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School Fonts Handwriting Styles


School Fonts Handwriting Styles
These are my own explanations in laymen's terms of some of the different handwriting styles of cursive and manuscript fonts used to teach handwriting. These descriptions cover only the main style. There may be variations within each style from some vendors. These are not the only handwriting styles, but the ones I was able to get sufficient information on to describe. Additionally, this describes the actual letterforms and does not address the teaching methods associated with each of these handwriting methods.
  • Cursive Handwriting in the US offers a little fun history, explains why cursive handwriting is relevant to desktop publishing, and links to some formal cursive handwriting fonts.

  • Spencerian Script looks at cursive handwriting before the Palmer, Zaner-Bloser, and other modern handwriting methods. Find some fonts with roots in this lovely style.


Slanted manuscript with some curved legs, connectors, such as tail of Q and leg on R and K. Tall extenders. Lowercase k has loop for top diagonal stroke (like a cursive k).

J -no horizontal stroke, medium hook
M -diagonals don't touch baseline
R -diagonal extends from vertical stroke
Q -short, curved intersecting tail
Y -looks like y sitting above baseline
q -curved hook tail

Cursive is slanted, few loops.

Q -old-style 2
F, T -full horizontal top stroke
W -rounded


Slightly slanted manuscript. Medium ascenders, short descenders. Loop on k.

J -no top stroke; small hook
M -diagonals don't touch baseline
R -diagonal extends from curve, near vertical stroke
Q -short, diagonal non-interecting tail
q -short, straight hook tail

Slightly slanted, print-like cursive with curved connectors.

J -top stroke; extends below baseline
Q -print-style with diagonal, non-intersecting tail
F, T -manuscript style with downward curves on left side of top cross-stroke
W -pointed


Upright manuscript. Tall extenders.

J -no top horizontal stroke, medium hook
M -old - diagonals don't touch baseline; new - diagonals do touch baseline
R -old - diagonal leg connects at vertical; new - diagonal leg connects at bottom of curve
Q -short, diagonal, intersecting tail
q -old - short, straight hook; new - small curved hook

Cursive is slanted and curvey but few loops.

Q -old-style 2
F, T -have the left of vertical only top strokes
W -rounded


Slanted manuscript style. A few characters have a curved leg such as K, R, X. Tall ascenders and medium descenders.

J -no top horizontal stroke, medium hook
M -diagonals touch baseline
R -diagonal leg connects at vertical stroke
Q -short, curved, intersecting tail
Y -looks like a y sitting above baseline
q -small curved hook tail

Cursive is slanted, with few loops.

Q -manuscript style with curved, intersecting tail
F, T -full top horizontal strokes
W -rounded


Upright manuscript with wide characters. G has small vertical stroke connecting the C curve with horizontal stroke.

J -no top stroke
M -diagonals don't touch baseline
R -diagonal leg connects at curve
Q -straight intersecting tail
q -straight hook tail

Classic is slanted cursive with large and small loops. New Palmer has slight variations, large loop around vertical stroke on B and other variations.

Q -old-style 2
F -old: one looping stroke; new: F matches T
T -full top stroke (new & old)
W -pointed


There are upright and slanted manuscript versions. The cross-stroke on t is very high on the vertical stroke.

J -no top horizontal stroke
M -diagonals do not reach baseline
R -diagontal leg extends from curve
Q -short, straight intersecting tail
q -curved hook tail

Slanted cursive style has little loops (little looped 'ears') on many characters including C, H, K, M, N.

Q -old-style 2
F, T -full top horizontal stroke
W -pointed
p -no loop in descender


Upright manuscript with large, open characters. Tall ascenders, short descenders on g, j, y, and q. The t is shorter than b, d, k, etc.

J -no top horizontal stroke
M -diagonals do not reach baseline
R -diagonal leg extends from curve
W -diagonals do not go full height
Q -somewhat horizontal curved tail
q -short, curved hook tail

Large slanted cursive with few extra loops.

Q -old-style 2
F, T -left of vertical only top strokes
W -pointed


Upright manuscript with tall extenders.

J -old: no top stroke; new: with top stroke
M -diagonals extend to baseline
Q -short, straight, intersecting tail
R -old: diagonal leg extends from curve; new: from vertical
q -curved, open hook tail

Old style is slanted cursive with little loops on many uppercase characters such as C, E, H, K, etc. New style has few loops.

Q -old: old-style 2; new: manuscript style with long, curved, almost horizontal tail
F, T -full top strokes
W -old: pointed; new: rounded

Other Handwriting Styles:

UK handwriting I don't know a lot about some of the other handwriting schemes in use outside the US but here are some that I've found (although I know few details): Infant script, Nelson handwriting,(sources for both found under commercial school fonts) and Christopher Jarman (found in the free school fonts section).

Australian handwriting The handwriting fonts I've found for Australia are generally classified by region (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, etc.) and are similar in style with some differences in connectors for cursive fonts and the formation of a few characters such as b and f (however, I've not seen a complete character set for these fonts).

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