- Stroke order (笔顺) refers to the correct order in which the strokes of a Chinese character are written.
- The number of strokes per character for most characters is between one and thirty.
- The rules for writing Chinese characters are intended to smooth hand motion and are important for the character to look nice and appealing.
- The basic rule when writing Chinese characters, is to always write from top to bottom and from left to right, which are easily understandable, since they are used in most Western writings too. However, there are some exceptions.
- Here are the basic rules that give you good guidelines to follow:
- Left to right:
三 , 队
- Top to bottom
- Horizontal before vertical
- Center before outside
- Cutting strokes last
- Diagonals right-to-left before diagonals left-to-right
- Enclosures before contents
- Bottom enclosures last
- Bottom lines always last
- Dots and minor strokes last
- When the number of strokes increases, these basic rules may sometimes become inadequate, or there may be more than one correct stroke orders.
- China, Hong Kong or Taiwan may have different stroke orders for certain Chinese characters: