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"Handwritten" redirects here. For other uses, see Handwriting (disambiguation).
Further information: Calligraphy and Script typeface

Handwriting refers to a person's writing created with a writing utensil such as a pen or pencil. The term encompasses both printing and cursive styles and is separate from formal calligraphy or typeface. It is, in essence, a visible form of a person's voice, including pitch and tone.

Because each person's handwriting is unique, it can be used to verify a document's writer, and the deterioration of a person's handwriting is also a symptom or result of certain diseases.

Charles Elliot's handwriting to Clara Elliot
Sonification of an adult's proficient handwriting.
Gandhi's handwriting (Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, 30 September 1925)

Uniqueness of handwriting[edit]

Each person has his unique style of handwriting, whether it is normal handwriting or signature. Even identical twins who share appearance and genetics don't have the same handwriting.They are like the finger prints (people might be able to copy it, but never write it in the identical way). The place where one grows up and the first language one learns melt together with the different distribution of force and ways of shaping words to create a unique style of handwriting for each person. [1] [2]

Characteristics of handwriting include:

  • specific shape of letters, e.g. their roundness or sharpness
  • regular or irregular spacing between letters
  • the slope of the letters
  • the rhythmic repetition of the elements or arrhythmia
  • the pressure to the paper
  • the average size of letters
  • the thickness of letters

Uses of handwriting samples[edit]

Because handwriting is relatively stable, a change in the handwriting can be indicative of the nervousness or intoxication of the writer.[citation needed]

A sample of a person's writing can be compared to that of a written document to determine and authenticate the written document's writer; if the writing styles match, it is likely that one person wrote both documents.


Graphology is the pseudoscientific[3][4][5] study and analysis of handwriting in relation to human psychology. Graphology is primarily used as a recruiting tool in the applicant screening process for predicting personality traits and job performance, despite research showing consistently negative results for these uses.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sargur Srihari, Chen Huang and Harish Srinivasan. On the Discriminability of the Handwriting of Twins. J Forensic Sci. 2008 Mar;53(2):430-46. http://www.cedar.buffalo.edu/~srihari/papers/TR-04-07.pdf
  2. ^ Srihari, S. "[1]". . Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Barry Beyerstein Q&A". Ask the Scientists. Scientific American Frontiers. Retrieved 2008-02-22.  "they simply interpret the way we form these various features on the page in much the same way ancient oracles interpreted the entrails of oxen or smoke in the air. I.e., it's a kind of magical divination or fortune telling where 'like begets like.'"
  4. ^ James, Barry (3 August 1993). "Graphology Is Serious Business in France : You Are What You Write?". New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Goodwin CJ (2010). Research In Psychology: Methods and Design. John Wiley & Sons. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-470-52278-3. 
  6. ^ Roy N. King and Derek J. Koehler (2000), "Illusory Correlations in Graphological Inference", Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 6 (4): 336–348, doi:10.1037/1076-898X.6.4.336. 
  7. ^ Lockowandte, Oskar (1976), "Lockowandte, Oskar Present status of the investigation of handwriting psychology as a diagnostic method", Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology (6): 4–5. 
  8. ^ Nevo, B Scientific Aspects Of Graphology: A Handbook Springfield, IL: Thomas: 1986