Generating Random Numbers in Excel

If you want to build a Random Number Generator in Excel, there are two functions to generate an Excel Random Number. The two functions are called RAND() and RANDBETWEEN().

The first function is generating a random number with decimals between 0 and 1. The second function is generating a random integer number (a number without decimals) between 2 numbers passed as parameters.

RAND() – random number between 0 and 1

The RAND() function generates a random number between 0 and 1. The number generated has decimals.

The Excel random number is recalculated with every refresh of the worksheet. (use F9 to recalculate all formulas).

In the example below, a random number generated using the function RAND() is 0.525861

random numbers using rand function

For larger numbers, multiply the number with 10, 100, 1000 or any larger number

If you want a number between 0 and 10, use the function =RAND()*10. The resulting number will have decimals. If you want to round the number to an integer use the function ROUND like this.

= ROUND(RAND()*10) – this generates a random number between 0 and 10

RANDBETWEEN() – random numbers between limits

Using the function RAND() will always use zero as the bottom limit. RAND() can only generate a random number between 0 and 1, or 0 and 10, or 0 and 100 etc. If you want to change the lower limit and set the upper limit as well, use the function RANDBETWEEN()

RANDBETWEEN() generates a random number between a bottom limit number and a top limit number.

The random numbers generated, unlike the RAND() function, are integers, no decimals.

RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() for random words or letters

A great usage example for random number functions, aside from generating numbers, is for picking up random words in a list using a vlookup function.

In the example below, you can generate a number from 1 to 5

Using a VLOOKUP function, you can pull the corresponding word from the list.

NOTE: Use the functions RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() to generate random letters using the vlookup function. That can be useful if you are trying to generate a word search game.