufficient. Well, not quite. Getting
back to the Beatles (anyone have a copy of Abbey Road I can borrow?). If we
plug in 4 as the number for both arguments, like this — =PERMUT(4,4) — 24
permutations are returned:
John Paul George Ringo
George John Paul Ringo
John Paul Ringo George
George John Ringo Paul
John George Paul Ringo
George Paul John Ringo
John George Ringo Paul
George Paul Ringo John
John Ringo Paul George
George Ringo John Paul
John Ringo George Paul
George Ringo Paul John
Paul John George Ringo
Ringo John Paul George
Paul John Ringo George
Ringo John George Paul
Paul George John Ringo
Ringo Paul John George
Paul George Ringo John
Ringo Paul George John
Paul Ringo John George
Ringo George John Paul
Paul Ringo George John
Ringo George Paul John
Altering the function to use 2 items at a time from the total of 4 items —
PERMUT(4,2) — returns just 12 permutations:
John Paul
George John
John George
George Paul
John Ringo
George Ringo
Paul John
Ringo John
Paul George
Ringo Paul
Paul Ringo
Ringo George
Just for contrast, using the number 2 for both arguments — PERMUT(2,2) —
returns just two items! When using PERMUT, make sure you’ve selected the
correct numbers for the two arguments; otherwise, you’ll end up with an
incorrect result and may not be aware of the mistake. The PERMUT function
simply returns a number. The validity of the number is in your hands.
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