Updated: 12/26/2023 by Computer Hope

General may refer to any of the following:

1. General describes anything that's common, not detailed, or not specific. For example, when answering a computer question, we may give general advice if we don't have direct information about a computer, user, or program that's being discussed.

2. With Microsoft Excel, general is the default formatting style where the program doesn't apply any changes to numbers aside from rounding if the cell isn't wide enough. For example, a cell with a currency format may show "100" as "$100.00." However, if it were in general format, it would show as "100."


Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+~ to change a cell format to general.

3. When describing a person or group, the general public refers to people who are not experts, officials, or specialists. For example, all information on Computer Hope is written to be used by the general public, not only computer experts.

Average, End user, Spreadsheet terms