The Excel Combin and Combina functions both calculate a number of combinations of a set of objects.
However, the two functions differ in that the Combin function does not count repetitions whereas the Combina function does.
For example, in a set of 3 objects, a, b, c, how many combinations of 2 objects are there?
The Excel COMBIN function calculates the number of combinations (in any order) of a given number objects, from a set.
The format of the COMBIN function is:
Where the arguments are as follows:
|number||-||The number of objects in the set|
|number_chosen||-||The number of objects to be chosen from the set|
Note that, if any of the above arguments are input as decimal values, they will be truncated to integers.
For any 6 objects (eg. a, b, c, d, e, f), there are 15 different combinations of 2 objects. These are:
This is calculated using the Excel Combin function in cell A2 of the following spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet also shows the Combin function used to calculate the number of combinations for other numbers of objects taken from a set of 6.
Further details and examples of the Excel Combin function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.
If you get an error from the Excel Combin function this is likely to be one of the following:
|#VALUE!||-||Occurs if either of the supplied arguments is non-numeric.|