Gardiner lists only the common forms of Egyptian hieroglyphs, but he includes extensive subcategories, and also both vertical and horizontal forms for many hieroglyphs. He includes size-variation forms to aid with the reading of hieroglyphs in running blocks of text. In contrast, for example, the Budge Reference has about 1000 hieroglyphs listed in 50 pages, but with no size variations.
Gardiner does not cross-index signs; once put on the list, other significant uses may be overlooked. One example of this is G16, nbtỉ, the ideogram for The Two Ladies, goddesses Wadjet as the cobra and Nekhbet as the white vulture. These are the protective and patron goddesses of the separate Egyptian kingdoms that joined into Ancient Egypt, who were both then displayed on the uraeus of Wadjet when the unification occurred and afterward considered jointly to be the protectors of Egypt and the pharaohs. This ideogram is listed only on the bird list as G16, and overlooked on the deity list and the reptile list.
Other subcategories included by Gardiner are abbreviations and personalized forms, and also a complete subset, used on papyrus, specifically for the Book of the Dead.
56 signs in Gardiner (1957:242–247), with A59 "man threatening with stick" inserted after A25 "man striking with left hand hanging behind back", and two variants A14* "blood interpreted as ax" of A14 "man with blood streaming from his head" and A17* "child sitting with arms hanging down" of A17 "child sitting with hand to mouth".
Usually depicted with three rays, older variants may also have four rays. Determinative for e.g. pḥḏ "to shine, illumine" and wbn "rise"; from this latter case, it can also take the phonetic value of wbn when standing on its own, e.g. in wbn "wound". Alternatively, it is either a determiner or ideogram for ḥnmmt, the name of the "sun folk" of Heliopolis (Gardiner p. 486).
A depiction with four rays is found on an ivory wand of c. 2100 BC: The "Sun with rays" hieroglyph is shown once, placed upon the head of a ram. It has a central dot, like the "Sun" hieroglyph (N5), with four elongated, undulating vertical rays. See also Aten.
moon with its lower half obscured
variant of N9
variant of N11
half of N11 + N14
star in circle
N18 + 3 x N33
"earth, land" (flat alluvial land with grains of sand)
^Betrò, 1995. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Sun with Rays, p. 152.
^Fleming; Lothian; (and Fletcher), 1997. The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth, Fergus Fleming, Alan Lothian, and consultant Dr. Joann Fletcher. c 1997, Duncan Baird Publishers. (hardcover, ISBN0-7054-3503-2), 124-126.
Budge, Sir E.A.Wallis, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, in Two Volumes, Sir E.A.Wallis Budge, (Dover Publications, Inc. New York), c 1920, Dover Edition, c 1978. (Large categorized listings of Hieroglyphs, Vol 1, pp. xcvii–cxlvii (97–147) (25 categories, 1000+ hieroglyphs), 50 pgs.)
A.H. Gardiner, Catalogue of the Egyptian hieroglyphic printing type, from matrices owned and controlled by Dr. Alan (1928).
A.H. Gardiner, "Additions to the new hieroglyphic fount (1928)", The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 15 (1929), p. 95.
A.H. Gardiner, "Additions to the new hieroglyphic fount (1931)", The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 17 (1931), pp. 245–247.
A.H. Gardiner, Supplement to the catalogue of the Egyptian hieroglyphic printing type, showing acquisitions to December 1953 (1953).
Betrò, Carmelo (1996). Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt (1st ed.). Abbeville Press Pub. p. 251. ISBN9780789202321.: A primer based on Gardiner's sign list, focussing on major signs in seven categories.