The best way to generate random letters in Excel

It is easy to return random values in Microsoft Excel, however returning random letters would possibly depart you scratching your head. Thankfully, you solely want two capabilities.

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Excel gives three capabilities for producing random values: RAND(), RANDARRAY(), and RANDBETWEEN(), however there is not any comparable operate for producing random letters. The reality is, most of will not must generate random numbers, however in case you do, you need to achieve this shortly, proper? Thankfully, by combining a few capabilities, you possibly can generate random letters. On this article, I will overview these two capabilities after which present you how one can mix them to get fast outcomes.

SEE: 83 Excel ideas each person ought to grasp (TechRepublic)

I am utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Home windows 10 64-bit system, however you should utilize earlier variations by means of Excel 2007. To your comfort, you possibly can obtain the demonstration .xlsx and .xls information. Excel On-line helps these capabilities.

About RANDBETWEEN() and CHAR() in Excel

You are in all probability aware of each of those capabilities already, but it surely would possibly by no means happen to you to make use of them collectively. Thankfully, they play properly collectively.

First, let’s overview RANDBETWEEN(). This operate returns a random integer worth between two specified values, each time the sheet is calculated. That final half is vital, and we’ll get again to that later. Its syntax,

RANDBETWEEN(backside, prime)

has two required arguments: Backside specifies the small integer that may be returned, and prime specifies the biggest integer that may be returned.

CHAR() returns a personality specified by a price, so it is good for translating, which is how we’ll use it. Its syntax,


has just one argument, which on this case, might be a price between 1 and 255. These values symbolize characters within the system’s character set, which was initially based mostly on ANSI and for our functions in Excel is ASCII decimal. It is uncertain you have to that info, but it surely would not damage to find out about it.  

Determine A exhibits a sheet of characters returned by the CHAR() operate utilizing the values 65 by means of 90 and 97 by means of 122. We’re not involved with the characters returned by another worth.

Determine A


  CHAR() makes use of a price between 1 and 255 to return acquainted characters.

Are you able to see the place we’re headed?

The best way to mix the 2

At this level, we have now a operate that returns random numbers between two specified values and a operate that converts values to alphabetic characters. By combining them, we will create a operate that returns random letters.

To return an inventory of random upper-case and lower-case letters, enter the next capabilities and replica at will:



Determine B exhibits my lists. Your lists will not match mine as a result of the outcomes are random.

Determine B


  Mix RANDBETWEEN() and CHAR() to generate random letters. 

You’ll be able to change the underside and prime values to scale back the variety of letters returned. For instance, in case you wished to return random letters between e and j, you’d use the expression:


First, the RANDBETWEEN() operate returns a random letter between backside and prime. Then, the CHAR() operate interprets that worth into a personality, on this case, letters of the English alphabet.

Returning a single random letter or a sequence of single random letters is pretty simple as soon as you understand how to mix CHAR() and RANDBETWEEN(). How would you come a random set of a couple of letter?

The best way to concatenate leads to Excel

If you need a sequence of random strings, as proven in Determine C, merely concatenate two capabilities. Let’s suppose you need the primary letter to be uppercase and the second to be lowercase. On this case, you’d use the next operate:


Determine C


  Concatenate two or extra mixed capabilities. 

The primary mixed operate returns a random uppercase letter and the second returns a random lowercase letter. The & character is a concatenation operator. It merely combines the outcomes of each capabilities; it would not whole values.

You possibly can mix a number of mixtures for every kind of strings.

The best way to convert to literal values in Excel

Earlier, I discussed that RANDBETWEEN() calculates each time you calculate that workbook. Meaning each time you enter something or press F9, these capabilities return totally different characters. Which may not matter, but when it does, you will need to convert the outcomes into literal values. To shortly convert capabilities to their literal values, do the next:

  1. Choose the values.
  2. Press Ctrl + C to repeat them to the Clipboard.
  3. Within the Clipboard group (on the House tab), click on the Paste dropdown and select Values (V) within the Paste Values part. Doing so will substitute the capabilities with their outcomes.

Keep tuned

This easy mixture yields versatile outcomes—you possibly can randomly return as many letters as you want. In a future article, we’ll use RANDBETWEEN() to generate random content material.

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