"Yellow stickers" (tiehuang 貼黃) were summaries attached to memorials to the throne in oder to allow the emperor to quickly grasp the content and arguments of a document and come to decisions faster. They were officially introduced in 1628, but the practice is known since the Song period 宋 (960-1279), when yellow paper was used. The designation remained even after the use of white paper for these summaries became standard. The Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911) used yellow summaries for all routine memorials from the provinces handled by the Office of Transmission (tongzhengshi si 通政使司), so-called "office memorials" (tongben 通本), as well as for central government memorials (buben 部本) of the Ministry of Justice (xingbu 刑部).
In earlier times, the word tiehuang was used for notes on drafts of edicts notes. These notes were written on yellow slips stuck to the sheet.
The Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644) used the word tiehuang (also xiehuang 寫黃, qinghuang 清黃 or xuhuang 續黃) to denote personal files of functionaries based upon which promotions, donations of land or bestowal of ranks of nobility might be considered. They were introduced in 1393 and consisted of two copies that were updated at the end of each year, one copy being sent to the Directorate for Credentials (yinshoujian 印綬監) for archiving, and one to xxx 內府銅柜. Personal files were managed separately by the Ministry of Personnel (libu 吏部) and the Ministry of War (bingbu 兵部).