outline(s), outlining, outlined

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, please take a look at the image below showing part of an Excel spread sheet.



First, do you call the red thing around the cell "an outline" (because it's a single line that just turned left or right three times), "outlines" (because there are two horizontal lines and two vertical lines) or "outlining" (because you don't want to bother to wonder if you should call it/them "an outline" or "outlines").

Also, how do you describe the state of these cells? I thought it would be something like "the cells with red outlining" or "the cells with a red line" or "the cells with red lines," but since I prefer the most convenient way, I thought I should use "the cells outlined in red." Would you say this is the most common/natural way to describe the state?

e.g.
The values in the cells outlined in red are all below the median.

(Note: Please do not pay attention to the values in the cells. This is just an example, so not all cells with values below the median are outlined in red.)
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The word "outlines" is fine, and understandable, but is not the first word I would have chosen. I'd have called them borders. I'd say "the cells with the red borders" or "the cells that have been marked in red" or (if this cannot cause confusion) simply "the red cells".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much! I used "marked in red" in a document I've just completed and delivered to a client. :)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    An outline is a line (in a broad sense) that goes all around a thing. An outline of a cat (in a children's colouring book) is cat-shaped. A one-pixel border round a cell is an outline. A five-pixel border is getting a bit too thick to be called an outline, but it's still a border.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    They are 'outlines'.
    The word "outlines" is fine, and understandable
    An outline is a line (in a broad sense) that goes all around a thing. An outline of a cat (in a children's colouring book) is cat-shaped. A one-pixel border round a cell is an outline. A five-pixel border is getting a bit too thick to be called an outline, but it's still a border.
    I may have misunderstood the replies from heypresto and Edinburgher. I should have marked just one cell in red in the image.
    So, if a cell is outlined in red, does that mean the cell has one outline, or four outlines?
    According to entangledbank's reply, it's just one outline (unless he meant a cell of an organism).
     
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