Do you ask for small content changes using from X to Y?

Last updated by Chloe Lin [SSW] 19 days ago.See history

When asking for changes on a web page, Word document, PowerPoint slide, or code, always use "Change from X to Y".

This process consists of including the original version of the content ("X") among with the changes you require ("Y"). It means you easily see the page or file content as it was prior to your changes. This history is convenient for future reference and also makes it very clear to the person doing the changes exactly what the new file is meant to look like.

Video: Best way to ask for content changes | Ulysses Maclaren | SSW Rules (5 min)

Using email for small edits

Make the changes even easier to see and understand by highlighting:

  • In yellow - Content you want to add/update (only do this on the "To" section)
  • In red (with white and bold text) Content you want to delete, whether it be specific text or an entire sentence (only do this on the "From" section) Note: Only indicate in red the content that will not be replaced/updated with something correlated.

Note: All text we do not write ourselves should be indented, so this includes paragraphs we are copying and pasting.

Figure: Bad example - The original version of content has not been included in the email... it is hard to tell what needs to be changed

Figure: Good example - 'From' and 'To' changes are highlighted... it is clear what needs to be changed

Video: Top 10+ Rules to Better Email Communication with Ulysses Maclaren


Tip #1: Microsoft Teams - Use the same X to Y style

change from x to y microsoft teams
Figure: Using change from x to y in Microsoft Teams

Note: Microsoft Teams doesn't currently allow you to set the font color to white

Tip #2: Microsoft Outlook - Add a style to make delete highlightings easy

change from x to y saving styles
Figure: Remember when saving the style to select "New documents based off this template"

change from x to y using styles
Figure: The style will show in your styles list to be applied when needed

Tip: You can right click to bring up the format text toolbar

Tip: By default, saved styles are ordered alphabetically. Add numbering in their name to customize their order of appearance

change from x to y organising styles bad example
Figure: Bad example – Custom styles are disorganised

change from x to y organising styles good example
Figure: Good example – Custom styles are numbered and organised

Alternative - What if there are too many changes?

Sometimes you have a lot of content and too many changes, making the process "from X to Y" too arduous. In this case is recommended to use Word 'Track Changes' functionality.

word track changes
Figure: A Word document with 'Track Changes' ON is recommended if you have too many changes

Alternative - What if you have a website managed by GitHub?

Some websites use GitHub to manage their files (e.g. SSW Rules). GitHub makes reviewing changes easy through "Pull Requests".

Figure: This visual preview of the changes to a Markdown file in GitHub

Note: When highlighting text in HTML/Markdown you should avoid <font> tags. Use <span> instead.

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