COMBIN function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the COMBINfunction in Microsoft Excel.

Description

Returns the number of combinations for a given number of items. Use COMBIN to determine the total possible number of groups for a given number of items.

Syntax

COMBIN(number, number_chosen)

The COMBIN function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Number    Required. The number of items.

  • Number_chosen    Required. The number of items in each combination.

Remarks

  • Numeric arguments are truncated to integers.

  • If either argument is nonnumeric, COMBIN returns the #VALUE! error value.

  • If number < 0, number_chosen < 0, or number < number_chosen, COMBIN returns the #NUM! error value.

  • A combination is any set or subset of items, regardless of their internal order. Combinations are distinct from permutations, for which the internal order is significant.

  • The number of combinations is as follows, where number = n and number_chosen = k:

    Equation

    where:

    Equation

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article.

    Important   Do not select the row or column headers.

    selecting an example from help

    Selecting an example from Help

  2. Press CTRL+C.

  3. In Excel, create a blank workbook or worksheet.

  4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

    Important   For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.

  5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

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2

A

B

Formula

Description (Result)

=COMBIN(8,2)

Possible two-person teams that can be formed from 8 candidates (28)

Applies To: Excel 2010, Excel Starter, Excel Online, SharePoint Online



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