COMBIN Formula in Excel

The COMBIN formula is extremely useful as it is used to derive at a number of combinations for a specific total of items. The COMBIN formula can thus be used to get the possibilities of groups for a total number of items and looks like this:

COMBIN (the number, chosen)

With the COMBIN formula the number represents the number of items and the chosen number will thus represent the number of items in each possible combination.

In this function numeric arguments must be truncated to integers to prevent #VALUE! Error.

The combination can thus be any sub set of items. The internal order doesn’t make a difference.

An example of how the function looks is provided below:

  • =COMBIN(B6,B7)
  • =COMBIN(28,5)

The possible combinations will be returned for the number of items. You can thus work out the number of combinations that can be obtained.


Another useful mathematical function is that of ABS which returns the absolute value of a number and looks like this:

  • =ABS(number) or =ABS(2) which thus stands for the absolute value of 2 and will have the answer of 2.


The function is used to round numbers up to the nearest odd integer and looks like this:

  • =ODD(5) which will thus round 3 up to the nearest integer (3). If the number is an odd number no rounding takes place.

For more on the COMBIN formula and other mathematical functions in Excel, click on the training index button.