What are the actual sizes of the texts?

I have printed out some of the documents on Andrew Owen’s site and I wonder what page size am I supposed to be using? I would especially like to know how large Winnifred P. Scott’s outlines are.

(by Gregg for group greggshorthand)

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  1. Excellent question, and the answer is … it depends!

    Gregg ruling is 3 spaces to the inch, and students should get used to writing in the 1/3" inch space. There's a great post on the right side of this page (How does one write on lined paper?) that explains how to write on Gregg ruling.

    The ruling in the Anniversary books is 1/3" for the most part. However, at some point, I believe the ruling was changed to 3/8" for the plates. You can see this in selections from The Gregg Writer, and in the Simplified and later series books (perhaps one of our former plate writers can verify this, or go to the NYC Public Library and request the old plates from Dr. Gregg's collection!). For example, the Series 90 book "Gregg Shorthand for the Electronic Office Parts 1 & 2" features ruled plates with 3/8" spacing. For Centennial, they changed to 1/2" ruling!!!!

    The 3/8" ruling has a small advantage over the 1/3" ruling: the writing does not look cramped on the plates. However, you could achieve the same effect on Gregg ruled paper — you just need to adjust the proportions.

    A further complication is that for some books, the plates were reduced to fit the page. You can see this in the pre-anniversary books.

    So the answer to your question is, it depends! More than likely, Mrs. Richmond's outlines were written to 1/3" spacing.

  2. Some reference books were photo-reduced to pocket size. What matters is the proportion, not the absolute size. Some high-speed writers say to write large and flowing, others say smaller means less hand-movement.

    North American College Ruled is 7mm. Try that first. If it works for your hand, (and you live here) you can write in regular notebooks. I got used to Gregg Ruled, which is 1mm larger. If I don't have a Gregg book handy, I either have to slow down and write smaller or double-space. I find it more noticeable with TD and DM than with B and V, even though they're supposed to be the same height. That might be because I'm more comfortable confusing B and P than DM and TN, since I've had more practice with the former pair.

  3. I appreciate the comments. I guess I have to find what size I like really. Right now my proportions are made on sort of a continuous scale. Reading isn't too bad. I didn't let on but I have been really seriously using shorthand for several months now. I hope more writing will bring more familiarity and my hand will find a way of writing letters consistently, comfortably and properly. That was a big incentive for me to replace all my longhand with shorthand, to put in less energy into writing, and I am amazed at how little fatigue I feel writing. Writer's cramp good-bye! I actually started in Teeline but it wasn't fluid enough for me, and it was pretty much impossible to read back after a few weeks.

    I want to weigh in on the college-ruled thing. I use steno pads for my journal, but when I am archiving them I staple them together. I think having fewer, bigger pages like with a notepad might make it easier to distinguish and remember any one page later (especially if you draw or make diagrams like I sometimes do). Really, though, I think steno pads are easier to carry around so I stick with those.

  4. I have to disagree here. Even though college-ruled paper is just a tad smaller, do not use college-ruled paper when you're first learning Gregg. If you're going to write Gregg shorthand, do it right from the very beginning: on Gregg-ruled paper. The reason for that is that you learn the sense of proportion using constant spacing, and your hand will travel farther than necessary because you don't have the middle line and the paper size is larger. If today you use college-ruled paper, and tomorrow you use Gregg-ruled paper, your proportions are going to be off, your writing will start to over-slant (to compensate for the greater distance your arm moves), and it will be hard for you to read what you wrote. Moreover, like you describe, you are slowing down your writing because your proportions will not be automatic. You can get Gregg-ruled pads in any office supply store, and they are cheap.

    Once you know your theory, you can write Gregg anywhere you want because your fine muscles are already trained to write shorthand, but at the beginning, use Gregg ruling.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. When I was in college, I wrote my notes on college-ruled paper, in a combination of shorthand and longhand. But since I already knew the system, proportions were not an issue. For learning, Gregg-ruled pads is the way to go.

    Another consideration is the number of pages of the pads. Some of the pads come with 120-140 pages, which to me is excessive, because your palm will rest against a thick notebook and your hand will cramp. The 80-page 6" x 9" pad is great. You can write on it easily and focus on your consistency of outlines when the hand is not tired!

    Lastly, there are smaller size pads called reporter's notebooks (not to be confused with the court reporter notebooks) that are also Gregg ruled. I have a bunch of those and they are very convenient because you can carry them around, and even stick them inside a book if you want. They have 70 pages, and are 4" x 8", not much wider than the size of a column of a Gregg-ruled steno pad. They don't have the line in the middle (because of the size). You can get them at Staples.

    Work on your shorthand and your penmanship, and the proportions will become automatic.

  6. Shorthand Transcription Studies by South-Western Publishing Co. used ruled boxes for their shorthand plates, standard Gregg rules, 3 to the inch. (I have the Anniversary version of the book from 1944. Some here have complained about the quality of the outlines in the later series' versions of this book, but the Anniversary version looks fine to me.)

    Studying the outlines in a ruled context has been very helpful. But this is the only text I know of (other than self-published works using stencils) that uses rules for the Anniversary period.

  7. In general, if you print pdf pages without scaling, you get the original size, and at two to a page, it reduces to about 75%. The suggestion to make your outlines about the size of those in the manual can be less than helpful when you are working with a scanned image!

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