March 26


Excel – Generating random numbers

By Sharyn Baines

March 26, 2014

Functions, Random

PROBLEM: Generating random numbers.

SOLUTION: Let Excel do it for you!



Excel – Using the RAND function

Below is an example of how RAND can be used.  Tracy has been asked to organise the order of speakers for her club speech competitions.  To ensure the order is done fairly she decides to use the RAND() function to return a random number for each competitor.


She then selects cells B2 to B11 and uses Copy, Paste Values to replace the function with real values.  Once she has done this she then uses the random number to sort the competitors into the order they will be speaking (lowest number goes first).

Note: RAND creates random numbers greater than and equal to 0 and less than 1.


Sharyn Baines

About the author

Sharyn is an expert trainer. She became the first certified Microsoft® MOUS Authorised Instructor in New Zealand. She is endorsed by Microsoft® as a qualified Microsoft® Office Specialist and has more than 20 years of experience in the training industry, developing and delivering technology training workshops. Her approach to taking the “techie-speak” out of technology training has placed her as a preferred supplier to many of New Zealand’s leading organisations.

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