Handwriting - The Inner Secrets Revealed!
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Handwriting Analysis Questions

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Please complete ALL of the mandatory questions below. If you have any doubts as to whether a handwriting characteristic is present, answer 'No', or give a score of '0'.

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YOUR Full Name (Mandatory):
Please enter YOUR full name in this box
Subject Surname (Optional):
(The person who has written the handwriting)

Please enter the last name of the person who has written the handwriting.
Subject First Name (Optional):
(The person who has written the handwriting)

Please enter the first name of the person who has written the handwriting
Subject Gender? (Mandatory): Male
Subject Title? (Optional): Mr.
Please answer ALL remaining questions
Age Category?
Please indicate the approximate age of the subject (person who has produced the handwriting sample).
Under 16
16 - 20
21 - 40
41 - 60
over 60
Sample Size?
Please indicate the approximate size of the handwriting sample.
Very small sample (5 words or less)
Moderately small sample (1 - 5 lines)
Average sized sample (6 - 15 lines)
Moderately large sample (15 - 20 lines)
Very large sample (21 lines +)
Ink Colour
Please indicate the ink colour used for the handwriting sample.
Is this ink colour chosen freely by the user and is it used habitually? No
Don't Know
Writing Implement Used?
Please indicate the type of writing implement used to produce the handwriting sample.
Fountain Pen
Biro (Ballpoint)
Paper Plain or Lined?
Please indicate if the paper was plain (blank) or lined for the handwriting sample.
Plain (Not lined)
All handwriting tends to have a certain type of flow. There are two main categories (restrained and released), but a lot of handwriting falls between these extremes.
RESTRAINED handwriting is rigid and taut. The letters are like guardsmen on parade. The forward movement of the pen looks as though it has been carefully restrained. The writing does not flow, and there is no sloppiness or freedom of movement in the writing.

Restrained handwriting (1)
Restrained handwriting (2)

RELEASED handwriting is the opposite. The writing impulse is unbroken, and the words sweep forward. There is a certain amount of sloppiness in the letter formation, because less effort has been used to control the pen. The words have fluency and vitality.

Released handwriting (1)Released handwriting (2)

Most handwriting falls between the above descriptions, and has neither the rigidity or stiffness of restrained writing, nor the freedom and flow of released writing.

Neither restrained nor released (1)Neither restrained nor released (2)

Handwriting Flow?
If you think that your handwriting shows neither of these characteristics to any great degree, it is safer to score 5.
Extremely RESTRAINED (Like the examples)
Very restrained
Clearly restrained
Moderately restrained
Slightly restrained
NEITHER restrained or released (Like the examples)
Slightly released
Moderately released
Clearly released
Very released
Extremely RELEASED (Like the examples)

Handwriting pressure chart
Here, we are talking about the AVERAGE pressure of the handwriting. A simple test to see how hard the subject has pressed when writing is to run your fingers across the back of the paper. If there are easily felt indentations, then the pressure used has been heavier than average. Of course, the surface used to rest on must be taken into account during this exercise.
If the writing appears faint, and the lines relatively thin, then this indicates that a lighter pressure was used.
The chart shows relative thicknesses of pen strokes. The left-hand column is for writing made with a fountain pen. The right-hand column is for writing made with a biro or ball-point pen.
It is difficult to accurately reproduce the line chart on screen, so if you are uncertain, mark the pressure as normal (Line 3).
You can also aid your assessment of pressure by using a similar writing implement and creating your own pressure chart. Mark the faintest and thickest line possible to help in your estimation of the pressure used.
Handwriting Pressure Intensity? Very light pressure
Light pressure
Normal pressure
Heavy pressure
Very heavy pressure

Before looking closely at cross-stroke pressure, let's look at how handwriting pressure normally varies.
In most normal handwriting, there is a distinctive pressure pattern which emphasises the downstrokes of letters. The upstroke in letters is normally of a lighter pressure. This is created by the natural rhythmic patterns which usually exist when writing. Any deviations from this pattern are of special interest to the Graphonomer.

Cross-stroke pressure

Cross-stroke pressure is one of the most frequently seen variations. The writer uses additional force when making connecting stokes between letters, or when forming cross bars on 't's, 'f's or capital 'H's. Sometimes this use of additional pressure for cross strokes reduces the pressure used for nearby letters.

Cross-Stroke Pressure? No apparent cross-stroke pressure.
One or two examples found.
Cross-stroke pressure very common.


Random pressure

Some handwriting reveals a pressure pattern which is irregular. The normal rhythmic pattern is not present and the thickness and density of strokes varies for no apparent reason. (See also SUDDEN SHARP PRESSURE INCREASES, below).

Random Pressure? No random pressure
One or two examples found
Random pressure very common


Sudden sharp pressure increases

This is as the title suggests. Look for areas (if pressure is random) for sudden sharp increases in pressure. Once again, these will be a deviation from normal pressure patterns.

Sudden Sharp Pressure Increases? No sudden sharp pressure increases
One or two examples found.
Sudden sharp pressure increases very common.

These are departures from the writing style taught in school whereby the writer adopts a more economical style of writing by eliminating unnecessary strokes, but still maintaining legibility.

This produces an overall faster writing speed. This should not be confused with poorly coordinated writing, which is generally illegible.

Artful simplifications (1)Artful simplifications (2)
Artful simplifications (3)

Simplified 'd'Examples are: the removal of upper and lower loops, combining two letters to form one (but still distinguishable within the context of the word), counter-clockwise looping in the letter 'g', and elevated joining loops to following letters. Look for a generally simplified script, where the writer has obviously produced a more economical way to write, without compromising legibility.
Artful Simplifications?  
Artful simplifications Cat. 1 No departure from school-taught style of writing (as above).
Artful simplifications Cat. 2 Some simplifications apparent, but generally as above.
Artful simplifications Cat. 3 Moderately simplified writing (as above).
Artful simplifications Cat. 4 Many simplifications present (as above).
Artful simplifications Cat. 5 Writing highly simplified (as above).

To measure the signature size, you can either construct a signature grid (as per the diagram), print the image using this link, or measure the signature as described below and calculate the size rating in that manner.

The signature grid consists of a vertical Edge line and a horizontal base line. The length measuring lines (numbered 1 - 7) are the following distances from the edge line:- 1 = 25 mm (1 inch)
2 = 38 mm (1 and 1/2 inches)
3 = 51 mm (2 inches)
4 = 64 mm (2 and 1/2 inches)
5 = 76 mm (3 inches)
6 = 89 mm (3 and 1/2 inches)
7 = 102 mm (4 inches)
The height measuring lines (lettered A - E) are the following distances from the base line:- A = 8 mm (5/16's inch)
B = 14 mm (9/16's inch)
C = 21 mm (13/16's inch)
D = 27 mm (1 and 1/16's inch)
E = 33 mm (1 and 5/16's inch)

If you can, construct the grid on tracing paper. It is then easy to lay the grid over the signature to grade its size. Alternatively, by printing the image using this link onto thin paper or an overhead transparency, you should be able to produce a signature grid with the correct measurements. Please check that the dimensions of your signature grid are correct when you have printed it out.

To measure the length of the signature, lay the grid (or begin your measurement) from the very first left-hand stroke of the signature. The base of the grid should be angled so that it runs parallel with the base of the signature, as in the example. Look at the position of the last stroke of the signature in relation to the numbered lines. In the illustration, the 'y' extends further than line '4'. The length for this signature would be recorded as '5'. When the last letter falls between two length lines, always use the higher of the two numbers. If you are just using a ruler to measure the signature, compare the length with the reference lengths above, and grade the line in a similar way. (e.g. if the length of the signature is 18 mm, then the length would be grade '1').

The signature grid

Signature Length? Grade 1 (up to 25 mm long)
Grade 2 (26 - 38 mm long)
Grade 3 (39 - 51 mm long)
Grade 4 (52 - 64 mm long) (Select if no signature available)
Grade 5 (65 - 76 mm long)
Grade 6 (77 - 89 mm long)
Grade 7 (90 -102 mm long)
Grade 8 (103 mm long and greater)

To measure the signature height, place the line marked BASE on the grid under the signature, as shown on the illustration. If the signature slants up or down, angle to the grid accordingly. The base line must follow the small letters of the signature. Ignore letters with lower loops, such as 'g', 'j' or 'q'. Now observe at what level the highest part of the signature reaches with regard to the horizontal lines. If the highest point of the signature falls between two lines, always use the upper line to grade the height. In the illustration, the 'l' of the signature falls between lines 'B' and 'C', so the height would be graded as 'C'. If you are just using a ruler to measure the height of the signature, as with the length, compare the result with the reference heights above, and grade the height of the signature using that table.

The signature grid

Signature Height? Grade A (up to 8 mm high)
Grade B (9 - 14 mm high) (Select if no signature available)
Grade C (15 - 21 mm high)
Grade D (22 - 27 mm high)
Grade E (28 - 33 mm high)
Grade F (34 mm high or greater)
Is the signature scrawled?
(i.e. is it unreadable?)
Is the signature underlined? No
If the signature is underlined, is it bizarrely underlined (many strokes, loops, curls etc.)? No
Not applicable
Anchor strokesAnchor strokes are strokes which start at the beginning of words. They are small hooks, which 'anchor' the first letter of the word to the (imaginary) baseline. Do not confuse these with 'long straight upstrokes' which are not hooked and will be discussed later in the analysis. Anchor strokes are always curved.
Anchor Strokes? No anchor strokes found
One or two examples found
Anchor strokes very common
An easy one! Count (roughly) the proportion of small 'i's which are NOT dotted.
Missing 'i' Dots? None, or only one or two 'i' dots missing
A quarter of the 'i' dots are missing
Half of the 'i' dots are missing
Three-quarters of the 'i' dots are missing
All of the 'i' dots are missing

First - to clarify what the ascending letters are. These are the 'b's, 'd's, 'f's, 'h's etc. Compare these 'ascenders' with the size of any capital letters used in the writing, particularly at the beginning of sentences.

Look at the table opposite, and use the examples to score the average size of the capital letters in relation to the 'ascenders'. The options will allow you to use intermediate scores as well.

Example Description
Extremely High (Score=10)
High (Score=5)
Ascenders and capital equal (Score = 0)
Low (Score = -5)
Extremely Low (Score = -10)
Scoring capital letters compared to ascending letters:- 10 EXTREMELY HIGH - Capital letters about twice as tall as the ascending letters
5 HIGH - Capital letters about half as tall again as the ascending letters
0 EQUAL - Capitals and ascenders the same height in general
-5 LOW - Capital letters about three-quarters the height of the ascenders
-10 EXTREMELY LOW - Capital letters only half the size of the ascending letters
Is the writing as small or smaller than this example ?

Very small handwriting

Note: The actual size of the word 'Today' in the example is 10mm (0.4 inches).
Is the handwriting larger than the first example above, but no larger than this example?

Small handwriting

Note: The actual size of the word 'possible' in the example is 14.5mm (0.57 inches).
Some writing tends to fall downwards as it goes across the page.
Do the lines fall as much, or more than this example?

Falling lines (1)
Does the writing fall less than the first example above, but as much, or more than this example?

Falling lines (2)

Are the words as crowded, or more crowded, than this example?

Crowded words (1)
Are the words less crowded than in the first example above, but as crowded, or more crowded than this example?

Crowded words (2)

Is the script clearly 'rigid' (restrained) as in this example?

Rigid handwriting

Downward pointing 't' barsThe school taught small 't' has a level cross bar. However, some writers produce 't' bars which point, slope or droop downwards (See example). Count the 't' bars, and give a reasonable estimate of the proportion of 't' bars that point or droop downwards.
Proportion of Downward Pointing 't' Bars? None, or only one 't' bar points down.
A quarter of the 't' bars point down.
Half of the 't' bars point down.
Three quarters of the 't' bars point down
All the 't' bars point down.

Pointed dashesPointed dashes are the result of impulsive stabbing movements as the writer finishes on a stroke that doesn't connect one letter to another, e.g. the bars on the letters 'f' and 't'. The dashes tend to be thick at one end and trail off to a very thin line at the other.
Frequency of Pointed Dashes? There are no pointed dashes
They only occur now and then
Pointed dashes are a consistent feature

Long straight upstrokesThese should not be confused with anchor strokes, which were described earlier in the questions. Whereas anchor strokes curve down to meet the baseline, long straight upstrokes begin from below the baseline. The strokes are found at the beginning of words, starting below the writing line and coming up to start the letter.
Frequency of Long Straight Upstrokes? No long straight upstrokes.
Found only once or twice in the sample.
Used on less than three-quarters of the words, but still a consistent feature of the writing.
Found at the start of three-quarters of all words, or more.
If Long Straight Upstrokes are present, is the pressure used for them greater than in the rest of the writing? No
Not applicable

End of word pressureClosely examine the final stroke of the words, to see if there is any increased pressure in the final movement of the pen. This will be shown by a darkening of the ink and/or a thickening of the line.
Frequency of End Of Word Pressure? There is no apparent end of word pressure
End of word pressure is found only once or twice
End of word pressure appears consistently

Does the writing slant to the right as much or more than this example?

Letter slant (1)
Does the writing slant to the right less than the first example, but as much or more than this example?

Letter slant (2)
Does the writing slant to the right less than the second example, but as much or more than this example?

Letter slant (3)

Look at the width of the small letters, particularly the 'round' letters such as 'a', 'o' and 'e'. It is not the actual size of the letter that is important - more the width compared to the height.
Are the small letters as wide as, or wider than this example?

Wide letters (1)
Are the small letters narrower than the first example, but as wide, or wider than this example?

Wide letters (2)

Descending strokes are the parts or loops of the letters 'y' and 'g' below the writing line. As with letter width, it's not the actual size of the descending strokes that is important. It is the length of the strokes in comparison with the other letters.
Are the descending strokes as long, or longer than this example?

Long descending strokes (1)
Are the descending strokes shorter than the first example, but as long or longer than this example?

Long descending strokes (2)

Rather than use a simple dot for their small 'i's, some writers actually use a circle.
Are circular 'i' dots present in the handwriting? No

Lower loop embellishmentsSome writers use embellishments on lower loops of letters such as 'y', 'g' etc. Rather than doing a simple loop, the stroke includes additional loops or whorls which make the lower loop look quite complex or fancy.
Do half, or LESS than half of the lower loops have embellishments?
(Answer 'No' if no lower loop embellishments are present)
Are lower loop embellishments present in MORE than half of the lower loops?
(Answer 'No' if no lower loop embellishments are present)

Isolated ambiguity can best be described as writing that is difficult to read - but (and this is very important) not through general poorly coordinated writing.
In poorly coordinated writing (first example), none of the words can be easily read. However, with isolated ambiguity (second example) only some of the words are difficult to read, and these can usually be understood from the context of the sentence. They are not so much indecipherable, as confusing.
Take a look at the writing. If you see any words which are readable, but confusing, try covering the surrounding words and see how the word looks on its own. Look to see if it is legible as a single word, or perhaps could be misread as several words. Now look at it again within the context of the words surrounding it. If it is then readable you have found isolated ambiguity.

Poorly coordinated writing
Poorly Coordinated Writing

Isolated ambiguity    Isolated ambiguity

Is isolated ambiguity a dominant feature of the handwriting? No

Back slant is a leftward slant of the handwriting. Handwriting normally slants to the right, but some slants in the other direction. This is not only caused by left-handedness.
Does the writing exhibit back slant? No

Most writers manage to maintain an even slant, with all the letters tilted in more or less the same direction. Other writers seem unable to achieve this consistency, and the slant of their writing swings one way then the other. If there is a definite leftward and rightward slant in the writing, then the writing is said to show slant variability.
Does the writing exhibit slant variability as much, or more than this example?
Slant variability

Most writing normally has small letters of approximately equal size (that is letters such as 'a', 'o', 'u' etc). However, some individuals seem unable to control the size of such letters and they can appear to vary greatly in comparative size. Look for small letters being twice or half the size of similar ones within the handwriting.
Does the writing exhibit small letter variability as much, or more than this
Small letter variability

Most upper loops ('l', 'd', 'h' etc) are either clear loops, or are perhaps not looped at all. However, some writers loop, but the loops are very narrow with the lines overlapping each other. These are termed 'narrow upper loops'.
Does the writing have narrow upper loops?
Narrow upper loops
Do the strokes from one line impinge on the strokes from the line below? Some writers create writing which seems very cramped, where the loops from letters such as 'y' and 'g' touch the letters beneath them. The occasional occurrence of this is not important, but a consistent overlap of loops and overlap of lines is significant.
Does the writing exhibit line overlap?
Line overlap
When writing on plain, un-lined paper, the normal writer can produce straight writing lines without the use of a ruler for guidance. Some writers, however, cannot produce straight writing lines. If the lines on the page seem to snake their way up and down, as if the writer seemed to have poor co-ordination, then the handwriting is said to exhibit waviness of the writing line.
Does the writing exhibit waviness of the writing line?
Waviness of the writing line
This is general sloppy letter formation (varying sizes), poorly spaced writing, wavy writing lines, missing letters, unintentional strokes, and general sloppiness. Do not mix this up with the artful simplifications specified in earlier questions, where letters have been formed economically but the writing is still legible. Also, isolated ambiguity, because it is only is occasional words, should not be confused with general poorly co-ordinated handwriting.
Is the writing poorly co-ordinated?

Poorly coordinated writing

STROKE JERKS (Magnifying glass useful)
Stroke jerks are found within the individual strokes in letters, where there has been a small but sudden departure of the pen from its intended direction. Instead of the smooth stroke the writer intended, there are slight bends in the line. This often gives the letters more of an angular look.
Does the writing contain stroke jerks?

Stroke jerks

Upper loops, when written in letters such as 'h' or 'l' or 'k', are normally full loops if that is the style the writer uses. However, some writers, although they use loops, do not produce loops which are full. Instead, the loops are broken or incomplete. The loops finish early, or have definite gaps in them.
Does the writing contain broken upper loops?

Broken upper loops

Curtailment is handwriting restraint, where the writer has restrained the writing impulse when the forward momentum threatened to escape from their control. The effect is to produce a series of clipped movements or 'chopping off' of letter strokes.

Curtailment (1)Curtailment (2)
Curtailment (3)

The evidence of curtailment is the premature ending of letter strokes. An example would be on downward loops of 'y's and 'g' where the stem ends shortly and abruptly. This shouldn't be confused with the missing loop created by artfully simplified writing. With curtailment, the abrupt ending of letter strokes is always associated with an increased pressure, a fact which emphasises that the writer has applied strong measures to maintain control.

There are many different forms of curtailment, but the underlying feature is the abrupt end to letter strokes, with increased pressure, which indicate that the writer was exhibiting an excessive need for control of the writing.

Frequency of curtailment? No curtailment
One or two examples found
Curtailment very common
Letter stutter is the accidental repetition of letters in a word, or of strokes when forming a letter. Examples would be perhaps words with a double letter (such as 'e' in the word seem) where the 'e' would be written three times, or an extra 'hump' on the letter 'm'. Anywhere where an extra stroke or letter has been used unnecessarily is letter stutter. Stutters which occur twice or more within a piece of handwriting are significant. See also repeated 'i' dots and 't' crosses below.
Frequency of letter stutter in the handwriting?

Letter stutter
No letter stutter
Letter stutter present, but not common
Letter stutter very common
Examine the handwriting to see if there are any occurrences when 'i's have more than one dot, or 't's have more than one cross bar.
Frequency of repeated 'i' dots and/or 't' crosses in the handwriting?

Repeated 'i' dotsRepeated 't' crosses
No repeated 'i' dots and 't' crosses.
Repeated 'i' dots and 't' crosses present, but not common
Repeated 'i' dots and 't' crosses very common
This is where letters have been traced over again and again, as if the writer is anxious about making the letters clearer, and strives, counter- productively, for greater clarity.
Frequency of overwriting in the handwriting?

No overwriting.
Overwriting present, but not common
Overwriting very common
Compulsive additions (2)
These are additional strokes which improve neither the legibility nor the aesthetic look of the letters. They usually occur in the upper or lower loops as an added extension. It seems that the writer has been unable to resist adding something to the letter, even though it was perfectly legible in the first place.

Compulsive additions (1)

Frequency of compulsive additions in the handwriting? No compulsive additions.
Compulsive additions present, but not common
Compulsive additions very common
FadingFading is where the starting or end strokes of words show a loss of pressure. Fading at the start of a letter is due to the writer applying insufficient force until the stroke of the pen was well into the formation of the stroke. Fading at the end of the letter is due to the pressure being released too soon. They both reflect an inability of the writer to maintain writing pressure.
Frequency of fading? No fading.
Fading present, but not common
Fading very common
A thickening of the strokes at the very beginning or end of letters (do not confuse with end of word pressure) is sometimes caused by the writer hesitating momentarily before moving the pen onwards. As the title suggests, these dots are caused by the pen coming to rest for a fraction of a second as if the writer is resting.
Frequency of Resting Dots?

Resting dots (1)Resting dots (2)
No resting dots
Resting dots found occasionally
Resting dots common
Wavy words are where the normally-formed handwriting has suddenly degenerated into a formless line. Normally, less pressure is used in conjunction with this type of stroke. As a result of the waviness, the letter size is reduced. You must be careful to ensure that this is not just the style of writing. Wavy words have letters which stand out as being reduced in size and pressure, almost is if the writer was too tired to write the letter at it's normal size.
Frequency of Wavy Words?

Wavy words
No wavy words
Wavy words found occasionally
Wavy words common
LETTER LURCHES (Magnifying glass useful)
Letter lurches
Letter lurches are sudden movements of the pen in the upward and downward strokes of letter formation. The pen has moved sideways slightly as the upward or downward stroke was completed. The movements are small, and should be examined with a magnifying glass.
Frequency of Letter Lurches? No letter lurches
Letter lurches found occasionally
Letter lurches common
BROKEN STROKES (Magnifying glass useful)
Complete loss of pressure (perhaps for only 1/100th of a second) can cause Broken Strokes. Here, the line of the letter is completely broken by a small gap in the stroke, where the writing pressure has completely failed for a brief moment. These breaks may be very small, so examine the writing carefully, as they are an important characteristic.
Broken strokes (2)Frequency of Broken Strokes?
Broken strokes (1)
No broken strokes
Broken strokes found occasionally
Broken strokes common

This completes the questions about the handwriting sample

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