I wrote this sentence

In our approach, we try to simulate the way a human user scans a web page to find specific data items. We use textual delimiters and semantic cues (in or within ?) the content to identify the data of interest.

In a text/page/content/book, some words/information/data/delimiters are "in" or "within" it?

3 Answers 3


There is a slight difference. While "in" points to the origin or the overall relationship between the subject and the object (cues and content in your case), within imposes (or implies) additional boundary, a limitation, meaning certainly not outside, contained by, fully enclosed.

Idioms like within confines of, or within limits, or within boundaries most likely contribute to that.

I, like Aleksey, think that 'in' is appropriate. Shorter, more familiar, less elaborate.


In and within generally depend on the context. In this example, we would say within the content. In other contexts, we would say 'in', for example we wouldn't say the biscuits are within the tin, we'd say the biscuits are in the tin. Just depends on how it's being used


Either one will do, though I prefer in for the sake of simplicity

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