## How to Randomize a List in Excel Into Groups (5 Suitable Ways)

In this article, I will show you how to randomize a list in Excel into groups. While working on an Excel worksheet, you need to do a massive type of work. Sometimes you may need to rank any dataset randomly. In this article, I will show you how to randomize a list   in Excel properly. I hope this article will increase your Excel skills. However, follow the procedures step-by-step. I have added pictures for your better understanding.

## How to Randomize a List in Excel Into Groups: 5 Suitable Ways

You can see the dataset I have used in this article in the following picture. The dataset has two columns called B and C . The dataset has the values called Student Id, and Name of students of a certain school. I will use this dataset to show how to randomize a list in Excel into groups. Follow the steps of every method one by one.

## 1. Randomize a List in Excel Into Groups Using RAND Function

In this method, you will know the randomization method of a list using the RAND function . The process is simple. Follow the procedures one by one. Hopefully, you will find interest in this method. I have made a slight change in the dataset. I am considering only the name column and added a new column called Random Rank here. However, follow the steps carefully.

• First, select the C5 cell and copy the following formula into it.

• After pressing Enter, you will find the following number.

• Then, Fill Handle the formula to copy down from C5 to C10 .

• Then, go to the Formula tab in your toolbar.
• After that, select the Calculation  option.
• Hence, select the manual option.

• Then, select the Home tab and go to the Editing  option.

• Then, select the Sort and Filter  option.

• Meanwhile, a pop-up window will appear. Select the Sort Largest to Smallest  option.

• Then, like the following window, select the Expand the Selection option and select the Sort  button.

• As a result, Excel will sort the Names like the following picture.

This is how the randomization of a list can happen.

Read More: List of Names for Practice in Excel

## 2. Implementing Excel RANDBETWEEN Function to Randomize a List

In this portion of this article, I will implement the RANDBETWEEN function to randomize a list in Excel. This is another short method. I hope this will increase your Excel skills. Follow the procedure step by step.

• First, select the C5  cell.

• Then, copy down the following formula in the selected cell.

• After pressing Enter , Excel will show the following result.

• Then, copy down the formula to the C10  cell.
• Hence, you will get random numbers like the picture given below.

• Moreover, to stop the automatic changing of the numbers, go to the Formulas tab and select the Calculation Options .
• Then, select the Manual  option.

• Then, go to the Home tab and select the Editing  option.

• After that, select the Sort & Filter  option.

• Hence, select the Sort Largest to Smallest  option.

• Meanwhile, the following window will appear. Select the Expand the selection option and then press the Sort  button.

• As a result, Excel will show the following sorted result.

This is how you can use the RANDBETWEEN function to randomize a list in Excel.

## 3. Combine RANDARRAY, SORTBY, and ROWS Functions

In this part of this article, I will Combine RANDARRAY, SORTBY, and ROWS Functions. This method is not as easy as the former two methods. Follow the method step by step given below.

• Then, copy the following formula in the selected cell.
• ROWS(B5:B10): Returns the row numbers of the array.
• RANDARRAY(ROWS(B5:B10): Returns an Array according to the ROWS
• SORTBY(B5:B10, RANDARRAY(ROWS(B5:B10))) : Returns the newly sorted names and spills the names throughout the whole column.

## 4. Using INDEX and RANDBETWEEN Functions

In this part of this article, I will use INDEX and RANDBETWEEN functions to randomize a list in Excel into groups. Follow the following steps to randomize the list.

• Select the C5 cell first.

• Then, write down the following formula in the selected cell.
• RANDBETWEEN(1,6): Returns a random number in a cell between 1 to 6.
• INDEX(\$B\$5:\$B\$10, RANDBETWEEN(1,6),1): Returns randomly sorted names in a certain cell.

• After pressing Enter , the following result will be shown.

• After copying down the formula, Excel will show the following result.

We can randomize a list in Excel using the INDEX and RANDBETWEEN Functions.

## 5. Applying CHOOSE and RANDBETWEEN Functions

In this method, I will apply CHOOSE and RANDBETWEEN functions to randomize a list in Excel into groups. Follow the following steps.

• Write down the following formula in the selected cell.
• CHOOSE(RANDBETWEEN(1,6),\$B\$5,\$B\$6,\$B\$7,\$B\$8,\$B\$9,\$B\$10): Returns the shuffled names in the C  column.

• Then, Copy down the formula from C5 to C10

• Hence, the following result will be found.

This is the procedure how to randomize a list in Excel into groups.

## Things to Remember

• You should bear in mind that the SORTBY function can only be found in Excel 365.

In this article, I have tried to explain how to randomize a list in Excel into groups. I hope you have learned something new from this article. Now, extend your skill by following the steps of these methods. I hope you have enjoyed the whole tutorial. If you have any queries, feel free to ask me in the comment section. Don’t forget to give us your feedback.

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## How to Create Random Groups in Excel (With Example)

Often you may want to create random groups in Excel.

For example, you might want to assign 12 basketball players to one of three random teams:

Fortunately this is easy to do and the following step-by-step example shows how to do so.

## Step 1: Enter Original Data

First, let’s enter the names of 12 basketball players that we’d like to assign to random teams:

## Step 2: Generate Random Values

Next, we will generate a random number between 0 and 1 for each player by typing the following formula into cell B2 :

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Each player now has a random value associated with them between 0 and 1.

## Step 3: Generate Random Groups

Next, we will assign each player to a random group.

To do so, we will type the following formula into cell C2 :

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column C:

Column C now assigns each player to one of three random teams.

For example:

• Andy has been assigned to Team 2.
• Bob has been assigned to Team 2.
• Chad has been assigned to Team 1.

Note that the value after the division symbol in the formula specifies the number of players to include in each group.

For example, we could change this number from 4 to 6 to instead include 6 players on each team:

We can type this formula into cell C2 and then click and drag it down to each remaining cell in column C:

Notice that six players are now assigned to Team 1 and six players are assigned to Team 2.

Feel free to change the number after the division symbol in the formula to assign a different number of players to each team.

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in Excel:

How to Generate Random Number Between Range in Excel How to Randomly Select Cells Based on Criteria in Excel How to Select a Random Sample in Excel

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## Quickly generate random groups for list of data in Excel

Sometimes, you may want to randomly assign data to groups as screenshot 1 shown, or generate groups for a list of names as below screenshot 2 shown, but how can handle these jobs quickly? Actually, in Excel, you can use formulas to solve them easily.

## Randomly assign data to groups

If you want to randomly assign data to a specified number of groups, each group is allowed with different numbers of data, you can use the CHOOSE and RANDBETWEEN functions.

Select a blank cell next to the list you want to assign to random groups, copy or type this formula

=CHOOSE(RANDBETWEEN(1,3),"Group A","Group B","Group C ")

In the formula, (1, 3) indicates to group data into 3 groups, Group A, Group B and Group C are the texts will be displayed in formula cells which used to distinguish different groups.

Then the list of data has been randomly assigned to groups, and each group may have different numbers of data.

The calculated results will not be fixed, they will be recalculated if there is any change to the workbook.

If you want to generate random groups for a list of data, and each group has a specified data size, you can use the ROUNDUP and RANK functions.

1. Firstly, you need a helper column to list some random data next to your data. Supposing in cell E2, type this formula

Then drag fill handle down to fill this formula to cells you use.

2. In the next column, supposing in cell F2, copy or type this formula

=ROUNDUP(RANK(E2,\$E\$2:\$E\$13)/4,0)

E2:E13 is the range that contains formula =RAND(), 4 is the number of data that you want each group contains.

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## Randomly Assign People to Groups in Excel

At times we have to randomly assign people to groups. This may seem a mind-numbing task, but it can be made very easy when executed in Excel.

## How to randomly assign people to groups in Excel

Here we can use a formula created by the Excel RANK and ROUNDUP functions together. We also use a helper column where RAND function is used to randomly generate values.

To randomly assign people to groups we use the formula

=ROUNDUP(RANK(A1,randoms)/size,0)

The above formula returns a group no. for each entry.

‘ randoms ’ and ‘ size ’ are named range.

Random is a helper column generated by Excel RAND Function.

## Explanation of formula

Excel RANK function is an inbuilt function in Excel which returns the rank of a number within a large set of numbers or array. This function is categorized as an inbuilt statistical function in Excel.

Excel ROUNDUP function is another inbuilt function in Excel which returns a number which is rounded up to a definite number of digits. This function rounds away from ‘0’. It is categorized as a Trig or Math function and can be aptly used as a worksheet function in Excel.

Let us take an example; we have to assign random groups to students for the aerobics class. We provide the size of group 4 in G10 as shown. To create groups, we use the formula shown in D5.

=ROUNDUP(RANK(C5,random)/size,0)

Here, “ random ” is the name of the range [C5:C20] and “ size ” is the named range [G10] .

We can drag the formula and use the above formula for a hefty amount of data.

We can also make use of the RAND function, which would generate random numbers. This function will keep on generating random values every time we change the values in the worksheet.

## Alternate Solution

Another approach of assigning random value is by using the CEILING function which is another inbuilt function in Excel.

= CEILING ( RANK (C5,random)/size,1)

This function can be used as an alternative to the ROUNDUP function. The ceiling function rounds up, but instead of rounding to some given number of decimal places, it rounds up to a given multiple.

As per the example is shown in Figure 1, you can you use the above alternate formula to randomly assign people to groups as shown below.

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## How to Generate Random Groups in Excel (Formula)

- Written by Puneet

• Random Groups with Random Size (CHOOSE + RANDBETWEEN)
• Random Groups with Same Size (RAND + ROUND + RANK)

In both methods, we need to write a formula. And in this tutorial, we will learn both ways and understand them in detail.

In this example, you have a list of students with their names, and now you need to assign them a random group from north, south, east, and west.

## Generating Random Groups in Excel

To write this formula, you can use the below steps:

• First, in a cell, enter the CHOOSE function.
• And in the first argument of the CHOOSE, which is index_num enter the RANDBETWEEN function.
• Now, in the RANDBETWEEN, enter “1” as the bottom and “4” as the top. So you have four groups to get the result; that’s why you need to use 1 and 4 to create a range of random numbers.
• Next, in the second argument of CHOOSE, enter the name of all four groups by using double quotation marks (“North”,”South”,”East”,”West”).
• In the end, hit enter to get the result. And drag the formula up to the last name.

Note: RANBBETWEEN is a volatile function that updates itself when you change your worksheet.

## How this Formula Works

To understand this formula, you need to split it into two parts: In the first part, we have RANDBETWEEN, which returns a random number between 1 to 4 (as we have four groups).

In the second part, we have CHOOSE function, which returns a value from the list you define using the index_number. When RANDBETWEEN returns a random number, CHOOSE returns the value from the list using that number.

When you have 3 in the index number, CHOOSE returns “East” in the result.

## But there’s a Problem.

When you use this formula, there’s no same-size grouping. So you can see in the result that the groups assigned to the students are not of the same size.

This method is only proper when you don’t want to consider the group size; otherwise, you need to use the formula we will discuss next.

## Generating Random Groups (Same Size)

To use this formula, you need to create a helper column with the RAND function to get the random number between 0 and 1, just like the following.

Note: RAND is also a volatile function that changes its value. And here, I’m going to convert the formula into values .

After that , enter a new column and the RANK function. Then, in the number argument, specify the random number from the B2; in the ref argument, use the entire range of random numbers.

It creates a unique ranking for all the 12 students you have on the list. Now , you need to divide this ranking by three, as you need to have three students in a single group.

Next , you need to use the ROUNDUP to round these rankings upwards.

After using ROUNDUP, you get an even size group where each group has the same number of students (12 students in the four groups with three students in each group). Then, again, use the CHOOSE to convert these number groups into group names.

## Get the Excel File

Related formulas.

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## Schedule a Demo

How to randomly assign participants to groups in excel.

## Too many steps?

Try sourcetable..

Randomly assigning participants to groups is a critical step in ensuring the validity of experimental research. Excel, with its built-in functions, allows for a variety of methods to perform this task.

However, Excel's procedures can be intricate and time-consuming. This guide will offer step-by-step instructions to simplify the process.

Additionally, we'll explore how Sourcetable provides a more streamlined and user-friendly approach for random assignment compared to Excel.

## Randomly Assign Participants to Groups in Excel

Using randbetween and choose functions.

Utilize the RANDBETWEEN function to generate random numbers within a specific range, which can be used to assign participants to groups. Combine RANDBETWEEN with the CHOOSE function to allocate individuals to pre-defined groups.

## Employing RAND Function for Randomization

Implement the RAND function to create a random number between 0 and 1 in a helper column. This function is essential for assigning a unique set of random values to participants in one step.

## Using RAND and RANK Functions Together

Deploy the RAND function alongside RANK and ROUNDUP functions to distribute participants into groups. The ROUNDUP function is valuable for rounding numbers up to the nearest integer, facilitating group assignment.

## Alternative Methods with CEILING Function

For an alternative to ROUNDUP, consider the CEILING function to assign random values more flexibly. This approach provides additional control over the assignment process.

## Recalculation of Random Functions

Note that RANDBETWEEN and RAND functions recalculate every time the worksheet is opened or edited. Ensure that you finalize group assignments to prevent changes.

## Common Use Cases

Excel vs. sourcetable: streamlined data integration and ai assistance.

Excel, a longstanding leader in spreadsheet software, is renowned for its comprehensive toolset that caters to various data manipulation needs. However, Sourcetable specializes in aggregating data from multiple sources into a single interface, simplifying data management.

Sourcetable's AI copilot differentiates it from Excel by offering users an innovative chat interface. This feature assists in generating formulas and templates, enhancing productivity and reducing the learning curve associated with complex spreadsheet functions.

While Excel requires manual setup for data integration, Sourcetable automates the process, enabling real-time data queries across platforms. This serves businesses that rely on up-to-date information from diverse data ecosystems.

The AI-enhanced capabilities of Sourcetable provide a user-friendly alternative to Excel's traditional formula creation. Users can leverage AI to streamline workflows and improve data analysis efficiency.

## Recommended How To Guides

• How to... Randomly Select Rows In Excel
• How to... Use Randarray In Excel
• How to... Do A Frequency Distribution In Excel
• How to... Make A Seating Chart In Excel
• How to... Calculate Sample Proportion In Excel
• How to... Make A Population Pyramid In Excel

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## RANDARRAY function - quick way to generate random numbers in Excel

The tutorial shows how to generate random numbers, randomly sort a list, get random selection and randomly assign data to groups. All with a new dynamic array function - RANDARRAY.

As you probably know, Microsoft Excel already has a couple of randomizing functions - RAND and RANDBETWEEN . What is the sense in introducing another one? In a nutshell, because it's far more powerful and can replace both older functions. Apart from setting up your own maximum and minimum values, it lets you specify how many rows and columns to fill and whether to produce random decimals or integers. Used together with other functions, RANDARRAY can even shuffle data and pick a random sample.

## Excel RANDARRAY function

• Basic RANDARRAY formula

## Generate random numbers between two numbers

Generate random date between two dates.

• Create random workdays in Excel
• Generate random numbers without duplicates
• Random sort in Excel
• Get a random sample
• Select random rows
• Random assignment in Excel
• Randomly assign data to groups

## Excel RANDARRAY function not working

The RANDARRAY function in Excel returns an array of random numbers between any two numbers that you specify.

It is one of six new dynamic array functions introduced in Microsoft Excel 365. The result is a dynamic array that spills into the specified number of rows and columns automatically.

The function has the following syntax. Please notice that all the arguments are optional:

Rows (optional) - defines how many rows to fill. If omitted, defaults to 1 row.

Columns (optional) - defines how many columns to fill. If omitted, defaults to 1 column.

Min (optional) - the smallest random number to produce. If not specified, the default 0 value is used.

Max (optional) - the largest random number to create. If not specified, the default 1 value is used.

Whole_number (optional) - determines what kind of values to return:

• TRUE - whole numbers
• FALSE or omitted (default) - decimal numbers

## RANDARRAY function - things to remember

To efficiently generate random numbers in your Excel worksheets, there are 6 important points to take notice of:

• The RANDARRAY function is only available in Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2021. In Excel 2019, Excel 2016 and earlier versions the RANDARRAY function is not available.
• If the array returned by RANDARRAY is the final result (output in a cell and not passed to another function), Excel automatically creates a dynamic spill range and populates it with the random numbers. So, be sure you have enough empty cells down and/or to the right of the cell where you enter the formula, otherwise a #SPILL error will occur.
• If none of the arguments is specified, a RANDARRAY() formula returns a single decimal number between 0 and 1.
• If the rows or/and columns arguments are represented by decimal numbers, they will be truncated to the whole integer before the decimal point (e.g. 5.9 will be treated as 5).
• If the min or max argument is not defined, RANDARRAY defaults to 0 and 1, respectively.
• Like other random functions, Excel RANDARRAY is volatile , meaning it generates a new list of random values every time the worksheet is calculated. To prevent this from happening, you can replace formulas with values by using Excel's Paste Special > Values feature.

## Basic Excel RANDARRAY formula

And now, let me show you a random Excel formula in its simplest form.

Supposing you want to fill a range consisting of 5 rows and 3 columns with any random numbers. To have it done, set up the first two arguments this way:

• Rows is 5 since we want the results in 5 rows.
• Columns is 3 as we want the results in 3 columns.

All of the other arguments we leave to their default values and get the following formula:

=RANDARRAY(5, 3)

## How to randomize in Excel - RANDARRAY formula examples

Below you will find a few advanced formulas that cover typical randomizing scenarios in Excel.

To create a list of random numbers within a specific range, supply the minimum value in the 3 rd argument and the maximum number in the 4 th argument. Depending on whether you need integers or decimals, set the 5 th argument to TRUE or FALSE, respectively.

As an example, let's populate a range of 6 rows and 4 columns with random integers from 1 to 100. For this, we set up the following arguments of the RANDARRAY function:

• Rows is 6 since we want the results in 6 rows.
• Columns is 4 as we want the results in 4 columns.
• Min is 1, which is the minimum value we wish to have.
• Max is 100, which is the maximum value to be generated.
• Whole_number is TRUE because we need integers.

Putting the arguments together, we get this formula:

=RANDARRAY(6, 4, 1, 100, TRUE)

Looking for a random date generator in Excel? The RANDARRAY function is an easy solution! All you have to do is input the earlier date (date 1) and later date (date 2) in predefined cells, and then reference those cells in your formula:

For this example, we have created a list of random dates between the dates in D1 and D2 with this formula:

Of course, nothing prevents you from supplying the min and max dates directly in the formula if you wish to. Just be sure you enter them in the format that Excel can understand:

=RANDARRAY(10, 1, "1/1/2020", "12/31/2020", TRUE)

To prevent mistakes, you can use the DATE function for entering dates:

=RANDARRAY(10, 1, DATE(2020,1,1), DATE(2020,12,31), TRUE)

## Generate random workdays in Excel

To produce random working days, embed the RANDARRAY function in the first argument of WORKDAY like this:

RANDARRAY will create an array of random start dates, to which the WORKDAY function will add 1 workday and ensure that all the returned dates are working days.

With date 1 in D1 and date 2 in D2, here's the formula to produce a list of 10 weekdays:

## How to generate random numbers without duplicates

Though modern Excel offers 6 new dynamic array functions, unfortunately, there is still no inbuilt function to return random numbers without duplicates.

To build your own unique random number generator in Excel, you will need to chain several functions together like shown below.

Random integers :

Random decimals :

• N is how many values you wish to generate.
• Min is the lowest value.
• Max is the highest value.

For example, to produce 10 random whole numbers with no duplicates, use this formula:

To create a list of 10 unique random decimal numbers , change TRUE to FALSE in the last argument of the RANDARRAY function or simply omit this argument:

Tips and notes:

• The detailed explanation of the formula can be found in How to generate random numbers in Excel without duplicates .
• In Excel 2019 and earlier, the RANDARRAY function is not available. Instead, please check out this solution .

## How to randomly sort in Excel

To shuffle data in Excel, use RANDARRAY for the "sort by" array ( by_array argument) of the SORTBY function . The ROWS function will count the number of rows in your data set, indicating how many random numbers to generate:

With this approach, you can randomly sort a list in Excel, whether it contains numbers, dates or text entries:

Also, you can also shuffle rows without mixing your data:

## How to get a random selection in Excel

To extract a random sample from a list, here's a generic formula to use:

Where n is the number of random entries you wish to extract.

For example, to randomly select 3 names from the list in A2:A10, use this formula:

=INDEX(A2:A10, RANDARRAY(3, 1, 1, ROWS(A2:A10), TRUE))

Or input the desired sample size in some cell, say C2, and reference that cell:

How this formula works:

At the core of this formula is the RANDARRAY function that creates a random array of integers, with the value in C2 defining how many values to generate. The minimal number is hardcoded (1) and the maximum number corresponds to the number of rows in your data set, which is returned by the ROWS function.

The array of random integers goes directly to the row_num argument of the INDEX function, specifying the positions of the items to return. For the sample in the screenshot above, it is:

=INDEX(A2:A10, {8;7;4})

## How to select random rows in Excel

If your data set contains more than one column, then specify which columns to include in the sample. For this, supply an array constant for the last argument ( column_num ) of the INDEX function, like this:

=INDEX(A2:B10, RANDARRAY(D2, 1, 1, ROWS(A2:A10), TRUE), {1,2})

Where A2:B10 is the source data and D2 is the sample size.

## How to randomly assign numbers and text in Excel

To do random assignment in Excel, use RANDBETWEEN together with the CHOOSE function in this way:

• Data is a range of your source data to which you want to assign random values.
• N is the total number of values to assign.
• Value1 , value2 , value3 , etc. are the values to be assigned randomly.

For example, to assign numbers from 1 to 3 to participants in A2:A13, use this formula:

For convenience, you can enter the values to assign in separate cells, say from D2 to D4, and reference those cells in your formula (individually, not as a range):

=CHOOSE(RANDARRAY(ROWS(A2:A13), 1, 1, 3, TRUE), D2, D3, D4)

How this formula works

At the heart of this solution is again the RANDARRAY function that produces an array of random integers based on the min and max numbers that you specify (from 1 to 3 in our case). The ROWS function tells RANDARRAY how many random numbers to generate. This array goes to the index_num argument of the CHOOSE function . For example:

=CHOOSE({1;2;1;2;3;2;3;3;1;3;1;2}, D2, D3, D4)

## How to randomly assign data to groups

When your task is to randomly assign participants to groups, the above formula may not be suitable because it does not control how many times a given group is chosen. For example, 5 persons could be assigned to group A while only 2 persons to group C. To do random assignment evenly , so that each group has the same number of participants, you need a different solution.

First, you generate a list of random numbers by using this formula:

=RANDARRAY(ROWS(A2:A13))

And then, you assign groups (or anything else) by using this generic formula:

Where n is the group size, i.e. the number of times each value should be assigned.

For example, to randomly assign people to the groups listed in E2:E5, so that each group has 3 participants, use this formula:

=INDEX(\$E\$2:\$E\$5, ROUNDUP(RANK(B2,\$B\$2:\$B\$13)/3,0))

Please notice that it's a regular formula (not a dynamic array formula!), so you need to lock the ranges with absolute references like in the above formula.

Please remember that the RANDARRAY function is volatile. To prevent generating new random values every time you change something in the worksheet, replace formulas with their values by using the Paste Special feature.

The RANDARRAY formula in the helper column is very simple and hardly requires explanation, so let us focus on the formula in column C.

The RANK function ranks the value in B2 against the array of random numbers in B2:B13. The result is a number between 1 and the total number of participants (12 in our case).

The rank is divided by the group size, (3 in our example), and the ROUNDUP function rounds it up to the nearest integer. The result of this operation is a number between 1 and the total number of groups (4 in this example).

When your RANDARRAY formula returns an error, these are the most obvious reasons to check:

## #SPILL error

#value error.

A #VALUE! error may occur in these circumstances:

• If a max value is less than a min value.
• If any of the arguments is non-numeric.

## #NAME error

In most cases, a #NAME! error indicates one of the following:

• The function's name is misspelled.
• The function is not available in your Excel version.

## #CALC! error

That's how to build a random number generator in Excel with the new RANDARRAY function. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

You may also be interested in.

• How to select random sample in Excel
• How to sort randomly in Excel
• How to generate random numbers in Excel with no repeats
• Flash Fill in Excel with examples

S. No Date Time Shift Day Subject Session Group

S.No Date Time Shift Day Subject Session Group

Formula in excel

Hi! We have a special tutorial that can help to solve your problem: How to convert rows to columns in Excel (transpose data) .

how to random array with the total of each row is 100?

I think you can try to use the custom functions and macros described in this article to create a random array with a specific sum in a row: How to find all combinations of numbers that equal given sum in Excel .

I always get a #name error

Hi, This error most often appears if you specified the function name incorrectly.

## Random Group Generator

Our random group generator template was created based on a request from somebody wanting to set up networking breakout sessions for a conference. As we researched the solution we found it had many applications in classrooms (e.g. seating charts and project groups), networking (e.g. lunch groups), and sports (randomizing teams). Although it is not specifically a solution to the social golfer problem (see below), it is a useful tool for generating random groups from a list of names.

License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)

"No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet"

## How to Randomly Assign Groups or Teams

1. edit the list of names.

The Names worksheet is where you list the names of the people you want to assign to groups. You can include additional information as needed, similar to a roster or a sign-in sheet .

## 2. Sort the List of Names

Use the built-in Sort feature in Excel to sort by the RAND column, by the CUST ORDER column, alphabetically, or by any other sorting criteria that you want to use (e.g. skill level).

Every time you sort by the RAND column , the groups will be randomized.

If you want to preserve the order that you first entered the names, use the CUST ORDER column to enter 1,2,3,4..., then at any time you can sort by CUST ORDER to return them to the original order

## 3. Choose a Grouping Order

The list of names is either assigned to groups as 1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3,4,4,4... or 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4... This means that after you have sorted the list of names using whatever sorting criteria you want to use, you have Two Unique Groupings to choose from (people are grouped differently in each).

## 4. Edit the Group Names

The number of groups is determined by the number of group names you include in the list. The number per group is determined automatically by the number of people and number of groups.

## The Social Golfer Problem

Creating a randomized set of groups once is very simple, and this spreadsheet does it quite well. You can continue to sort the list by the RAND function every time you want to re-randomize the groups. But, what if you want to mix the groups again so that everybody is with a new group of people? How many times can you mix up the groups without anyone ever being with the same person more than once? That is the social golfer problem.

It's called "social" because the idea is to meet new people each time. This has application to education and business as well. In the classroom, you may want to assign class groups so that students are with a different set of students each time. At a training workshop you may want to create lunch groups over multiple days so that people can network with a different group of people each time.

Though the social golfer problem has been "solved" for specific numbers of people and group sizes, it is still considered an "unsolved" problem in general. If you are thinking "That's silly, how hard could it really be?" then I would encourage you to try it. It has stumped combinatorial mathematicians for a couple of decades so far.

We do not yet have a template for this type of social golfer problem.

• Social Golfer Problem at wikipedia.org - Although not exactly the same as wanting to create random groups, it is a similar problem.
• Breakout Group Allocation Schedules ... by Miller et al., https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13010013

## Abstract

Transcript .

In this video, we'll look at a way to use basic formulas to randomly assign people to teams.

Here we have a list of 36 people.

Let's say we want to randomly assign each person to a team of 4 people so that we have a total of 9 teams with 4 people in each.

I'm going to solve this problem in small steps, with helper columns, then bring things together in the end. This is a great way to solve more complicated problems in Excel.

I'll start with an Excel Table , to make the formulas very fast to enter.

Then, I'll add columns for Rand, Rank, Grouping, and Team number. The purpose of each column will become clear as we go along.

Next, I'll use the RAND function to get a random number for each person. RAND generates small numbers between 0 and 1.

RAND is a volatile function , so it will recalculate with every worksheet change. We don't want that behavior, so I'll use Paste Special to convert the formulas to values.

Next, I'll use the RANK function to rank each person according to their random number. RANK needs a number, and a list of numbers to rank against.

The result is a list of numbers between 1 and 36, where 1 represents the largest value, and 36 represents the smallest.

We're getting close.

We just need a way to group by rank.

I'll do this by dividing rank by the team size, which is 4.

This produces some messy numbers, but, we now have what we need.

If we round these numbers up, we'll have team numbers between 1 and 9. This is a perfect job for the CEILING function , which rounds up to a given multiple.

I need to give CEILING the number and specify a multiple of 1, and we have our teams.

Now, to make sure this is working right, I'll use the COUNTIF function to count team members.

Next, I'll replace the hard-coded team size with a reference.

Now when I change the team size, everything still works.

Finally, I'll consolidate formulas.

First I'll copy in the grouping formula.

Next, I'll copy in the RANK formula.

Now I can delete the two helper columns.

To generate new teams at any time, I can again use the RAND function.

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.

## Related Information

• Function argument
• Volatile function
• Excel Table
• Absolute reference
• Insert table
• Delete columns
• Core Formula

## Get Training

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Learn Excel with high quality video training. Our videos are quick, clean, and to the point, so you can learn Excel in less time, and easily review key topics when needed. Each video comes with its own practice worksheet.

## Excel Tutorial: How To Randomly Pair Names In Excel

Introduction.

Randomly pairing names in Excel can be a useful tool for organizing groups, creating pairs for projects or events, or conducting experiments . In this tutorial, we will walk through the step-by-step process of how to randomly pair names in Excel using a simple formula, making it easier for you to efficiently and fairly assign partners or groups.

## Key Takeaways

• Randomly pairing names in Excel is a useful tool for organizing groups, creating pairs for projects or events, or conducting experiments.
• Properly formatting and ensuring uniqueness of names is crucial for the random pairing process.
• The RAND function can be used to generate random numbers for each name in Excel.
• Sorting the data based on the random numbers is essential for creating unique and fair pairings.
• Additional tips such as using the RANDBETWEEN function and creating a macro can enhance the random pairing process in Excel.

## Understanding the Data

Before you can randomly pair names in Excel, it's important to ensure that the data is properly formatted and free of any duplicates.

Begin by checking that all the names are entered into a single column in your Excel spreadsheet. If the names are currently scattered across multiple columns, you can easily consolidate them into one by using the CONCATENATE function or simply copy and paste them into a single column.

It's crucial to eliminate any duplicate names from your list before proceeding with the random pairing. To achieve this, select the column containing the names, go to the 'Data' tab, and click on 'Remove Duplicates.' This will ensure that each name is unique and that there are no repetitions in your data set.

## Using the RAND Function

When it comes to randomly pairing names in Excel, the RAND function is an essential tool. By using this function, you can generate random numbers that will allow you to pair up names in a fair and unbiased manner.

The RAND function in Excel is used to generate a random number between 0 and 1. This function is recalculated every time a worksheet is modified, which means the random numbers will change every time the worksheet is opened or modified. This makes it perfect for creating random pairings without any bias.

To start pairing names randomly, you will first need to create a list of names in your Excel worksheet. Once your list is ready, you can apply the RAND function to generate a random number for each name. This can be achieved by using the formula =RAND() in a separate column next to the list of names. By dragging the fill handle down, you can apply the formula to generate a random number for each name.

## Sorting the Data

When it comes to randomly pairing names in Excel, sorting the data is an important step to ensure that the pairings are truly random and unique. Here's how you can go about it:

First, you'll need to generate a column of random numbers next to the list of names. You can do this by using the RAND() function in Excel. Simply enter =RAND() in the first cell next to the list of names, and then drag the fill handle down to generate random numbers for each name.

Once you have the list of names and their corresponding random numbers, you can use the SORT function to sort the list based on the random numbers. This will effectively randomize the order of the names, preparing them for pairing.

To ensure that the pairings are unique and not repeated, you can use conditional formatting to highlight any duplicate pairings. This will allow you to easily identify and rectify any repeated pairings, ensuring fairness and randomness in the process.

## Finalizing the Pairings

After generating the random numbers and sorting the names accordingly, the next step is to finalize the pairings for your project or event. This involves creating a second column to pair the names based on the sorted random numbers and double-checking the pairings to ensure accuracy.

Once you have sorted the names based on the random numbers generated in the previous steps, you can create a second column to pair the names together. This can be done by simply listing the names in pairs next to the sorted list of names. For example, if the first two names in the sorted list are "John" and "Sarah", you would pair them together in the second column. Continue this process until all names are paired up.

## B. Double-checking the pairings to ensure accuracy

Before finalizing the pairings, it's crucial to double-check the list to ensure accuracy. This can be done by reviewing the pairings and comparing them to the original list of names. Make sure that each name is paired with a different name and that no names are repeated within the pairings. This step is essential to avoid any errors in the pairings and ensure fairness in the random pairing process.

Once you've mastered the basics of randomly pairing names in Excel, you can take your skills to the next level with these additional tips and tricks.

If you want to generate random numbers within a specific range, you can use the RANDBETWEEN function. This function allows you to specify the minimum and maximum values for the range of random numbers that you want to generate. This can be useful if you have a predefined list of names and you want to pair them with a set of unique random numbers.

• 1. Open your Excel workbook and select the cell where you want the random number to appear.
• 2. Enter the formula =RANDBETWEEN(min,max) , replacing min with the minimum value of the range and max with the maximum value of the range.
• 3. Press Enter to generate a random number within the specified range.

If you find yourself frequently needing to randomly pair names in Excel, you can save time by creating a macro to automate the process. A macro is a series of commands and functions that can be recorded and then executed with a single click. By creating a macro for random pairing, you can quickly generate random pairs of names without having to manually input the formulas each time.

• 1. Go to the "Developer" tab and click on "Record Macro".
• 2. Name your macro and assign a shortcut key if desired.
• 3. Perform the actions of randomly pairing names in Excel while the macro is being recorded.
• 4. Click on "Stop Recording" once you have completed the pairing process.

Now, whenever you need to randomly pair names in Excel, you can simply run the macro to automate the entire process.

Recap: Randomly pairing names in Excel can be a useful tool for creating fair groups for activities or assignments, as well as for conducting random selections for surveys or research purposes. It can also help in maintaining confidentiality and fairness in certain situations.

Encouragement: As you practice pairing names in Excel, don't hesitate to explore additional functions and features for data manipulation. Excel offers a wide range of tools that can enhance your data management and analysis skills, making you more efficient and effective in your work.

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## How to Create an Effective Excel Dashboard

• Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.

## How-To Geek

Don't twiddle your thumbs waiting for Excel to respond.

• Compress (and Limit) Your Images
• Avoid Blank Rows and Columns
• Limit Changing Values
• Clear Up Named Items
• Check Performance

Busy Excel spreadsheets can—frustratingly—grind to a halt, especially as you use the many functions and formatting options. The last thing you want is your worksheet to pause while executing a simple calculation, so check out these tips to keep your Excel spreadsheet running smoothly.

We recommend using the 64-bit version of Excel (which is installed automatically unless you manually select the 32-bit version), as it works better with large data sets, add-ins, and many other modern-day Excel features.

## 1. Don’t Over-Format Your Sheet

While you might think that adding formatting can spruce up your Excel worksheet, not only can it make your spreadsheet more difficult to read , but it can also slow it down. Any time you add formatting, whether that be using a fancy font, various font sizes, a range of colors, or different borders, you're adding to the volume of the file. There are a couple of ways around this.

If you look at your spreadsheet and see that it does have lots of formatting, and you want to start afresh, press Ctrl+A to select all cells. Then, in the Home tab on the ribbon, head to the Editing group and click the "Clear" drop-down option. From there, click "Clear Formats."

Alternatively, if you would prefer to keep certain formatting but remove other elements, after pressing Ctrl+A, work through the Font group in the Home tab to choose which formatting you want to remove.

Finally, you might have hidden formatting in the form of conditional formatting. Reducing the use of conditional formatting in your spreadsheet by managing the conditional formatting rules will help you to reduce the slugishness of your file.

## 2. Compress (and Limit) Your Images

High-resolution and large images and graphics within your spreadsheet will massively increase your file size. The best way to avoid this is to reduce the number of images and graphics in your workbook altogether, but if they are essential, use Excel's in-built compression tool.

Select any image within your workbook and, in the Picture Format tab on the ribbon, click "Compress Pictures." In the resultant dialog box, you can check the "Apply Only To This Picture" box if you only want to compress this image, or uncheck it if you want to apply the settings to all images in the file. Then, choose the best resolution that will work for you. If you have lots of images, choose the lowest resolution (96 pixels per inch). Finally, click "OK."

It's inevitable that you'll have formulas within your Excel workbook—after all, one of Excel's biggest strengths is being able to perform dynamic calculations. However, complex formulas with lots of cell references and nested functions can be a huge contributor to a sluggish worksheet.

There are several ways to simplify your formulas. The first is to use named ranges within your formulas. Instead of referencing individual cells or ranges of cells within your formulas, referencing a named range means that Excel can more quickly identify and scan the specified data without having to work through a complex formula with lots of different cell references. What's more, as well as speeding up your worksheet's processing time, using named ranges makes your formulas easier to write, review, amend, and duplicate. The first step is to assign a name to a range of cells , and then use this name within your formula. For example, if we had a set of data in cells A1, B3, C5, D2, E9, F3, and G4, and we wanted to use these numbers to calculate an average, rather than typing

=AVERAGE(A1,B3,C5,D2,E9,F3,G4)

if we were to create a name—such as Results—to these cells, the formula would instead read

=AVERAGE(results)

Another way to simplify your formulas is to break down complex calculations into smaller ones. For example, if you wanted to work out the annual profit made by several employees for the past five years, rather than involving dozens of cell references, you could break down their profits per quarter, and then create an overall sum at the end of your row or bottom of your column.

Not only does this reduce the complexity of your formulas, but it also makes for easier analysis of your numbers.

Finally, instead of using complicated, nested IF formulas, you could use alternative functions. Depending on what you want to calculate, you could try using the VLOOKUP , CHOOSE, or LET functions, which require fewer arguments.

## 4. Avoid Blank Rows and Columns

Instead of having blank rows and columns to separate your data, use borders and colors. Having blank rows and columns increases your workbook's file size and can delay Excel's calculation processes. This will not significantly impact smaller workbooks, but having many blank rows and columns in between larger sets of data will. Along with the other tips in this article, removing blank rows and columns will definitely help to tidy up your Excel workbook and improve its performance.

## 5. Limit Changing Values

Certain functions in Excel change the value they produce any time Excel recalculates in your spreadsheet. For example, the =RAND function produces a new random number each time you make any changes to your worksheet, and =TODAY will update the cell value to reflect the current date. These are called volatile functions.

Because Excel has to continually work to update the values in the cells where you have volatile functions, it may cause a lag in your worksheet's response time, and the more volatile functions you have, the lengthier the lag.

Other examples of volatile functions include =NOW, =RANDBETWEEN, =RANDARRAY, =OFFSET, and =INDIRECT.

The obvious way to limit the processing impact of volatile functions is to reduce their use altogether. For example, if you want Excel to produce a random list of numbers using =RANDBETWEEN, once the calculation has been made by Excel, consider making these values permanent. To do this, highlight all the numbers created by the calculation and press Ctrl+C.

Then, select the top-left cell of the random array. In the Home tab on the ribbon, click the paste drop-down arrow, and choose the "Values" icon.

You will see that the numbers change within your parameters one more time (as they were still volatile right up to the point when you pasted their values), but they are now in your spreadsheet as true numbers and will not change when Excel recalculates.

Another way to prevent volatile functions from slowing down your spreadsheet is to turn off automatic calculations. In the Calculation group of the Formulas tab on the ribbon, click "Calculation Options" and check "Manual" to tell Excel not to update volatile functions automatically. Then, when you're ready for your volatile functions to update, click "Calculate Sheet."

This means that they will only potentially slow down your spreadsheet when you're prepared for this to happen, rather than with every change you make.

## 6. Clear Up Named Items

As we mentioned in tip 3, using named ranges can help you to simplify your formulas and generally tidy up your workbook, but it's important to make sure you don't have redundant names or multiple names for the same array of data. Doing so will add an extra layer of processing that Excel has to address when you're opening up, working in, and closing your workbook.

To clear up all the named items in your workbook, in the Formulas tab on the ribbon, click "Name Manager." When the dialog box opens, you'll see all the named ranges in your workbook. Review these manually, clicking "Delete" to remove any unused named ranges and clicking "Edit" to tidy up their names.

## 7. Check Performance

If you have exhausted all the tips above and find that your workbook is still under-performing, you can force Excel to run through a check-up on your file. Originally introduced to Excel for the web in 2022 and extended to the Windows Excel app in 2024, Excel's Check Performance tool looks for excess formatting, unneeded metadata, unused styles, and other issues that might affect the speed of your workbook.

In the Review tab on the ribbon, head to the Performance group and click "Check Performance."

A sidebar will then open on the right-hand side of your window containing guidance about what you can do to improve your workbook's performance.

If you've run through these tips and find that Excel is still working slowly, maybe the cause of the issue is not the Microsoft 365 app—you may need to increase your overall PC performance instead .

#### IMAGES

1. Randomly assign people to groups

2. Randomly assign data to groups

3. Quickly generate random groups for list of data in Excel

4. Randomly Assign Names To Groups In Excel

5. Randomly Assign Names to Groups

6. How to randomly assign people to groups in Excel April 20, 2024

#### VIDEO

1. Excel tip to get a random list

2. Excel Tips

3. Mastering Excel: Assigning Group Names at Random #learnexcel

4. Microsoft Excel Randomly Assign from a Value List using CHOOSE and RANDBETWEEN Functions

5. How to Randomly Assign Values to Data in Excel

6. How to Create Random Numbers in Excel (including no repeats)

1. How to Make Random Groups in Excel & Google Sheets

By combining the two functions we can randomly "choose" an item from a list, thus assigning people to groups as in the first example. =CHOOSE(RANDBETWEEN(1,3),"A","B","C") Random Groups - Same Size. The example above will assign people to completely random groups. The resulting groups may not be of the same size.

2. Randomly assign people to groups

To randomly assign people to groups or teams of equal size, you can use a formula based on the RANK and ROUNDUP functions. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is: = INDEX ( groups, ROUNDUP ( RANK (C5, randoms) / ( ROWS ( randoms) / COUNTA ( groups)),0)) where groups (F5:F7) and randoms (C5:C22) are named ranges.

3. Randomly assign data to groups

Note: the formulas on this page will create completely random groups. One result is that the total number of rows assigned to each group will vary. If you need to assign random groups with a fixed size (i.e. randomly assign people to teams of 6), see the example on this page.

4. How to Randomize a List in Excel Into Groups (5 Suitable Ways)

How to Randomize a List in Excel Into Groups: 5 Suitable Ways. You can see the dataset I have used in this article in the following picture. The dataset has two columns called B and C.The dataset has the values called Student Id, and Name of students of a certain school. I will use this dataset to show how to randomize a list in Excel into groups. Follow the steps of every method one by one.

5. How to Create Random Groups in Excel (With Example)

Often you may want to create random groups in Excel. For example, you might want to assign 12 basketball players to one of three random teams: Fortunately this is easy to do and the following step-by-step example shows how to do so. Step 1: Enter Original Data. First, let's enter the names of 12 basketball players that we'd like to assign ...

6. Quickly generate random groups for list of data in Excel

Select a blank cell next to the list you want to assign to random groups, copy or type this formula =CHOOSE(RANDBETWEEN(1,3),"Group A","Group B","Group C ") In the formula, (1, 3) indicates to group data into 3 groups, Group A, Group B and Group C are the texts will be displayed in formula cells which used to distinguish different groups.

7. Excel Tutorial: How To Randomly Assign Participants To Groups In Excel

Randomly assigning participants to groups is a crucial aspect of conducting fair and unbiased research studies or creating balanced project teams. In this Excel tutorial, we will explore how to efficiently and accurately randomly assign participants to groups in Excel. By using Excel for this task, you can streamline the process, reduce human ...

8. Excel formula: Randomly assign people to groups

Formula. To randomly assign people to groups we use the formula. =ROUNDUP(RANK(A1,randoms)/size,0) The above formula returns a group no. for each entry. Here. 'randoms' and 'size' are named range. Random is a helper column generated by Excel RAND Function.

9. How to Generate Random Groups in Excel (Formula)

Generating Random Groups in Excel. To write this formula, you can use the below steps: First, in a cell, enter the CHOOSE function. And in the first argument of the CHOOSE, which is index_num enter the RANDBETWEEN function. Now, in the RANDBETWEEN, enter "1" as the bottom and "4" as the top. So you have four groups to get the result ...

10. Randomly Assign Your Excel Data into Groups

In this video, we explore multiple ways to generate random group assignments for our data. We will start with a shorter solution that requires two columns, b...

11. How To Randomly Assign Participants To Groups In Excel

Randomly assigning participants to groups is a critical step in ensuring the validity of experimental research. Excel, with its built-in functions, allows for a variety of methods to perform this task. However, Excel's procedures can be intricate and time-consuming. This guide will offer step-by-step instructions to simplify the process.

12. Excel Tutorial: How To Randomly Assign Participants To Equal Groups In

Randomly assigning participants to equal groups in Excel is a crucial step in research studies to ensure fairness and statistical validity. To do this, you can follow these steps: select a column for participant names, use the RAND function to generate random numbers, and then sort the participants based on the generated numbers.

13. How to Randomly Assign Participants to Equal Sized Groups in Excel

14. Randomly Assign Names to Groups

In this video, we look at randomly assigning names into three different groups using an Excel formula.We look at 2 different examples of doing this. Firstly ...

15. Excel RANDARRAY function

Randomly assign data to groups; Excel RANDARRAY function not working; Excel RANDARRAY function. The RANDARRAY function in Excel returns an array of random numbers between any two numbers that you specify. It is one of six new dynamic array functions introduced in Microsoft Excel 365. The result is a dynamic array that spills into the specified ...

16. Randomly assign data to groups

To randomly people (or anything) to groups you can use the RANDBETWEEN function with the PREFER feature. In the example shown, this formula in F3 is: =CHOOSE(RANDBETWEEN(1,3),"A","B","C") When copied down the column, this formula will generate a irregular group (A, B, button C) for each person in the list. Note: this is an random approach that wish allow organizations of difference sizes.

17. Random Group Generator for Excel

How to Randomly Assign Groups or Teams. 1. Edit the List of Names. The Names worksheet is where you list the names of the people you want to assign to groups. You can include additional information as needed, similar to a roster or a sign-in sheet. 2. Sort the List of Names. Use the built-in Sort feature in Excel to sort by the RAND column, by ...

18. How to randomly assign people to teams (video)

In this video, we look at a step by step approach to randomly assign people to groups with teams using formulas. Along the way, we use three functions (RAND, RANK, and CEILING), helper columns, and nesting. We verify results with the COUNTIF function.

19. Randomly Assign Names To Groups In Excel

We assign each of the names in our table to a random group, based on the group size that we select. To do this, we first assign each person a random number u...

20. Excel Tutorial: How To Randomly Pair Names In Excel

Randomly pairing names in Excel can be a useful tool for organizing groups, creating pairs for projects or events, or conducting experiments. In this tutorial, we will walk through the step-by-step process of how to randomly pair names in Excel using a simple formula, making it easier for you to efficiently and fairly assign partners or groups.

21. Excel formula: Randomly assign people to groups

To create groups, we use the formulas shown in D5. =ROUNDUP(RANK(C5,random)/size,0) Figure 1: Illustration of ROUNDUP and RANK formulas. Here, " random " is the name of to range [C5:C20] and " size " belongs the named range [G10]. We can drag the formula and use the above form for a hefty amount of date. Figure 2: Randomly assign groups

22. Formula help: randomly assign students to groups based in criteria

Re: Formula help: randomly assign students to groups based in criteria @Tkelly705 I know you already have a solution but I thought this was a real interesting challenge. So in the attached I created a complex set of LAMBDA functions include 2 that are recursively calling themselves to solve this challenge.

23. excel

I am looking for a macro that will randomly assign names into a group. There are 16 groups and they each need 10 names randomly assigning to them. The list of names is on a different sheet and ideally I would just like to run a macro which will paste 10 random names from the list into each group without any repeats.