PERMUTATIONA: Google Sheets formulas explained

Hey there, fellow Google Sheets enthusiasts! Are you tired of manually calculating the possible arrangements of your data sets? Say goodbye to the hassle of manual computation and hello to the powerful PERMUTATIONA formula in Google Sheets!

If you're unfamiliar with the term, permutations are the different ways that a set of items can be arranged. They're an essential concept in fields like mathematics, statistics, and computer science. And believe me when I say that PERMUTATIONA can save you time and effort when working with large data sets that require numerous permutations.


PERMUTATIONA is a formula in Google Sheets that calculates the number of arrangements possible for a given set of values, including repeated values. The "A" in PERMUTATIONA stands for the word "ALL," indicating that it calculates all possible permutations of a set of items.

Unlike the PERMUTATION formula in Google Sheets, which calculates the number of arrangements without repeating any values, PERMUTATIONA formula allows for repeated values.

The syntax for PERMUTATIONA is as follows:

=PERMUTATIONA(number1, [number2])

The number1 argument is the total number of items or elements in the set, and the number2 (optional) argument is the number of items selected at a time.

For example, let's say you have a set of five elements and you want to find all the possible permutations of these elements three at a time. Here is how you can apply the PERMUTATIONA formula:


The formula returns the result 60, indicating that there are 60 different ways to arrange a set of five elements three at a time, with repetition of values allowed.

Applying PERMUTATIONA formula in Google Sheets

The best way to understand how to apply the PERMUTATIONA formula is through some examples. Let's assume you are a marketer for a company with a list of ten products, and you need to create unique pairings of the products for use on social media.

To calculate the total number of unique pairings, we need to use the PERMUTATIONA formula to find all possible two-item combinations:


The result is 100, meaning that there are 100 unique pairings possible with our ten products.

Now that you know the total number of unique pairings possible, you can create your product combinations using the INDEX formula in Google Sheets. Here's how this formula works:

=INDEX(range, row number, column number)

The INDEX function returns a value from a specific row and column within a given range of cells. In our case, the range of cells is our list of ten products, and we want to use the row and column numbers to create unique product pairings.

To start, create two columns in your Google Sheets worksheet. Label the first column "Product 1" and the second column "Product 2." Then, use the following formulas to create all possible product pairs.

=INDEX($A$2:$A$11, INT((ROW()-2)/10)+1)

This formula returns the value of the product in the first column, starting from cell A2 and ending in cell A11. It takes the row number returned by the ROW function and divides it by 10, rounding down using the INT function. It then adds 1 to the result to start with the second product.

=INDEX($A$2:$A$11, MOD(ROW()-1,10)+1)

This formula returns the value of the product in the second column, starting from cell A2 and ending in cell A11. It uses the same approach as the first formula but replaces the INT function with the MOD function to determine the remainder of dividing the row number by 10.

You can now copy and paste both formulas for all 100 rows in your worksheet, generating all the possible unique product pairings that you can then use in your social media marketing. Thanks to the PERMUTATIONA function, you've streamlined the creation of numerous product pairings without manually creating an extensive list. Way to go, you automation wizard!


PERMUTATIONA is a useful formula in Google Sheets that makes calculating all possible arrangements of sets easy and time-saving. It's an advanced tool that makes life easier for those working with large data sets, and it's worth taking the time to learn how to use it.

That's all from me today, folks. I hope you found this article useful and informative. Stay nerdy and automate more!

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