Some Basic Rules for Writing

Chinese Characters



  • Write strokes from top to bottom (if vertical or slanting),

  • write strokes from left to right (if they are horizontal).

  • If they're hooked, slanting etc. begin with its upper or left part.


  • Within a character, begin with the stroke on top or left.

  • Vertical/slanting strokes crossing horizontal ones are written immediately after those intersected.

  • Within a character composed by different characters each group of strokes is written separately, beginning with the one on top or left.




  • An angular stroke reaching from a character's top to its right is made a right side stroke by its end,

  • an angular stroke reaching from a character's left side to the bottom is made a bottom stroke by its end.

  • Within a composed character a stroke reaching to another group of strokes can influence the order of writing the different groups (see examples).




  • Encircled ('round') characters are written from outside to the centre.



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For a more thorough introduction and explanation on Chinese writing
go to Sinophilia Homepage with tutorial download - Have fun!