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How to pick a random date? [Formulas]

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Random Dates in ExcelOften when you need to generate a sample from large data set, you may want to pick data from a random date. In such cases, you can use excel’s RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() formulas [syntax and help] to pick a random date.

Here I have included few examples,

To pick a random date in the last one month:

=TODAY() - RANDBETWEEN(0,30)

or

=TODAY() - RAND()*30

To pick a random date in the next one month:

=TODAY() + RANDBETWEEN(0,30)

or

=TODAY() + RAND()*30

To pick a random date in the last one year:

=TODAY() - RANDBETWEEN(0,365)

or

=TODAY() - RAND()*365

To pic a random time of day:

=RAND()

Make sure you format the cell to show value as date (or time) to see the outcome. Also, if you have not turned on the Analysis toolpak, the RANDBETWEEN formula will not work.

More on picking random stuff:

Random phone number | Shuffle a list | More on Random Formulas

More excel formula tutorials

PS: If you are looking to pick up a random date, what are you doing here?

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5 Responses to “How to pick a random date? [Formulas]”

  1. Finnur says:

    Great tips. That p.s. made me laugh out loud hehe.

  2. Hui... says:

    I also use
    - Random day in specific Yr and Month
    +Date(2009,12,int(Randbetween(0,31)+1))
    If you want a Random Year or Month, change the location of the Randbetween to suit

    - Random Upper Case Letters
    +char(randbetween(65,90))

    - Random Lower Case Letters
    +char(randbetween(97,122))

    - Random Choices from a small list (4 in this case)
    =+CHOOSE(INT(RAND()*4)+1,"Option A","Option B","Option C","Option D")

    - Random Choices from a Large list on a Page in Column A2:A100
    =+OFFSET(A1,INT(RANDBETWEEN(0,100)),0)

  3. Hui... says:

    Lets try that whole post again
    -----
    I also use
    -----
    Random day in specific Yr and Month
    =+Date(2009,12,Randbetween(0,31)) ' Random Day in Dec 2009
    =+Date(2009,Randbetween(0,12),1) ' Random 1st of Month in 2009
    =+Date(Randbetween(2000,2009),1,1) ' 1st January Random Yr
    -----
    Random Upper Case Letters
    =+char(randbetween(65,90))
    -----
    Random Lower Case Letters
    =+char(randbetween(97,122))
    -----
    Random Choices from a small list (4 in this case)
    =+CHOOSE(INT(RAND()*4)+1,”Option A”,”Option B”,”Option C”,”Option D”)
    -----
    Random Choices from a Large list on a Page in Column A2:A100
    =+OFFSET(A1,INT(RANDBETWEEN(0,100)),0)

  4. Chintan Parmar says:

    is there any formula to select range of data. so that that formula can be use in vlookup formula. or sumif / countif

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