Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Calculating Combinations.

# Calculating Combinations

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 30, 2019)

Have you ever wondered how many different four-character combinations you can make when you start with 26 letters and 10 digits? Excel can tell you in a flash, if you use the COMBIN worksheet function. The syntax of the function is as follows:

```=COMBIN(universe, sets)
```

In this syntax, universe represents the number of items from which the combinations can be made, and sets represents the number that must be in each combination. Thus, you could use the following to determine the number of four-character combinations that you can make from the alphabet (26 letters) and the ten digits:

```=COMBIN(26+10,4)
```

Just for those who are curious, the answer returned is 58,905.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2158) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Calculating Combinations.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Speeding Up Opening and Saving a Workbook

Use a workbook for some time and you may find that it gets progressively slower to open and save. Here are some ...

Discover More

Drop-Down List of Hyperlinks

Creating a drop-down list with Excel's data validation feature can be a nice touch for a worksheet. What if you want the ...

Discover More

Excel allows you to add all sorts of graphics to your worksheets or to convert your data into meaningful charts. Here's ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

##### More ExcelTips (menu)

Rounding to Even and Odd Values

Want to round values so they are always even or odd? You can do it quickly and easily by using the EVEN and ODD worksheet ...

Discover More

Throwing Out the Lowest Score

Want to add up a bunch of scores, without including the lowest one in the bunch? You can make a small change to your ...

Discover More

Strange ATAN Results

You may use Excel's trigonometric functions to do some quick calculations, and suddenly notice that the results in your ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your commentâ€”just use the simple form above!)

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.