Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope

Any data or information that has no order. For example, 5,8,2,9, and 0 are single-digit numbers that are in random order. Data that is random can be sorted by date, name, time, age, etc.

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 what needs random values to operate. For example, Computer Hope has a random dictionary definition script 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 scripts, Alea.js and Mash.js.

Input a custom seed (a number or phrase):

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 pseudo-random number. For example, in Perl, the rand function will return a random number between 0 and a number that 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 by using the rand or randbetween function. See our Excel formula page for help with these functions and examples.

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