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How to select random names from a list in Excel?

Supposing you have a list of names locates in column A in Excel, for quickly selecting random name from this list, what would you do? Actually, you can select random name from list with formula. Beside the formula method, we will show you a handy add-in to easily solve this problem.

Select random name from a list with formula
Select random names from a list without duplicates
Easily select random name from a list with Kutools for Excel


Select random name from a list with formula

Please do as follows to select random name from a list in Excel.

1. Select a blank cell next to first name of the list, enter the below formula into it and then press the Enter key. You can see a random name is displayed in the selected cell.

=INDEX($A:$A,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($A:$A)),1)

Notes:

1. Select this cell and press F9 key, you will get different names randomly.
2. You can also select the cell and drag the fill handle down to list the random names you need, but you will get duplicate names with this formula.
3. The random name will be changed automatically every time you refresh the worksheet.

Select random names from a list without duplicates

As the above formula may cause duplicate random names in the result, in this section, we will show you two formulas to help selecting random names from a list without duplicates in Excel.

1. Select a blank cell next to the first name of the list (here I select B2), enter the below formula into it and press the Enter key. Then select the result cell and drag its Auto Fill Handle over the helper column cells to get the other results.

=RAND()

2. Select a blank cell to ouput the random name (here I select C2), enter the below formula into it and press the Enter key. Select the result cell and then drag its Auto Fill Handle over the cells to display the random names.

=INDEX($A$2:$A$18,RANK(B2,$B$2:$B$18))

Then you will get random names from a specified list without duplicates as the above screenshot shown.


Select random name from a list with Kutools for Excel

With the Sort Range Randomly utility of Kutools for Excel, you can quickly select random names from list in Excel.

Before applying Kutools for Excel, please download and install it firstly.

1. Highlight the list of names you want to select randomly. And click Kutools > Select > Select Range Randomly. See screenshot:

2. In the Sort/Select Range Randomly dialog box and under the Select tab, please configure as follows.

  • Specify number of cells you want to select in the No. of cells to select box;
  • Choose Select random cells option in the Select Type section;
  • Click the OK or Apply button. See screenshot:

Now the specified number of cells in the name list are selected randomly.

Note: If you want to list the randomly selected names together, please copy and paste them to other cells.

  If you want to have a free trial (

30
-day) of this utility, please click to download it, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.

Easily select random name from a list with Kutools for Excel


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Comments (7)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
As far as I can tell, this formula allows duplicates if you drag the formula down in column B.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is there a way for it to pick randoms without repeats of names?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Justin,Sorry for the inconvenience. We have updated the post with adding a new part "pick randoms without duplicates". Please have a try.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
the problem with this is that it needs a helper column as long as the data column, even if only pulling a few values. (i tried it, and it only pulled from the cells that were aligned with the helper column). not good for me since my data is 10000 cells. but i found a much easier way that doesnt require a helper column.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
You found a much easier way? Then tell us.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Will this provide weighted results if there are multiple copies of a name on the list? I am looking for something that provides more chances the more your name is on the list.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Pat Meyer,
Thank you for your comment.
You may need to attach a screenshot or a sample file to describe the problem you encountered more clearly. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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