Skip to content

How To Randomize A List In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

Key Takeaways:

  • Randomizing a list in Excel can be done in two ways: generating a new random list or shuffling an existing one.
  • Generating a new random list involves using the RAND or RANDBETWEEN function to create either decimal or integer values that can be sorted or rearranged accordingly.
  • Shuffling an existing list can be achieved using functions like SORT, RANDOMIZE, or RANDBETWEEN, which can operate on either columns or rows of data.


– First, introduce the topic of randomizing lists in Excel.
– Then, explain the two main methods: generating a new list and shuffling an existing one.
– For generating a new list, provide two subsections: entering the data and using either the RAND or RANDBETWEEN function to generate random values.
– For shuffling an existing list, provide three subsections: using SORT to randomly sort columns, using RANDOMIZE to reorder the list, and using RANDBETWEEN to shuffle rows.
– Finally, conclude with some general tips on how to effectively randomize lists in Excel.

Have you ever wanted to randomize a list in Excel but have no idea how? You’re in luck! This guide will provide a step-by-step instruction so you can randomly sort your list in no time.

Generating a Random List: Create a List of Random Values in Excel

Excel can simplify your life. One way is to make a random list of values. Few know how to do this. Here’s how!

  1. Input the data into Excel.
  2. Then, use the RAND function to generate decimal values.
  3. Lastly, use the RANDBETWEEN function to create random integers.

By the end, you’ll understand how to create a randomized list in Excel.

Entering the Data into Excel: Inputting Data for Randomization

Randomizing lists in Excel? Here’s how to get started!

  1. Open Excel and create a new workbook.
  2. Enter column headers for your data in the first row.
  3. Under each header, add data values in the subsequent rows.
  4. Double-check your inputs for accuracy.
  5. Save your document.

Organize your data in an Excel sheet for reliable results when randomizing. Add color coding and conditional formatting rules for quick identification when conducting analysis.

Now it’s time to use Excel’s built-in functions to generate a randomized list! Keep reading our guide on how to use the RAND Function to generate random decimal values in Excel.

Using the RAND Function: Generate Random Decimal Values in Excel

To get random decimals in Excel, you can use the RAND function. This brings back a number between zero and one. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Pick a cell for the random value.
  2. Type =RAND() into the cell and press enter.
  3. You will now have a random decimal.
  4. Copy the formula and paste it in another cell for another random value.
  5. Every time you recalculate your workbook, Excel will produce new random values.
  6. You can adjust the format of the cell for more or fewer decimal places.

The RAND function is easy and useful for generating random decimal values. But, the numbers are not genuinely random. They are based on an algorithm, so they may not be completely unpredictable or unbiased.

Despite its limits, people still use the RAND function for various things, like simulating lottery drawings, creating randomized test questions, etc.

Before Microsoft released the RAND function in 1985, people had to use workarounds, like shaking dice or flipping coins, to create randomized data pools!

Next up: using the RANDBETWEEN Function to get random integers in Excel…

Using the RANDBETWEEN Function: Generate Random Integer Values in Excel

Do you need random integer values in Excel? Use the RANDBETWEEN function! This lets you specify a range of numbers and returns a random number between those two values.

To use the RANDBETWEEN function, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Select the cell to display the random number.
  2. Type “=RANDBETWEEN(x,y)” (without quotes) into the formula bar, replacing x and y with the minimum and maximum values of your range.
  3. Press enter.

You’ll now see a unique random integer value between your specified range in the selected cell.

This is a useful tool for creating sample data or conducting statistical analyses. To ensure the list of random integer values is truly unique, combine this function with COUNTIF or VLOOKUP to remove duplicates.

Remember, the RANDBETWEEN function will generate a new random value every time your spreadsheet recalculates. So, use copy/paste special or convert formulas before sharing files with others.

Now, learn how to shuffle an existing list using Excel’s built-in functionality.

Randomizing an Existing List: How to Shuffle a List in Excel

Fed up with manually shuffling lists every time in Excel? Good news! This guide will show you how to randomize a list in Excel with a few steps. We’ll explore three sections that offer their own solutions.

  1. Firstly, using the SORT Function to categorize columns in Excel.
  2. Secondly, the RANDOMIZE Function to rearrange an Excel list randomly.
  3. Lastly, the RANDBETWEEN Function to shuffle rows randomly.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to easily and accurately shuffle any list in Excel.

Using the SORT Function: Sort Columns Randomly in Excel

To randomize a list in Excel, you can use the SORT function. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the range you want to sort randomly.
  2. Go to the Data tab and click on the Sort button.
  3. In the Sort dialog box, select the column and choose “Random” as the sort type.

This method ensures the list is randomized without bias. It also allows for quick sorting of large datasets.

SORT only shuffles rows within a single column at a time, so if you need to shuffle multiple columns simultaneously, use VBA code or specialized add-ins.

If your data contains headers or other non-sortable elements, exclude them from your selection before sorting to avoid any errors.

Save a copy of your original dataset before shuffling. This gives a backup of your data and prevents accidental overwriting.

This technique is useful when working with surveys, experimental data, or research where randomized orders are necessary.

Using the RANDOMIZE Function: Rearrange an Excel List Randomly.

Using the RANDOMIZE Function: Rearrange the Order of an Excel List Randomly

To use the RANDOMIZE function, a popular way to shuffle a list in Excel, follow these five steps:

  1. Open Excel and locate the list.
  2. Select any cell in that list.
  3. Go to the “Data” tab.
  4. Click on “Sort” and choose ascending or descending order.
  5. Select “Options” and uncheck “My data has headers” if it doesn’t. Then click on “OK”.

Using the RANDOMIZE function can be useful. For example, with multiple-choice exams. It ensures each student gets a different set of questions. Plus, it provides an unbiased way to shuffle lists because each item has an equal chance of being selected first, second, or last.

Randomization has been used for centuries as a scientific method for reducing bias and ensuring fairness. Charles S. Peirce developed his own method of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) 20 years before Ronald A. Fisher’s work on statistics and RCTs.

Another important function is the RANDBETWEEN Function: Shuffle Excel Rows Randomly.

Using the RANDBETWEEN Function: Shuffle Excel Rows Randomly

Select the range of cells you want to randomize in your sheet. Write “=RANDBETWEEN(1,100000)” in a new column. Press enter. Then copy it by clicking, CTRL+C or right-clicking.

Using the RANDBETWEEN Function can be helpful. It saves time. Shuffling rows has many advantages. It removes bias and improves accuracy. Excel is the only tool you need.

My colleague faced unexpected results. They couldn’t create diverse sample groups with their method. I shared the technique “Using the RANDBETWEEN Function.” It helped them achieve their goal!

Five Well-Known Facts About How To Randomize a List in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide:

  • ✅ Randomizing a list in Excel can be done using the RAND function, which generates random numbers between 0 and 1. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Another way to randomize a list is by using the RANDBETWEEN function, which generates random numbers within a specified range. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel also provides a built-in tool called “Sort” which can be used to randomly reorder a list. (Source: Excel Jet)
  • ✅ When sorting a list in Excel, be sure to select the entire range of data to prevent losing any information. (Source: Microsoft Support)
  • ✅ Randomizing a list can be useful for tasks such as assigning tasks or choosing winners of a contest. (Source: Lifewire)

FAQs about How To Randomize A List In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

1. How to randomize a list in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide?

To randomize a list in Excel, follow these simple steps:
1. Open your Excel worksheet.
2. Select and highlight the list you want to randomize.
3. Go to the “Data” tab and click on “Sort”.
4. In the “Sort” dialog box that appears, select “Random” under “Order”.
5. Click “OK” and your list will be randomized.

2. Can I randomize a list with a specific criterion?

Yes, you can randomize a list based on a specific criterion. For example, you can randomize a list of names based on their age or location. To do this, select the list you want to randomize and go to the “Sort” dialog box. In the “Sort by” field, select the column that contains the criterion you want to use for randomization. Then, choose “Random” under “Order” and click “OK”.

3. Can I undo a randomization in Excel?

Unfortunately, there is no built-in way to undo a randomization in Excel. Once you have randomized a list, the order of the entries cannot be restored. If you want to keep a copy of the original list, make sure to save it before randomizing.

4. Is there a way to generate a random number in Excel?

Yes, there is a function in Excel that allows you to generate a random number. To do this, type “=RAND()” in a cell and press “Enter”. Excel will generate a random number between 0 and 1. To generate a random number within a specific range, use the formula “=RAND()*(max-min)+min”, replacing “max” and “min” with the upper and lower limits of the range.

5. Can I randomize a list using a formula in Excel?

Yes, you can use a formula to randomize a list in Excel. One way to do this is to add a column next to your list and use the “=RAND()” function to generate a random number for each entry. Then, sort the list based on the values in this column to randomize the order of the entries.

6. Can I use Excel to select a random item from a list?

Yes, there is a function in Excel that allows you to select a random item from a list. To do this, use the formula “=INDEX(list,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA(list)))”, replacing “list” with the range of cells that contains the items you want to choose from. This will return a random item from the list each time the formula is refreshed.