# Microsoft Knowledge Base

## How to Automatically Return a Random Value from a List

Last reviewed: May 29, 1997
Article ID: Q169169

• Microsoft Excel for Windows 95, version 7.0
• Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 5.0, 5.0c
• Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 5.0, 5.0a
• Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows

## SUMMARY

By using a combination of the INDEX, INT, ROWS, and RAND functions in a worksheet formula in Microsoft Excel, you can automatically return a random value from a list on a worksheet.

The following example formula automatically returns a random value from a list on a worksheet

```   =INDEX(<Range>,INT(ROWS(Range)*RAND())-1,1)

```

where <Range> is the address of the cells that contain the data.

To use the formula, do the following:

1. Type the following information into a worksheet:

```      A1:  A
A2:  B
A3:  C
A4:  D
A5:  E
A6:  F
A7:  G
A8:  H
A9:  I
A10: J```
2. In cell C1, type the following formula:

`      =INDEX(A1:A10,INT(ROWS(A1:A10)*RAND())-1,1)`
3. To generate a new value in cell C1, press F9 to recalculate the formula.

For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

```   ARTICLE-ID: Q44738
TITLE     : Generating a Random Number without RAND() in Excel

ARTICLE-ID: Q96746
TITLE     : XL: Using RAND() to Generate Randomly Distributed Integers

```
 Keywords : kbusage xlformula Version : 5.0 5.0a 5.0c 7.0 97 Platform : MACINTOSH WINDOWS Issue type : kbinfo THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE MICROSOFT KNOWLEDGE BASE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES SO THE FOREGOING LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY. Last reviewed: May 29, 1997 ©1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.