anniversary stroke sizes


This is my first post on the site, and I wanted to introduce myself.

My name is Arjaan, and I’m a student learning Anniversary Gregg for interest.


I hope you’ll excuse what, I’m sure, is an amateur’s question; how much of a size difference ought there to be between similar strokes?

eg: l and r, or k and g, or e and a – how much larger should one be than the other? How large should they be in general? Is a 6cm g taking it too far?


Many thanks,



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8 comments Add yours
  1. Welcome Arjaan I too am a new member and find this blog a a treasure trove.  I write G, L, B, V,  at approximately .6 cm and I write C, R, P, F approximately .3 cm.    I would be interested in other members input on this topic. Welcome !

  2. I do not claim to be an expert, I use Gregg shorthand as a hobby, taking down notes on lectures, meetings, YouTube videos etc.Gregg shorthand allows me to be far more detailed than with longhand. I recently tested my speed, with some dictation, and found it approximately to be 100 words a minute.

    I think that proportions vary from person to person. As long as you are able to differentiate between long, medium and short characters, the correctors can be in any proportion to one another.

    That being said, you will find that when you write fast, your long strokes tend to shorten, and your short strokes tend to lengthen. Another related problem is that your curves will start to straighten, and your straight lines will start to curve.

    Therefore, it is important to exaggerate the difference between each character.

    Here are my proportions: my long vertical characters (dt,v,b) are one line in height. I think this is the maximum height that you can write a character, being practical. My long horizontal characters are approximately 2 lines in width (imagine turning your sheet of paper on its side, and writing the horizontal characters: they should span 2 lines). I believe that this is the maximum practical horizontal with for a character.

    At the moment, I tend to write my medium characters at half of the length of a long character, and short characters at half the length of a medium character.

    Another important point that is made in the Gregg shorthand books is that shorthand should be written, not drawn. This means that you should not be using a measuring tape to be measuring your character sizes. Rather, you should be trying to make your characters as readable as possible, and that is done by making them as different as possible from other similar looking characters. For example, you should not be confusing "has" (a-s) with "after" (a-f), or "equal" with "useless".

      1. Thanks for bringing this up, but be aware that the plates in books printed before the Anniversary series (including the first edition of Gregg Speed Studies) were reduced in size for printing, so while the proportions are correct, the sizing is way too small. They started using regular sized writing in the Anniversary books.

  3. Welcome to the blog, Arjaan. Length of strokes is individual to the writer — the important thing is proportion. To get an idea in your own writing, since you are using the manual, measure the length of the longer strokes (l, g, and m) that the writer uses in the book and try that first (imitate the writer). Use that as a guide while you're studying. If you find it uncomfortable, adjust the size little by little in your studying until you can write them easily. It will take time until you find a "sweet spot" for sizes, so don't rush it. Proportion is more important than size, so make sure that short strokes are not more than half of the long ones.

    Also, this penmanship template may help you.

  4. For simplicity sake, I use college ruled paper as guide. Letters g, l, b, v are drawn within the spacing of three lines. Letters k, r, p, f are drawn within the spacing of  two lines. BTW: I am a beginner. Been working Gregg Shorthand for over a year. Progress has been slow, but steady. My interest in shorthand is a labor of interest and personal growth. So far, it's been an unusual experience. Take care. 

  5. The plates in the Anniversary manual are very well written. So I'd suggest not only taking your proportions from them, but using them as a model for your writing style generally.

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