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I need to translate a german business document where in the footnote of each page a single word or term determines the last approved modification of the document.

So far, I found "as of", "as from", "Update" and "effective". The second of which sounds very weird to me. My collegues so far seem to prefer "update", but which is actually used in documents? Is there another term that describes appropriately what I want to convey?

The page footer looks something like this:


As Of 01-01-16                                                           Page X
  • Can you edit your question and add the full example text for the options you mention, please? – Max Williams May 23 '16 at 9:39
  • @MaxWilliams its not a full text, its just a footer. On the left it sais something like "As of 01-01-16" and on the right side it just sais "Page x" – Doomed Mind May 23 '16 at 9:43
  • I would say "Updated 01-01-16" (note updated not update) or "last updated" or "last update" (no d). – Max Williams May 23 '16 at 9:45
  • Avoid effective if you want to convey update date, as I can write something today that won't be effective until far into the future, if at all (e.g. if it has conditions precedent). Otherwise, any of Max's suggestions will work, or you could look to last revised, revised as of and similar. If it's strict document control, valid from is probably better, as that simply means it's been checked and re-validated even if there were no updates necessary. – Prof Yaffle May 23 '16 at 10:05
  • @ProfYaffle could you formulate your answers as an SE answer please, so I can mark this question as answered and credit you properly? – Doomed Mind May 23 '16 at 10:31
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I would personally avoid effective in all forms, as something can be effective far into the future, or perhaps only when certain other conditions are met (e.g. contracts frequently have conditions precedent that need to be ticked off before the contract comes into force). So, if your intent is to capture when the document was last revised, this isn't what you want. See also effective date.

Most forms of updated, last updated, updated as of would be valid. You could also consider revised and similar terms, as they carry the same meaning here.

The other thing to be aware of is that many document control systems simply ask for a document to be reviewed after a certain period to ensure its continuing validity. As such, you may wish to either capture that reviewed date, or perhaps just capture a valid from / valid as of date instead. This cares for the situation in which the document was reviewed and found to still be valid, so it wasn't technically revised or updated. Some documents would have an issue date that aims to capture the same sense, although I personally don't read that as strongly as ... and now it's applicable and in force.

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I would say "Updated 01-01-16" (note updated not update) or "Last updated 01-01-16" or "Last update 01-01-16". I think option 2 is the clearest.

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The common business practice for electronic documents is to include a Change History in the document's introduction or preface, usually presented as a table which headings such as:

  1. Version (e.g. 0.1, 1.0, etc)
  2. Details (e.g. Initial draft, Added section X, Minor corrections, etc)
  3. Author (the name of the person(s) who created that edit)
  4. Date (the date on which this version of the document was published)

Some also have a status, e.g. Draft, RFC (Request for Comment), Review, Final.

These are usually listed from oldest to newest, so that the last entry pertains to the version of the document you have.

The idea is that anyone getting a copy of the document can see what version they have and a brief summary of all the edits and who edited it).

Best practice is to keep the document in a versioned document repository, such as SharePoint, so that the default option is always to get the latest version, and to discard printed copies after use so that you always have the latest. This is referred to as a "living document" and is CMM (capability maturity model) compliant business practice.

If you're talking about a printed document, e.g. a notice posted up on a noticeboard, then Effective or Updated are both sufficient.

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