Many people find it difficult to solve multinomial problems or equations. It’s really hard to do manually especially when you are working with large multinomial factorial equations in mathematics. Luckily, Microsoft Excel features a useful function to address that problem. This Excel function is called the MULTINOMIAL function. To begin with, try to read this fundamental description of the MULTINOMIAL function to get a basic knowledge about this Excel function.

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Basic Description of Excel’s MULTINOMIAL Function

The MULTINOMIAL function displays the result of a multinomial equation as the ratio of the factorial of a sum of the entered values to the product of the factorials of those supplied values. For example,

MULTINOMIAL(c1, c2,…,cn) = (c1 + c2 + … + cn) !
c1! c2! … cn !

The formula of Excel’s MULTINOMIAL function is:

MULTINOMIAL(number1, number2, … )

Where the entered number arguments are the number values for which you want to compute the multinomial. If you enter a decimal number value, it will be rounded off to the nearest whole number. You have to take note that in MS Excel 2010 as well as in MS Excel 2007, you can enter up to 255 values to the MULTINOMIAL function. However, in the 2003 version of MS Excel, you are only allowed to enter up to 29 values.

For a better understanding about this Excel function, here is an example which you can try in your Excel spreadsheet.

For example 3, 1, 2, and 5 are contained in cells B1, B2, B3 and B4 respectively. Then you can type in the MULTINOMIAL function in cell C1 in such a way like this, =MULTINOMIAL(B1:B4). After you do that, the function will return the result which is 27,720 which is the multinomial of the values 5, 2, 1 and 3.

Common Errors in the MULTINOMIAL Function

The following are the common errors that you can get from the MULTINOMIAL function.

  • #NUM! : The MULTINOMIAL function displays this value if any of the entered number value is less than zero.
  • #VALUE! : This value is displayed by the function if you have entered non-numeric values in the MULTINOMIAL function formula.
  • #NAME? : The function displays this value when the Analysis ToolPak add-in is not activated in your Excel. You should always keep in mind that if you want to use the MULTINOMIAL function in MS Excel, you are required to activate or enable the Analysis ToolPak ad-in

Here the Steps to Enable the Analysis ToolPak Add-in in Excel:

In MS Excel 2003:

    • Click Tools from the menu bar. From the Tools drop-down menu, choose and click the Add-Ins option.
    • After doing that, the Add-Ins window will pop up and from there, select the Analysis ToolPak option. Then finally, click the OK button.

In MS Excel 2007:

    • Look for the Microsoft button on the top left portion of your worksheet and click it. From there, choose and click the Excel Options button.
    • Select Add-Ins which you can find from the left hand portion of the menu.
    • From the Mange box, choose and click Excel Add-ins and then click the Go button.
    • Then the Add-Ins window will pop up and form there, select the Analysis ToolPak option. Then finally, click the OK button.