Normal distribution is a probability function in statistics and is often used to represent real-valued random variables. It is known as the bell curve because normally distributed set of random numbers create a bell-shaped curve on a graph. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to generate a normally distributed set of random numbers in Excel.

**NORM.INV** Function

The **NORM.INV** function is a statistical function of Excel which calculates the inverse of the normal cumulative distribution of a probability for a given mean (average) and standard deviation.

The function needs a probability value (**x**), arithmetic mean (**mean**), and standard deviation of the distribution (**standard_dev**). Since the mean and the standard deviation need to be consistent for the sample numbers, you need to provide a random probability (0-1) to generate a normally distributed set of random numbers.

You can use either the conventional **RAND** function or dynamic **RANDARRAY** function for random number generation. Although each function can return a random generated number between 0 and 1, the **RANDARRAY **can generate multiple numbers at a time. However, you need to be a *Microsoft 365* subscriber to use the **RANDARRAY** function.

Here is the syntax for each formula:

=NORM.INV(RANDARRAY(<sample size>),Mean,StdDev)

To use the **RAND** function version, copy the cell into as many cells as you want to generate a normally distributed set of random numbers.

For the **RANDARRAY** version, just enter the sample size as its first argument.

As you can see below, each approach generates similar numbers. The following screenshot shows random numbers generated for a population with a mean of 5 and standard deviation of 0.5.

## Histogram Chart

You can test the numbers on a histogram chart to see whether they fit a normal distribution. To create a histogram chart, select the generated random numbers and follow the Ribbon path:

**Insert > Insert Statistics Chart > Histogram**

**Histogram**item in your Excel, check out how to create an Excel histogram to see other methods.

Note that a histogram chart gives better results with larger sample size.