Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Generating Random Numbers**

Generating Random Numbers

Random numbers are often useful in spreadsheet applications. For example, you can fill a range

with random numbers in order to test formulas. Or, you can generate random numbers to

simulate various processes.

Excel provides several ways to generate random numbers.

Using the RAND function

The Excel RAND function generates a uniform random number between 0 and 1. In other words,

every number between 0 and 1 has an equal probability of being returned by the function.

If you need larger random numbers, just use a simple multiplication formula. The following

formula, for example, generates a uniform random number between 0 and 1000:

=RAND()*1000

To limit the random number to whole numbers, use the ROUND function:

=ROUND((RAND()*1000),0)

Using the RANDBETWEEN function

To generate uniform random integers between any two numbers, you can use the

RANDBETWEEN function. The following formula, for example, generates a random number

between 100 and 200:

=RANDBETWEEN(100,200)

In versions prior to Excel 2007, the RANDBETWEEN function is available only when the Analysis

Toolpak add-in is installed. For compatibility with previous versions (and to avoid using the

addin), use a formula like the following, where a represents the lower limit and b represents the

upper limit:

=RAND()*(b-a)+a