Github introduces Project Paper Cuts for developers to fix small workflow problems, iterate on UI/UX, and find other ways to make quick improvements

3 min read

Github has introduced “Project Paper Cuts” that was inspired from a lot of refined GitHub additions. This project aims to fix smaller code related and UI issues that users face during a project development workflow.


Source: Twitter

Project Paper Cuts is committed to working directly with the community in order to fix small to medium-sized workflow problems. It aims to improve UI/UX and find ways to make quick improvements to nagging issues that users often encounter in their projects. The project aims to find fixes on issues that have the most impact but are supported with hardly any or no discussions. Most “paper cuts” will have a public changelog entry associated with them so users can keep pace.

The few “lesser talked issues” that GitHub has already managed to solve are:

#1 Unselect markers when copying and pasting the contents of a diff

The + and diff markers are no longer copied to the clipboard when users copy the contents of a diff.

#2 Edit a repository’s README from the repository root

If a user has the permission to push to a repository,  they can edit a README file from the repository root by clicking the pen icon to the right of the README’s file header.

#3 Users can access their repositories straight from the profile dropdown

Users can use the profile dropdown, on any page, to quickly go straight to the “Your Repositories” tab within their user profile.

#4 Highlight permalinked comments

When following a permalink to a specific comment in an issue or pull request, the comment will be highlighted so that a user can easily find it among other comments in the thread.

#5 Remove files from a pull request with a button

If a user has a write permission, he can click on the ‘trash’ icon for a file right in the pull request’s “Files changed” view to make a commit and remove it.

#6 Branch names in merge notification emails

The email notification from GitHub about a merge will also include the name of the base branch that the change was merged into.

#7 Users can create new pull requests from their repository’s Pull Requests Page

In order to quickly create a pull request without having to switch back to the “Code” tab, when a user push branches while using the “Pull requests” tab, GitHub will now display the dynamic “Compare and pull request” widget.

#8 Add a teammate from the team discussions page

Users can add an organization member to a team directly from the team discussion page by clicking the + button inside the sidebar.

#9 Collapse all diffs in a pull request at once

When a pull request contains a lot of changed files, code reviewers find it hard to isolate the changes that are necessary/ important to them. Project paper cut allows them to collapse or expand the contents of all diffs in a pull request. This can be done by holding down the alt key and clicking on the inverted caret icon in any file header. They can also use the “Jump to file or symbol” dropdown to jump to the file that they are interested to review to automatically expand it.

#10 Copy the URL of a comment

Previously, in order to grab a permalink to a comment within an issue or pull request, users would have to copy the URL from a comment’s timestamp. They can now click Copy URL within the comment’s options menu to quickly copy the URL to the clipboard.

Project Paper Cuts is solely aimed to help all developers do their best work, faster. By incorporating customers feedback into making this project, GitHub is paving the way to make small changes in the way it works. You can read the detailed announcement on the Github Blog to know more about Project Paper Cuts.

Read Next

Git-bug: A new distributed bug tracker embedded in git

Microsoft’s GitHub acquisition is good for the open source community

GitHub open sources its GitHub Load Balancer (GLB) Director



  1. It can’t be overstated how invaluable simplicity or reducing cognitive overload can be in maintaining projects, especially considering how esoteric Git can come off as at times. Nice write-up, Melisha! =)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here