I'm looking for a title to add in an Instructions file to explain what is obtained after running a script. The exact word in Spanish is "resultado" but in English "result" sounds too Spanish to me (maybe I'm wrong). I don't know if beyond being the right word, there's another word more used in computer jargon.

The reason I ask the question is that I can't find another word beyond result, but my analysis is from a literary point of view, not a computer one, so I may be missing something.

End, obtaining, consequence are not adequate terms I think.

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    Is this just a single-word title? How are you using the word you want? Do have a look at our help for this sort of question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 31, 2022 at 9:32
  • Sorry, I didn't read it, each SE site has its own rules and I didn't know this specific one from this site. I edited the title.
    – Danielillo
    Jul 31, 2022 at 9:36
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    Result may be Latin, but it's a very common word in English: Looking for a results-oriented, driven, and modest sales executive. Jul 31, 2022 at 13:32
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    Can you clarify why "result" isn't acceptable beyond it having a similar (and, in my experience, functionally identical) word in Spanish? In both languages I would choose "result" over "output" as I feel the latter is more jargony.
    – Allison
    Jul 31, 2022 at 23:59
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    Result is fine, 'response' also works.
    – mcalex
    Aug 1, 2022 at 4:37

6 Answers 6


The result of running a computer script is its output

Defined in TechTerms.com as:

Data generated by a computer is referred to as output. This includes data produced at a software level, such as the result of a calculation, or at a physical level, such as a printed document. A basic example of software output is a calculator program that produces the result of a mathematical operation. A more complex example is the results produced by a search engine, which compares keywords to millions of pages in its Web page index.

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    @LPH - Programming languages themselves cannot produce outputs. Programming languages are used to encode instructions for a computer to follow to execute a task which produces some output.
    – Jim
    Jul 31, 2022 at 16:57
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    @LPH OP asks about the results of running a script. What do you think the script contains?
    – Jim
    Jul 31, 2022 at 17:26
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    @LPH Yes, and those instructions are encoded using a programming language. In a similar way your boss may send you an email written in English to relay the steps he wants you to take to produce a report. Your task is to write a report. The email (script) was written in English and your output after executing his instructions is the report.
    – Jim
    Jul 31, 2022 at 17:52
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    @LPH I read through that codingninjas article, and my assessment is that about a third of it is correct, about a third of it is incorrect, and about a third of it is too vague to be evaluated as correct or incorrect. The article is definitely not a reliable source and should not be cited as proof of anything. Aug 1, 2022 at 11:56
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    @user3067860 putting a return value in a specific register wouldn't really be considered "output", but it is definitely a return value
    – Esther
    Aug 1, 2022 at 15:58

Return value could also be used in some contexts, though it is usually used "inside" a program and might be confused with return code.

Printout is another.

  • I think ‘return value’ is only used for a single value, so it could be used for e.g. an integer exit status, but not a file or block of text.
    – gidds
    Aug 1, 2022 at 12:04
  • I think "return value" is narrower than "result", so for example the result of an SQL query is not a return value. Aug 1, 2022 at 12:44
  • Printout is a thing of the previous century
    – mdoar
    Aug 2, 2022 at 23:04

A standard term for this is expected results. It is especially common regarding for test cases (often along with the term actual results). It would also be clear in the context OP’s scenario.

Expected Result is an ideal result that the tester should get after the test case is performed. It’s usually documented together with the test case. It’s usually compared with actual result, and if the actual result differs from the expected one, the difference is documented and called a bug.

PS. Piggybacking on the answer from @jim “expected output” and “actual output” would also work too.


Usually we employ these terms when using an operational semantics for the program. We would say

  • The result of the execution of a program is the change to the machine state, which can include writing to memory, changing the file system, etc.
  • An output is a result comprised of a data stream, which may be
    • written to a file (an output file), which may be ephemeral (standard output, stdout);
    • drawn on the screen (in a window or a dialog box); or
    • transmitted to another process (a message).
  • An artifact is an output that is permanently recorded.

If we were using a denotational semantics — you aren't, I think, since your example is running a script — then the mathematical object denoted by the program execution would be a result.


A common way of describing a computer program is as follows:

  • Precondition,
  • Input,
  • Process,
  • Output,
  • Postcondition.

In a general way, result can include both the output (written to a message stream) and the postcondition (a change in the state of the program or some part of its environment).

There is a huge amount of published material on “how to write use cases”. However, for a simple script, the best example will often be another script in the same computing environment. After all, the goal of documentation is to communicate with other human beings, and every group of people has its favorite ways of doing this.


I would have used the word 'outcome'.

  • You should include the reasons why you think your choice is the best. Aug 3, 2022 at 8:46

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