Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Determining a Random Value.

Determining a Random Value

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 16, 2014)

3

VBA provides a function to return a random value. You wouldn't necessarily use this function by itself, but as part of a larger macro that may require the use of random values. The syntax for the function is as follows:

x = Rnd()

where x is the result. The value returned will always be between 0 and 1. To translate this to some other random value, all you need to do is multiply the result by the highest number you want to consider. For instance, if you wanted a random integer number between 1 and 25, you could use the following code line:

x = Int(25 * Rnd()) + 1

Since Rnd always returns a value between 0 and 1 (but never 1 itself), multiplying what it returns by 25 and then using the Int function on that result will return a number between 0 and 24. Finally, 1 is added to this result, so that x will be equal to a number between 1 and 25, inclusive.

If you want a random floating point number, then simply removing the Int function from this code will not work correctly. Instead, you'll need to modify the formula in this manner:

x = (Rnd() * 24) + 1

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9751) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Determining a Random Value.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is four minus 0?

2014-08-19 10:23:13

Bryan

@JJ Olinchak: The Excel function you are thinking of is RANDBETWEEN (not randOMbetween). There is no VBA equivalent, but you can roll your own or use Application.WorksheetFunction.RandBetween(low, high).


2014-08-18 01:23:17

Geir Njaa

The RND() function is not truly random unless you initialize the random number generator with RANDOMIZE first.

If you do not RANDOMIZE, RND will produce the same sequence of numbers every time you restart Excel.


2014-08-17 10:03:39

JJ Olinchak

Excel also has "RandomBetween" function. To generate an integer between 1 and 25, type: =RandomBetween(1,25)


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