Between 1984 and 1992 the Macintosh had ease of use locked down like Abu Ghraib before a Rumsfeld visit. Back when the command line was basecamp for any kind of creative computing, "the rest of us" had MacWrite and MacPaint, two timeless examples of low-carb creative induction now so palely imitated in the likes of MS Paint and Wordpad.

Maybe it was just my age at the time, but the style menu seemed an immutable bounty of visual acuity! You could italicize, underline and embolden to make your point, but if the graphic designer inside still chafed you could kick it up two notches with Outline and Shadow. I used them all the time. My addiction would surely have prevented me from getting any serious job as a designer, or even producing something that anyone else would care to look at, but did I care? I looked forward to the amazing future developments of the style menu with an uncouth eagerness; wildly craving one-click graphic satisfaction to the detriment of more childish exploits.

But did Apple keep its unintentional promise to a young child? Of course not, they treated me like all their customers, so somewhere between Postscript and TrueType the Outline and Shadow choices disappeared forever, washed away with the vestiges of endless disk swapping and 9-inch monochrome monitors. Now, 15 years later these simple pleasures require an extremely expensive or obtuse piece of software to recreate. No more thrill of discovery, the excitment is gone, the computer a tool for work. Millions of colors, high resolutions, 'lickable' interfaces, and no outline to break routine.

Out"line` (?), n.

1. (a)

The line which marks the outer limits of an object or figure; the exterior line or edge; contour.


In art: A line drawn by pencil, pen, graver, or the like, by which the boundary of a figure is indicated.


A sketch composed of such lines; the delineation of a figure without shading.

Painters, by their outlines, colors, lights, and shadows, represent the same in their pictures. Dryden.


Fig.: A sketch of any scheme; a preliminary or general indication of a plan, system, course of thought, etc.; as, the outline of a speech.

But that larger grief . . . Is given in outline and no more. Tennyson.

Syn. -- Sketch; draught; delineation. See Sketch.


© Webster 1913.

Out"line`, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Outlined (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Outlining.]


To draw the outline of.


Fig.: To sketch out or indicate as by an outline; as, to outline an argument or a campaign.


© Webster 1913.

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