# Random

The term **random** refers to any collection of data or information with no determined order, or is chosen in a way that is unknown beforehand. For example, 5, 8, 2, 9, and 0 are single-digit numbers listed in random order. Random data may be re-ordered, or sorted, by date, name, time, age, etc., in which case its order is no longer random.

Data can be randomly selected, or random numbers can be generated using a random seed. Computer games, web pages, programs, and encryption are a few examples of things that need random values to operate. For example, Computer Hope has a tool that randomly selects and opens a random dictionary page for Computer Hope users.

## Example of a random number

Below is an example of a random number generated from a custom seed. Enter any text into the custom seed box and click the generate button. This widget uses Johannes Baagøe's open source PRNG (pseudorandom number generator) scripts, Alea.js and Mash.js.

** number generated from seed ****: **

## Random number in programming

In programming languages, there is often a command, function, or random number generator (**rng**) that allows the developer to generate a pseudorandom number. For example, in Perl, the **rand** function returns a random number between 0 and a number you specify.

my $random = int(rand(10) + 1); print "Random number between 1 and 10: $random\n";

Here, the variable **random** is assigned a random integer value between zero and ten, rounded down, plus one. The result is a whole number between 1 and 10.

## Random number in Microsoft Excel

You can create a random number in excel using the **rand** or **randbetween** function. See our Excel formula page for help with these functions and examples.

Ascending order, Order, Prime number, Programming terms, Random seed, Shuffle