How to create a range of numbers in Excel

You can watch a video tutorial here.

To create a range of numbers in Excel, some different tools and functions can be used. The range can either be sequential or random. An example of a sequential range is when you use a list of serial numbers to number rows in a table. An example of a random range is when you need to generate a list of random numbers to illustrate an example. Here we will look at both options.

  1. Fill handle: this uses the fill tool to create a sequential range
  2. RANDBETWEEN() function: this returns a random whole number between the start and end specified
    1. Syntax: RANDBETWEEN(start,end)
      1. start: the start of the range
      2. end: the end of the range

Note: These same methods can be used to generate ranges across rows.

Option 1 – Use the fill handle

Step 1 – Type the numbers

  • In the first two rows of the column where the series is to be filled, type the first two numbers of the range i.e. 1,2

Step 2 – Use the fill handle

  • Select the rows and use the fill handle at the lower right corner of the second cell to drag the box down
  • The sequence of numbers being generated will be displayed as you drag the handle down
  • Release the handle when you reach the last number 

Step 3 – Check the result

  • A range of sequential numbers is generated

Option 2 – Use the RANDBETWEEN() function

Step 1 – Type the formula

  • Select the first cell of the column where the range is to start 
  • Type the formula:


  • Press Enter

Step 2 – Copy the formula

  • Using the fill handle from the first cell, drag the formula to the remaining cells


  1. Select the cell with the formula and press Ctrl+C or choose Copy from the context menu (right-click)
  2. Select the rest of the cells in the column and press Ctrl+V or choose Paste from the context menu (right-click)

Step 3 – Check the result

  • A range of random numbers is generated
  • The numbers will change each time a calculation is done on the sheet