Rolling dice, flipping coins, drawing cards or straws, drawing slips of paper out of a hat. All methods to generate random results. Here’s one more:
To Create a Random Number: In a blank cell of any spreadsheet program, type @randbetween(x,y) where x equals the smallest number you want to use and y equals the largest. In other words, typing the function @randbetween(1,100) will generate a number between 1 and 100.
Recalculate the Number: Press the “F9” key to generate a new number.
Change a Random Number to a Value: Note that any time you make a change to any cell in your spreadsheet, the program recalculates all the formulas on the sheet. That means the random number will recalculate every time a change is made to the spreadsheet. If you want to make your random value permanent, move to the cell with your @RANDBETWEEN function and press F2 (EDIT), then F9 (CALC).
Compatibility: This formula will work in Excel, Quattro Pro and Lotus 123. Have a different spreadsheet program? Give it a shot.
Microsoft Purists: Some of you may be thinking that Excel formulas begin with an equal sign, so the formula should be: “=randbetween(1,100)” True enough. Go ahead. But I’ve been using spreadsheet software for a long time (Lotus 123). We old timers know that spreadsheet formulas are “supposed” to begin with “@” and we also know that formulas beginning with an equal sign won’t work in Quattro Pro and Lotus. Because Microsoft is special.
When you read text on your computer monitor, do the fonts seem . . . grainy? Do the edges of the letters appear ragged? Especially italicized text?
Click the “Start” button (on the task bar at the bottom left of your screen).
Hover over “Settings” and click “Control Panel”
Double Click “Display”
Click the “Appearance” Tab (the fourth tabbed page)
Click “Effects . . . ” (at the bottom right of the menu)
Under the second check mark, labeled: “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:” Click the drop down arrow and select “ClearType” instead of “Standard”
Click “OK” (NOT cancel or the red “X” in the top right corner)
Click “Apply” (at the bottom right of the menu)
VISTA USERS: Clear Type is enabled by default on Windows Vista.
To Find the Option:
Right Click Anywhere on Your Desktop (away from any icons)
Click “Personalize” on the menu when it appears.
Click “Windows Color and Appearance”
Click “open classic appearance properties for more color”
Click the “Effects” button
Under “use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” Click the Arrow to the Right of the Box and Select Either “standard” or “cleartype”
Click OK, then OK again and then Close the personalization window
When I provide computer training, I often need fake documents to work with. Most of the time, I will have a trainee type a single sentence and then have them copy and paste it over and over again to create a paragraph. Then I’ll have them copy their little paragraph and paste it over and over again to create a multi-paragraph, multi-page document. It provides some keyboard text selection and cut/copy/paste shortcut key practice and we end up with a safe document to work with during training.
But if you’re using Microsoft Word, there is another way to build a fake document. MS Word can generate random text automatically. Try this:
In MS Word 2003 or earlier, at the beginning of a line, type:
The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” (which contains every letter of the English alphabet) appears multiple times, forming three paragraphs of five sentences each.
You can also specify the number of paragraphs and sentences by typing numbers between the parenthesis, like this:
Typing the formula in as it appears above will generate 8 paragraphs of 5 sentences each.
Handy for computer trainers like me and for printers who need sample text. If you can think of other uses for randomly generated text, comment and share!
CLICK HERE for an UPDATE of this feature for Word 2007 & 2010!!
This will not work if:
“Replace text as you type” has been disabled under Tools, AutoCorrect.
If the insertion point immediately follows a page or a column break.