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How to Create All Combinations of 6 Columns in Excel (2 Methods)

While dealing with an Excel worksheet, you may need to generate all the combinations of a certain number of columns. Finding these combinations manually would be painstaking and time-consuming. You can use the VBA macros or the Power Query Editor to do the operation.  It will save time and make your work easier. Also, you can use a formula to do so. We tried every method possible to gain your understanding. You can go through the article to get a proper visualization for finding all combinations of 6 columns in Excel. So, let’s get started.


Download Practice Workbook

Download the following practice workbook. It will help you to realize the topic more clearly.


2 Methods to Generate All Combinations of 6 Columns in Excel

We have taken a dataset of numbers in 6 columns. Now, we will try all the combinations of these 6 columns. You can also follow the same methods for 3/4/5 or any number of columns.

Dataset

Not to mention, we have used the Microsoft 365 version. You may use any other version at your convenience.


1. Applying VBA Macros

You can use VBA macros to find all the combinations of 6 columns. This code will help you to combine any number of columns. You just need to change the variable number and the function number. Please follow the below steps to use the code.

📌 Steps:

  • Firstly, navigate to the Developer tab >> choose Visual Basic.

Applying VBA Macros for all combinations 6 columns in Excel

  • Consequently, a window appears. Go to the Insert tab >> pick Module >> Module1.

  • In the Module 1 section write up the following code.
Sub CombinationsFor6Columns()
Dim X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6 As Range
Dim RG As Range
Dim xStr As String
Dim FN1, FN2, FN3, FN4, FN5, FN6 As Integer
Dim SV1, SV2, SV3, SV4, SV5, SV6 As String
Set X1 = Range("B5:B7")
Set X2 = Range("C5:C7")
Set X3 = Range("D5:D7")
Set X4 = Range("E5:E7")
Set X5 = Range("F5:F7")
Set X6 = Range("G5:G7")
xStr = "-"
Set RG = Range("H5")
For FN1 = 1 To X1.Count
SV1 = X1.Item(FN1).Text
For FN2 = 1 To X2.Count
SV2 = X2.Item(FN2).Text
For FN3 = 1 To X3.Count
SV3 = X3.Item(FN3).Text
For FN4 = 1 To X4.Count
SV4 = X4.Item(FN4).Text
For FN5 = 1 To X5.Count
SV5 = X5.Item(FN5).Text
For FN6 = 1 To X6.Count
SV6 = X6.Item(FN6).Text
RG.Value = SV1 & xStr & SV2 & xStr & SV3 & xStr & SV4 & xStr & SV5 & xStr & SV6
Set RG = RG.Offset(1, 0)
Next
Next
Next
Next
Next
Next
End Sub

In the above code, the X1 to X6 is the range. We have to declare the range column numbers individually. FN1 to FN6 is the integer and SV1 to SV6 is the string. RG is the range of the output cell which is H5.

VBA code for all combinations of 6 columns in excel

Eventually, run the code with the F5 key, and you’ll get the result like the image below.

Read More: How to Show All Combinations of 5 Columns in Excel


2. Employing Power Query

The Power Query is a powerful tool in Excel that can be used to solve multiple table-related problems. It can also show all the combinations of the columns you need. Though the procedure is a bit lengthy, it is handy too. See the below steps.

📌 Steps:

  • Firstly, select the entire range of the dataset.
  • Secondly, hover over the Data tab >> choose the From Table/Range.

Employing Power Query for all combinations 6 columns in Excel

  • Consequently, the Create Table dialog wizard appears. Check the My table has headers.

Create Table

  • At this moment, the Power Query Editor appears. Select Close & Load >> Close & Load To.

  • Eventually, check the Only Create Connection from the Import Data dialog box.

Import Data for all combinations of 6 columns in Excel

  • Again, navigate to the Data tab >> choose Get Data >> pick Launch Power Query Editor.

  • Subsequently, move to the Add Column tab >> choose Custom Column.

Adding Columns for all combinations of 6 columns in Excel

  • Eventually, the Custom Column dialog wizard appears. Write Temp to the New column name. Put 1 to the Custom column formula. Hit OK.

Custom Column

  • Now, from the Home tab of the Power Query Editor. Choose Merge Queries >> Merge Queries as New.

  • In addition, the Merge dialog box appears. Select the Temp (whatever you named) column in both portions. Make the Join Kind as Full Outer (all rows from both).

Finally, you get all the combinations for 6 columns like the image below.

Power query for all combinations of 6 columns in Excel

Read More: How to Create All Combinations of 4 Columns in Excel (2 Ways)


How to Get All Combinations of 3 Columns Using Formula in Excel

You can also use a formula we use here for 3 columns combinations. This is a large formula, and as a result, it may not be feasible for large numbers of columns. It is possible to use formulas for any number of columns, but we are discouraging you from doing so. Because it will take lots of time to write up the code. But in case you want to use it, you can follow the below steps: We have used the IFERROR, the INDEX, the COUNTA, the ROW, and the MOD functions together here.

📌 Steps:

  • Initially, go to the E5 cell and insert the formula.
=IFERROR(INDEX($B$5:$B$7,INT((ROW(1:1)-1)/((COUNTA($C$5:$C$7)*(COUNTA($D$5:$D$7)))))+1)&”-“&INDEX($C$5:$C$7,MOD(INT((ROW(1:1)-1)/COUNTA($D$5:$D$7)),COUNTA($C$5:$C$7))+1)&”-“&INDEX($D$5:$D$7,MOD((ROW(1:1)-1),COUNTA($D$5:$D$7))+1),””)

Here,

B5:B7= Range of Column 1.

C5:C7= Range of Column 2.

D5:D7= Range of Column 3.

Formula Breakdown:

COUNTA($D$5:$D$7))+1)→ looks into cells D5 and D7 and counts the amount of information.

INDEX($B$5:$B$7,INT((ROW(1:1)-1)/((COUNTA($C$5:$C$7)→ returns a value or the reference to a value from cell D5 to D7.

INT((ROW(1:1)-1)/((COUNTA($C$5:$C$7)*(COUNTA($D$5:$D$7)))))+1)→returns an integer value after dividing the number of “rows-1” by the product of the amount of information in cell C5 to C7 and D5 to D7.

IFERROR(INDEX($B$5:$B$7,INT((ROW(1:1)-1)/((COUNTA($C$5:$C$7)*(COUNTA($D$5:$D$7)))))+1)→ evaluates the formula and returns all possible combinations.

  • Press ENTER and drag it down for other cells.

How to Get All Combinations of 3 Columns Using Formula in Excel

Finally, you get all the combinations for 3 columns with the formula (see the image).

Read More: How to Find All Combinations of 1 Column in Excel (2 Handy Ways)


Practice Section

We have provided a practice section on each sheet on the right side for your practice. Please do it by yourself.

Practice Section


Conclusion

That’s all about today’s session. And these are some easy methods to create combinations of 6 columns in Excel. Please let us know in the comments section if you have any questions or suggestions. For a better understanding please download the practice sheet. Visit our website Exceldemy, a one-stop Excel solution provider, to find out diverse kinds of excel methods. Thanks for your patience in reading this article.


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Fahim Shahriyar Dipto

Fahim Shahriyar Dipto

Hello! Welcome to my Excel blog! I am a big fan of MS Excel. I am learning new and exciting things in Excel and writing the process here. I think this will be helpful for you to get used to Excel. Keep visiting our website for new and updated Excel methods.

4 Comments
  1. Hi Fahim,
    This article is pretty helpful to me but I want to use the macros for generating combinations of 4 columns.What modification should be done for that? Can you please explain? Thanks though.

    • Reply
      Fahim Shahriyar Dipto Dec 1, 2022 at 10:04 AM

      Hello Fred,
      Thanks for your appreciation. You can also do it for 4 columns also. All you need to change is the variable, integer and string. Without these changes, all the other code will be the same as before. We also provide the VBA code for the 4 columns below.
      Sub CombinationsFor4Columns()
      Dim X1, X2, X3, X4 As Range
      Dim RG As Range
      Dim xStr As String
      Dim FN1, FN2, FN3, FN4 As Integer
      Dim SV1, SV2, SV3, SV4 As String
      Set X1 = Range("B5:B7")
      Set X2 = Range("C5:C7")
      Set X3 = Range("D5:D7")
      Set X4 = Range("E5:E7")
      xStr = "-"
      Set RG = Range("H5")
      For FN1 = 1 To X1.Count
      SV1 = X1.Item(FN1).Text
      For FN2 = 1 To X2.Count
      SV2 = X2.Item(FN2).Text
      For FN3 = 1 To X3.Count
      SV3 = X3.Item(FN3).Text
      For FN4 = 1 To X4.Count
      SV4 = X4.Item(FN4).Text
      RG.Value = SV1 & xStr & SV2 & xStr & SV3 & xStr & SV4
      Set RG = RG.Offset(1, 0)
      Next
      Next
      Next
      Next
      End Sub
      Hope the above code solves your problem. Keep supporting us.
      Regards
      Fahim Shahriyar Dipto
      Excel & VBA Content Developer

  2. Reply
    Consuelo M. Maurice Dec 6, 2022 at 4:27 PM

    Is it possible to generate combination for 3 columns where we have 5 numbers of rows?

    • Reply
      Fahim Shahriyar Dipto Dec 8, 2022 at 12:12 PM

      Hello Maurice,
      Thanks for your feedback. In your query, as you wanted to create the combination for 3 columns and five rows, you have to change the VBA code variables to X1, X2, and X3. Also, you need to change the row range. Don’t worry, We have added the code for your betterment. Follow the code and your work will be done.
      Sub CombinationsFor3Columns()
      Dim X1, X2, X3 As Range
      Dim RG As Range
      Dim xStr As String
      Dim FN1, FN2, FN3, FN4 As Integer
      Dim SV1, SV2, SV3, SV4 As String
      Set X1 = Range("B5:B9")
      Set X2 = Range("C5:C9")
      Set X3 = Range("D5:D9")
      xStr = "-"
      Set RG = Range("D5")
      For FN1 = 1 To X1.Count
      SV1 = X1.Item(FN1).Text
      For FN2 = 1 To X2.Count
      SV2 = X2.Item(FN2).Text
      For FN3 = 1 To X3.Count
      SV3 = X3.Item(FN3).Text
      RG.Value = SV1 & xStr & SV2 & xStr & SV3
      Set RG = RG.Offset(1, 0)
      Next
      Next
      Next
      End Sub
      Hope the above code solves your problem. Keep supporting us.
      Regards
      Fahim Shahriyar Dipto
      Excel & VBA Content Developer

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