Shen’s Mingfa zhizhang of 1740 was followed by a series of works that aimed at improving it and, above all, updating its contents. The basic design remained the same, however, viz. a set of tables easy to consult (zhizhang tu 指掌圖), making it possible to see at a glance the denominations, circumstances and punishments for the various sorts of crime (xingming 刑名, or zuiming 罪名), and the sanctions applying in case of maladministration (chufen 處分); in the words of a later editor, “The work of Mr. Shen focused on providing a method for establishing [what] crime [has been committed] and determining its denomination; where administrative punishments would apply at the same time, they were to be seen as an addition inside each table” (沈氏著書專為定罪而設名法。有兼處分者，附見各圖) (see Mingfa zhizhang tu, fanli). The different types of crime were distributed among broad categories arranged in a convenient order more or less following that of the Code. In this way inexperienced officials would be able to make informed decisions rapidly without getting lost in the maze of statutes and substatutes, and to avoid errors due to excessive haste. One may note, however, that in his fanli of 1824 Niu Dawei (see below) insisted that the tables only give clues (yinxian 引線) and that it is important to go back to the complete text of the code and to the approved leading cases (cheng’an); a similar remark was made by Xu Hao (see below) in 1870; and in fact, Shen Xintian himself apologized for the probable omissions in his tables and urged his readers to check with the code.
The posterity of the Mingfa zhizhang includes (1) the above-mentioned Mingfa zhizhang zengding, first published in 1743 by Shen Xintian and with later updated editions; (2) the Mingfa zhizhang xinli zengding in 4 j., published in Canton in 1824 under the editorship of Niu Dawei, republished in 1860; (3) the Mingfa zhizhang xinzuan, published in Sichuan in 1830 under the editorship of Huang Luxi; (4) the Dufa tucun, compiled in 1836 by Shao Shengqing under the supervision of Huang Luxi; and (5) the Chongxiu Mingfa zhizhang tu, edited in 1870 by Xu Hao