How to create custom lists in Excel and get every benefit from Random Generator

You can use our add-in to have Excel custom lists at your fingertips, to add a new custom list using data of any format and even to create worksheets named as custom list values. And you can do all this in just a couple of clicks.

Simple as our add-ins are they still have some tricks to surprise both the novices and sophisticated users.

This little secret is for those of you who often work with fixed lists, be it your class, your staff or birthday dates.

You may have tried Excel custom list feature. But if your class changes every semester, or your list of IDs changes every week, it's a pain to go all the way to open custom lists and edit them in Microsoft Excel. Let alone the numbers and dates that you can't import in a pile. You need to enter every single value formatted as text to have it in a custom list.

You can get to Custom lists in Excel 2010 by following this path

Excel custom lists on tap

Click on the Random Generator icon and you get quick access to your custom lists.

This opens a pane on the left of your worksheet with the Custom list section.
See all custom lists in front of your eyes after clicking on one icon

All you do to add a new one is:

  1. Select the range with your list in Excel. It can be formatted as date, number, anything really.
    Select a range with a list of any format
  2. Click the New list button in the Custom list section
    Add custom list by clicking New list

Confirm selection and that's all. Your new custom list is ready and added to standard Excel custom lists of course.

You can expand the list and see its contents if you click on the little plus icon to the left of the list.

Expand custom list and see its entries

What else you can do with Excel custom lists

Of course you can work with all these lists just like you're used to in Excel: enter a value from the list, click on the right-hand lower corner of the cell and drag it down or sideways to fill the cells with other values from the list (thanks to Excel Auto Fill feature). But you probably know all that.

Check out new things you can do with Random Generator:

Pick random entries from the list

First of all you can fill the cells you select with the values from the custom list at random. Now, there are a whole lot of things you can do with this feature. Split groups into teams, fix a date or hand out assignments without offending anyone, you can randomize your choice with one click.

If you have a group of 30 people and you've got 5 assignments, what do you do? Select 5 cells for the names, select the list with the group and click Generate, it's fair! Or pick one from the list to make a report next week:

  • select a cell
  • select the custom list with the group
  • click Generate.

Here comes the lucky one!
Fill cells with custom list values at random

Create worksheets named as custom list values in 1 click

As a bonus, you get the possibility to create worksheets with the names of all custom list values by clicking on one button, "Create worksheets". So if you need to get worksheets with the days of the week, just click this button and they're ready.

Add worksheets named as the custom list values in one click

If you don't have Random Generator yet

Feel free to download a fully-functional evaluation version of Random Generator add-in.

2 Responses to "How to create custom lists in Excel and get every benefit from Random Generator"

  1. roger says:

    Hi ...

    Am interested in your randomizer add-in for Excel, but have a question.

    If I have a list of 35 people and want to select 5 people from that list, it seems this tool will then highlight those 5 people selected. For my application, I'd prefer the tool open a new worksheet with only those 5 selected people in it - then I can use mail merge to generate letters for those selected individuals.

    Will the tool be able to open a new worksheet with the randomized selections results?

    If not, how expensive would it be to get a flavor of this tool that would do that?

    Thanks!!

  2. Hello, Roger,

    Thank you for your interest in our product.

    Maybe our Random Generator can help you better. It has the Custom list group. You can save the list of 35 people to the add-in pane. Then you can select 5 cells in a new worksheet and the add-in will fill the cells with 5 random names from your list. You can find more information about this option on our website:
    https://www.ablebits.com/excel-random-generator/excel-random-lists.php

    There you will also find a link to download the fully-functional trial of Random Generator to see how it works.

    Please let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

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