Are there recommended measurements for strokes

I’m learning Anniversary from the textbooks on the angelfishy site, and would be happy to have a millimetre measurement guide for strokes. I know some people write a bit smaller or bigger, but practically, I haven’t actually seen any Gregg on paper, rather everything has been from the computer screen so my proportions could be a bit off.
I figure that if I buy a 5mm grid notebook than I’ll be able to use these measurements pretty much on-the-fly to adjust my outlines.

(by michael_lisitsa
for everyone)


9 comments Add yours
  1. Hi, Michael.  When I learned Gregg, the emphasis was to write the Gregg shorthand in whatever size was most comfortable for you and enabled you to write the fastest.  My teachers emphasized proportions so that you could definitely tell whether you wrote an "L" or an "R", for example.  Since I have large handwriting my outlines are fairly large.   I use a regular Gregg-ruled steno notebook, sold in packages of 12 at the Office Depot here in the U.S.A.  Last night I noticed they also sell a "grid" steno notebook that looks like graph paper but with larger squares (maybe 5 mm).  I'm not sure if that would work for Gregg–it's the first time I have ever seen this type of steno notebook.  Let us know how you do with that.  A grid might be very helpful.

  2. If you print out those books two pages per 8-1/2×11 page you'll get something just a tad larger than "standard".

    The standard "Gregg ruled" notebook is 3 lines / inch, or 17 lines / 15 cm. The bottom of the first consonant (except for S) is where the line would be.

    B, V, J and D-D are the full height; P, F, CH and D are half-height; S, S, SH and T are quarter height. A is half-height and E is quarter or less. (Every line comes in three lengths; my first text didn't tell me that, so my D's were too long; oops.)

    But,… even the pros fudge the lengths within a word. You get used to it (after much repeating of "no system's perfect").

    It's the proportions that count, not the absolute size. Many experts prefer a different size; there's an article on Andrew's site; I (or someone) should transcribe it. Too large is too much hand movement, too small needs too much control, but in the end you should do what's comfortable for you. (Although starting at the size preferred by the majority is a good idea.)

    I tried a grid notebook, but Gregg doesn't fit well on a grid; the exact angle depends on what's around it.

    I once photocopied a DJS book, reducing most of it by about 1/4, so 2 pages fit on one sheet, then wrote it on regular 7mm lined paper; from the pages I didn't copy, B was to be a bit bigger than the line. It didn't work. The book was hard to read, and "a bit over the line" is hard to do. A learning experience.

    Best of luck in your journey, and let us know how you're doing.


  3. Thanks. I'm doing well in my learning, I have one disadvantage, and one big advantage. The disadvantage is that I don't have a teacher or any other person around me who can help me. The advantage is that I'm on a year off overseas and I have all the time in the world to dedicate to learning Gregg. I've progressed through the Anniversary Manual making sure to go through the corresponding 'Fundamental Drills' at least once after each unit.   I am now up to the second last block of brief forms (Unit 17), and it has taken me 6 weeks to get to this stage. I'm doing volunteering a few hours a day and when we finish everyone just goes off to watch TV, so instead of wasting my time, I go off and do my shorthand.   Michael.

  4. Sounds like you are up to the task, Michael!  Maybe you will have time to try some of the online dictation sites while you're overseas.    I was very lucky, I think, to have real, live teachers in the early 80's – they are why I still LOVE shorthand and use it every day.  (Thank you, ladies, wherever you are!)  We had lots of live dictation in our classes, lots of coaching on phrasing, brief forms, etc…'Twas fantastic.

  5. Michael — when you write on the steno notebook (6" x 9" page), a good size is one that will allow you to write 4 to 6 strokes per column line (before hitting the page's middle dividing line at the 3" mark). That is the size that Charles Rader used in the Series 90 books. Your mileage may vary though, as with this recommendation, you would leave about a 0.5 cm space between the characters on average.

  6. all this talk of steno pads, and live teachers.. what is this place! 😀

    I often get my half-lengths, and my full-lengths a bit mixed up (mind you, I am only up to unit 1 on angelfishy, or whatever it is called :D) and my s' are probably far too small (perhaps 2mm?)

    But through what I have learnt so far, I have found that I prefer to be writing smaller… If you are going to write faster than normal, why not slow a touch down and make things neater? That makes sense in my case as I am doing it just for a hobby (and perhaps in later life in college) so I do not really have to copy something down fast enough..

    So yeah.


  7. Generally, you should follow the examples in the book regarding proportion and size.  "S" is not much bigger than a comma, the "f" is about half the space between the lines, and "v" fills up almost all of the space between the lines.    Another thing to consider is your handwriting style.  Do you tend to write larger?  Are you a more compact writer?  If you write larger, you utilize more of your arm muscles, if you are a smaller writer, you utilize the smaller muscles in your fingers.  The most important thing to keep in mind is the proportion of the strokes in relation to each other, "t" smaller than "d", "v" larger and "s" and "f", etc.    The outlines in the books are pretty much a safe guide.  Under the stress of very rapid writing, outlines tend to get larger. 

  8. I was talking about the text books.  Although there are no lines in the texts, you can pretty much take it on trust that the spacing in the book is "Gregg ruled".  If you are pritning the material off the website, I'm not sure what that will do to the size of the notes in the material.    I would try to get at least one honest-to-goodness text book for the version you write.  Depending upon the version, you can usually find a bunch of material for very little cost on e-bay and Abe.  It's is worth the investment. 

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