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Have you ever needed to take a list and randomly sort it? How would you do it? It’s not as intuitive as you think. We’re so used to sorting lists in alphabetical order or from smallest to largest, but this idea of randomly sorting a list is not very common in Excel. Let’s jump right into it and show you how to randomly sort a list in Excel.

Sample Data

Say we have some data that we’d like to sort:

Normally, we could sort by Movie title, the date that it opened (as it’s shown in the picture), or by the total amount it grossed. But what if we wanted to “shuffle” this list? How could we go about doing that?

By the way, this is the same data that we used in the Sum the Top 5 Values post.

You can also copy and paste this table to follow along:

Movie Date Opened Total Gross

Deadpool 2/12/16 $363,070,709

Zootopia 3/4/16 $341,268,248

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 3/25/16 $330,360,194

The Jungle Book (2016) 4/15/16 $364,001,123

Captain America: Civil War 5/6/16 $408,084,349

Finding Dory 6/17/16 $486,295,561

The Secret Life of Pets 7/8/16 $368,384,330

Suicide Squad 8/5/16 $325,100,054

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 12/16/16 $532,177,324

Sing 12/21/16 $270,329,045

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Randomly Sort a List in Excel

To sort a list randomly in Excel, first you need to add a new column to your data. When using Excel Tables, you can simply type in a new column name at the next available table header and it will be automatically joined to your table.

Here, we type in “Sort Order” and press Enter.

Next, we need a way to randomly sort the list. We can use the RAND() function in Excel to help us with that. The RAND() function will return a number at random between 0 and 1.

After we add the formula, we can sort by that column. This will randomize the list for us.

Also, each time the RAND() function is calculated, you get a different number. This is why you see the table has all different numbers.

Keep Shuffling

Another cool tip is that if you’re not happy with the initial shuffling of the list, you can simply keep sorting between Ascending and Descending to keep shuffling the list. This works because when you sort the list, it recalculates the RAND() function, giving a new number each time.

Keeping the List Order

But what if you don’t want the RAND() function to keep recalculating? What if you want to keep the sort order?

If you want to keep the sort order, you can simply save the values from RAND() before sorting again.

## How To Randomize A List In Excel: Sort Randomly Cells, Rows And Columns / 2023

The tutorial will teach you two quick ways to randomize in Excel: perform random sort with formulas and shuffle data by using a special tool.

Microsoft Excel provides a handful of different sorting options including ascending or descending order, by color or icon, as well as custom sort. However, it lacks one important feature – random sort. This functionality would come in handy in situations when you need to randomize data, say, for an unbiased assigning of tasks, allocation of shifts, or picking a lottery winner. This tutorial will teach you a couple of easy ways to do random sort in Excel.

How to randomize a list in Excel with a formula

Although there is no native function to perform random sort in Excel, there is a function to generate random numbers (Excel RAND function) and we are going to use it.

Assuming you have a list of names in column A, please follow these steps to randomize your list:

Insert a new column next to the list of names you want to randomize. If your dataset consists of a single column, skip this step.

In the first cell of the inserted column, enter the RAND formula: =RAND()

Either way, Excel automatically expands the selection and sorts the names in column A as well:

Tips & notes:

Excel RAND is a volatile function, meaning that new random numbers are generated every time the worksheet is recalculated. So, if you are not happy with how your list has been randomized, keep hitting the sort button until you get the desired result.

To prevent the random numbers from recalculating with every change you make to the worksheet, copy the random numbers, and then paste them as values by using the Paste Special feature. Or, simply delete the column with the RAND formula if you don’t need it any longer.

The same approach can be used to randomize multiple columns. To have it done, place two or more columns side by side so that the columns are contiguous, and then perform the above steps.

How to shuffle data in Excel with Ultimate Suite

If you don’t have time to fiddle with formulas, use the Shuffle Cells tool included in our Ultimate Suite for Excel to do a random sort faster.

The Shuffle pane will appear on the left side of your workbook. You select the range where you want to shuffle data, and then choose one of the following options:

Cells in each row – shuffle cells in each row individually.

Cells in each column – randomly sort cells in each column.

Entire rows – shuffle rows in the selected range.

Entire columns – randomize the order of columns in the range.

All cells in the range – randomize all cells in the selected range.

In this example, we need to shuffle cells in column A, so we go with the third option:

And voilà, our list of names is randomized in no time:

If you are curious to try this and explore a lot more fascinating features included with Ultimate Suite for Excel, you are welcome to download a 14-day trial version.

You may also be interested in

## How To Generate Random Value From A Given List In Excel? / 2023

How to generate random value from a given list in Excel?

To generate random number is easily done by the function =RANDBETWEEN(range), but have you ever tried to generate random value from a given list as below screenshot shown?

Generate random value from a given list by formula

Generate random value from a given list by formula

Actually, there are some easy formulas that can help you to quickly generate random value from a given list.

Select a blank cell that will place the random value, type this formula =INDEX($A$2:$A$16, RANDBETWEEN(2, 16)), then press Enter key. See screenshot:

In the formula, A2:A16 is the given list you want to use, 2 and 16 are the starting row number and ending row number of the list.

If you want to generate several random values from the list, you can drag the formula down as you need. See screenshot:

You can press F9 key to refresh the values.

Note: If you want to generate random number based on a list, you can use this formula =INDEX($I$2:$I$7, RANDBETWEEN(1, 6)), and press Enter key.

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## Random Sort In Excel: Shuffle Cells, Rows And Columns / 2023

The tutorial will teach you two quick ways to randomize in Excel: perform random sort with formulas and shuffle data by using a special tool.

Microsoft Excel provides a handful of different sorting options including ascending or descending order, by color or icon, as well as custom sort. However, it lacks one important feature – random sort. This functionality would come in handy in situations when you need to randomize data, say, for an unbiased assigning of tasks, allocation of shifts, or picking a lottery winner. This tutorial will teach you a couple of easy ways to do random sort in Excel.

How to randomize a list in Excel with a formula

Although there is no native function to perform random sort in Excel, there is a function to generate random numbers ( Excel RAND function) and we are going to use it.

Assuming you have a list of names in column A, please follow these steps to randomize your list:

Insert a new column next to the list of names you want to randomize. If your dataset consists of a single column, skip this step.

In the first cell of the inserted column, enter the RAND formula: =RAND()

Either way, Excel automatically expands the selection and sorts the names in column A as well:

Tips & notes:

Excel RAND is a volatile function, meaning that new random numbers are generated every time the worksheet is recalculated. So, if you are not happy with how your list has been randomized, keep hitting the sort button until you get the desired result.

To prevent the random numbers from recalculating with every change you make to the worksheet, copy the random numbers, and then paste them as values by using the Paste Special feature. Or, simply delete the column with the RAND formula if you don’t need it any longer.

The same approach can be used to randomize multiple columns. To have it done, place two or more columns side by side so that the columns are contiguous, and then perform the above steps.

How to shuffle data in Excel with Ultimate Suite

If you don’t have time to fiddle with formulas, use the Shuffle Cells tool included in our Ultimate Suite for Excel to do a random sort faster.

The Shuffle pane will appear on the left side of your workbook. You select the range where you want to shuffle data, and then choose one of the following options:

Cells in each row – shuffle cells in each row individually.

Cells in each column – randomly sort cells in each column.

Entire rows – shuffle rows in the selected range.

Entire columns – randomize the order of columns in the range.

All cells in the range – randomize all cells in the selected range.

In this example, we need to shuffle cells in column A, so we go with the third option:

And voilà, our list of names is randomized in no time:

If you are curious to try this and explore a lot more fascinating features included with Ultimate Suite for Excel, you are welcome to download a 14-day trial version. If our tools have proved useful in your work and you decide to get a license, be sure to use this special opportunity:

You may also be interested in

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