From the Not Just Numbers blog:

In last week’s post about an online random name generator, I mentioned that you could use the RANDBETWEEN function if you wanted to generate random numbers instead.

I was also surprised to realise that I hadn’t already written a post on this that I could link to – so I am remedying that this week.

The RANDBETWEEN function generates random whole numbers and is really simple to use. Its syntax is as follows:


where bottom and top are the lowest and highest numbers that you want to generate.

So, you could generate a random number between 1 and 10 using:


or between -100 and 100:


or if you want to generate a decimal (2 decimal places) between 1 and 10, you could use:


Note that the formula will recalculate (and therefore generate a new number) every time Excel calculates. With automatic calculation on, this will be every time you edit a cell on the sheet.

Often I use the function to generate a series of random numbers to use as sample data, in which case I will usually copy them and paste them as values over the formulae to fix the numbers.

You could also combine the function with INDEX to select random items from a list.


will randomly return the contents of cells A1 to A10.

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