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 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:

=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. ...

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