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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 21, 2015)
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:
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:
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.
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!
Excel includes a surprising number of functions you can use to round your data. Two such functions are FLOOR and CEILING, ...Discover More
You may use Excel's trigonometric functions to do some quick calculations, and suddenly notice that the results in your ...Discover More
What are you to do if you suspect that some of your worksheet functions aren't recalculating automatically? Here's some ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.