Chinese character strokes

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'forever' or 'permanence', a Chinese character that represents a variety of strokes, and is often used to demonstrate the major stroke categories

Strokes (simplified Chinese: 笔画; traditional Chinese: 筆劃; pinyin: bǐhuà) are the smallest structural units making up written Chinese characters. In the act of writing, a stroke is defined as a movement of a writing instrument on a writing material surface, or the trace left on the surface from a discrete application of the writing implement.[1] The modern sense of discretized strokes first came into being with the clerical script during the Han dynasty.[2] In the regular script that emerged during the Tang dynasty—the most recent major style, highly studied for its aesthetics in East Asian calligraphy—individual strokes are discrete and highly regularized. By contrast, the ancient seal script has line terminals within characters that are often unclear, making them nontrivial to count.

Study and classification of strokes is useful for understanding Chinese character calligraphy, ensuring character legibility. identifying fundamental components of radicals, and implementing support for the writing system on computers.


The terminals of the individual marks in ancient character forms are often unclear, and it is sometimes nontrivial to count them. The modern motion of discretized strokes did not fully emerge until clerical script:[3]

Historical evolution of the character 'horse'
Oracle Bronze Seal Clerical Regular
Large Small Traditional Simplified


The study and classification of strokes is used for:

  1. understanding Chinese character calligraphy – the correct method of writing, shape formation and stroke order required for character legibility;
  2. understanding stroke changes according to the style that is in use;
  3. defining stroke naming and counting conventions;
  4. identifying fundamental components of Han radicals; and
  5. their use in computing.


When writing Han radicals, a single stroke includes all the motions necessary to produce a given part of a character before lifting the writing instrument from the writing surface; thus, a single stroke may have abrupt changes in direction within the line. For example:

  • (Vertical / shù) is classified as a basic stroke because it is a single stroke that forms a line moving in one direction.
  • (Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical / shù zhé zhé) is classified as a compound stroke because it is a single stroke that forms a line that includes one or more abrupt changes in direction. This example is a sequence of three basic strokes written without lifting the writing instrument such as the ink brush from the writing surface.


All strokes have direction. They are unidirectional and start from one entry point. As such, they are usually not written in the reverse direction by native users. Here are some examples:


CJK strokes are an attempt to identify and classify all single-stroke components that can be used to write Han radicals. There are some thirty distinct types of strokes recognized in Chinese characters, some of which are compound strokes made from basic strokes. The compound strokes comprise more than one movement of the writing instrument, and many of these have no agreed-upon name.

Basic strokes[edit]

A basic stroke is a single calligraphic mark moving in one direction across a writing surface. The following table lists a selection of basic strokes divided into two stroke groups: simple and combining. "Simple strokes" (such as Horizontal / Héng and Dot / Diǎn) can be written alone. "Combining strokes" (such as Bend / Zhé and Hook / Gōu) never occur alone, but must be paired with at least one other stroke forming a compound stroke. Thus, they are not in themselves individual strokes.

Table of basic strokes
English Name Name in PRC
(pinyin and simp.)
Name in ROC
(pinyin and trad.)
Name in Japan Name in Vietnam CJK
Meaning of
Chinese name
(Japanese name,
if different)
Simple strokes
Dot Diǎn, Diǎn, Ten, Chấm 枕 "Dot" Tiny dash, speck.
Horizontal Héng, Héng, Yoko, Sổ ngang 𬃈昂 "Horizontal" Rightward stroke.
Vertical Shù, Shù, Tate, Sổ dọc 𬃈𫆡 "Vertical" Downward stroke.
Upward horizontal , Tiāo, Hane, Hất 迄 "Rise"
Flick up and rightwards.
Press , , (Migi) Harai, (右)払 Mác 莫 "Press down"
("(Right) Sweep")
Falling rightwards (fattening at the bottom).
Throw Piě, Piě, (Hidari) Harai, (左)払 Phẩy 𢵪 "Throw away"
("(Left) Sweep")
Falling leftwards (with slight curve).
Combining strokes
Bend Zhé, Zhé, Ore, Gập 岋 "Bend, fold" Indicates change in stroke direction, usually 90° turn, going down or going right only.
Hook Gōu, Gōu, 鈎(鉤) Kagi, Móc 鈢 "Hook" Appended to other strokes, suddenly sharp turning before crash stopping.
Clockwise curve Wān, Wān, (Hidari) Sori, (左)反 Cong 𢏣 "Curve" Tapering curved line, usually concave left (convex outward right).
Anticlockwise curve Wān, ; Xié, , (Migi) Sori, (右)反 Nghiêng 迎 ㇄; "(Right) curve"; "Slant" Curved line, usually concave right (convex outward left).

Note, the basic stroke Diǎn "Dot" is rarely a real dot. Instead it usually takes the shape of a very small line pointing in one of several directions, and may be long enough to be confused with other strokes.

Compound strokes[edit]

Another classification showing 37 strokes: 8 basic strokes, and 29 complex strokes.[4]

A compound stroke (also called a complex stroke) is produced when two or more basic strokes are combined in a single stroke written without lifting the writing instrument from the writing surface. The character (pinyin: yǒng) "eternity", described in more detail in § Eight Principles of Yong, demonstrates one of these compound strokes. The centre line is a compound stroke that combines three stroke shapes in a single stroke.

Basics for making compound strokes[5]

In most cases, concatenating basic strokes together form a compound stroke. For example, Vertical / Shù combined with Hook / Gōu produce (Vertical–Hook / Shù Gōu). A stroke naming convention sums the names of the basic strokes, in the writing order.

An exception to this applies when a stroke makes a strictly right-angle turn in the Simplified Chinese names. Horizontal (Héng) and Vertical (Shù) strokes are identified only once when they appear as the first stroke of a compound; any single stroke with successive 90° turns down or to the right are indicated by a Bend 折 (pinyin: zhé). For example, an initial Shù followed by an abrupt turn right produces (Shù Zhé). In the same way, an initial Shù followed by an abrupt turn right followed by a second turn down produces (Shù Zhé Zhé). However, their inherited names are "Vertical–Horizontal" and "Vertical–Horizontal–Vertical". We need not to use "Bend" in the inherited names.

Nearly all complex strokes can be named using this simple scheme.


Organization systems used to describe and differentiate strokes may include the use of roman letters, Chinese characters, numbers, or a combination of these devices. Two methods of organizing CJK strokes are by:

In classification schemes, stroke forms are described, assigned a representative character or letterform, and may be arranged in a hierarchy. In categorization schemes, stroke forms are differentiated, sorted and grouped into like categories; categories may be topical, or assigned by a numeric or alpha-numeric nominal number according to a designed numbering scheme.

Stroke Reach[edit]

Stroke Name In English Chinese n.


Organizing strokes into a hierarchy aids a user's understanding by bringing order to an obtuse system of writing that has organically evolved over the period of centuries. In addition, the process of recognizing and describing stroke patterns promotes consistency of stroke formation and usage. When organized by naming convention, classification allows a user to find a stroke quickly in a large stroke collection, makes it easier to detect duplication, and conveys meaning when comparing relationships between strokes. When organized by numbering scheme, categorization aids a user in understanding stroke differences, and makes it easier to make predictions, inferences and decisions about a stroke.


Strokes are described and differentiated using the criteria of visual qualities of a stroke. Because this can require subjective interpretation, CJK strokes cannot be placed into a single definitive classification scheme because stroke types lack a universal consensus on the description and number of basic and compound forms. CJK strokes cannot be placed into a single definitive categorization scheme due to visual ambiguity between strokes, and therefore cannot be segregated into mutually exclusive groups. Other factors inhibiting organization based on visual criteria are the variation of writing styles, and the changes of appearance that a stroke undergoes within various characters.

Roman letter naming convention of Unicode standard[edit]

A naming convention is a classification scheme where a controlled vocabulary is used systematically to describe the characteristics of an item. The naming convention for a CJK stroke is derived from the path mark left by the writing instrument. In this instance roman letters are concatenated to form a stroke name as a sequence of one or more roman letters indicating the component strokes used to create the CJK stroke. The first letter of a basic stroke's pinyin pronunciation represents the basic stroke or stroke component. In a basic stroke example, H represents the stroke named (Héng); in a compound example, HZT represents 横折提 (Héng zhé tí).

While no consensus exists, there are up to 12 distinct basic strokes that are identified by a unique radical.

Letters commonly used in CJK stroke naming conventions (12 items)[6]
Letter B D G H N P Q S T W X Z
Stroke direction 90° turn right or down
Simp./Trad. / /() / / /
Pinyin Biǎn Diǎn Gōu Héng Piě Quān Shù Wān Xié Zhé
Meaning "Flat" "Dot" "Hook" "Horizontal" "Right-falling" "Left-falling" "Circle" "Vertical" "Rising" "Curved" "Slant" "Bent"

There are many CJK compound strokes, however there is no consensus for sequence letter naming of compound strokes using the basic strokes. The following table demonstrates the CJK stroke naming convention:

Selected named CJK basic and compound strokes (41 items)
Stroke Name in PRC Abbr[6][7] Full Name Dictionary meaning and Note Example characters Encoding
H Héng , "cardinal number one", "alone" (Radical 1 一). 二 三 丁 丞 丈 世 不 上 十 卅 七 U+31D0 (㇐)
T   冰 淋 病 孑 治 冶 冽 暴 氾 录 地 虫 U+31C0 (㇀)
横钩 HG Héng Gōu wān, ya, zhé (折) turning stroke / to break (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 疋 了 危 予 矛 子 字 令 疏 写 冖 U+31D6 (㇖)
横撇 HP Héng Piě   又 水 夕 径 炙 双 叒 今 U+31C7 (㇇)
横折 HZ Héng Zhé   口 囗 己 田 品 吕 申 甲 圆 巪 U+31D5 (㇕)
横折钩 HZG Héng Zhé Gōu (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 羽 习 包 勻 葡 用 青 甫 勺 月 也 乜 U+31C6 (㇆)
横折提 HZT Héng Zhé Tí   讠 计 鳩 U+31CA (㇊)
横折折 HZZ Héng Zhé Zhé   U+31C5 (㇅)
横折弯 HZW Héng Zhé Wān   殳 投 朵 U+31CD (㇍)
Héng Zhé Wān Gōu[6]
(Héng Xié Gōu[7])
Unofficial name "HWG" is used by Hugo Lopez.[4] 飞 风 瘋 凬 虱 迅 气 九 几 U+31C8 (㇈)
Héng Xié Wān Gōu[6]
(Héng Zhé Wān Gōu[7])
yǐ, niè, "the second of the ten heavenly stems", "second"; zhé (折) turning stroke / to break (Radical 5 乙). 氹 乞 乤 艺 U+31E0 (㇠)
横折折折 HZZZ Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé   U+31CE (㇎)
横折折撇 HZZP Héng Zhé Zhé Piě   建 及 U+31CB (㇋)
横撇弯钩 HPWG Héng Piě Wān Gōu   队 邮 U+31CC (㇌)
横折折折钩 HZZZG Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé Gōu 𠄎 nǎi, archaic form of "then", "really, indeed", "namely", "you, your". 乃 孕 仍 U+31E1 (㇡)
S Shù , gǔn, "vertical line" (Radical 2 丨). 丩 中 串 讧 乍 上 五 丑 U+31D1 (㇑)
竖钩 SG Shù Gōu jué, "a vertical line with a hook" (Radical 6 亅). 爭 事 求 水 U+31DA (㇚)
竖提 ST Shù Tí   以 比 切 卯 食 良 艮 很 狠 鄉 民 U+31D9 (㇙)
竖折 SZ Shù Zhé   断 陋 继 山 互 彙 牙 乐 东 U+31D7 (㇗)
竖弯 SW Shù Wān   區 亡 妄 四 U+31C4 (㇄)
竖弯左 SWZ Shù Wān Zuǒ   肅 嘯 蕭 簫 U+31D8 (㇘)
竖弯钩 SWG Shù Wān Gōu yǐn, "hidden", "mysterious", "small", usually read as / yǐn (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 乱 己 已 巳 U+31DF (㇟)
竖折折 SZZ Shù Zhé Zhé   亞 鼎 卐 吳 专 U+31DE (㇞)
Shù Zhé Wān Gōu[6]
(Shù Zhé Zhé Gōu[7])
  亏 强 弓 丏 丐 与 马 鸟 丂 号 U+31C9 (㇉)
P Piě 丿 usually read as 撇 piě, "line", "slash" (Radical 4 丿). 乂 爻 禾 毛 乏 乖 釆 衣 八 行 U+31D2 (㇒)
竖撇 SP Shù Piě   乃 月 用 齊 几 人 班 大 U+31D3 (㇓)
[a] 撇钩 PG Piě Gōu   U+31E2 (㇢)
撇折 PZ Piě Zhé   弘 玄 公 厶 翁 U+31DC (㇜)
撇点 PD Piě Diǎn 𡿨 quǎn, a little drain between fields, usually read as quǎn (Radical 47 巛). 女 巛 巡 獵 災 甾 U+31DB (㇛)
D Diǎn zhǔ, "dot", usually read as 點 / 点 diǎn (Radical 3 丶). 丸 叉 义 永 冰 凡 丹 主 求 火 刃 U+31D4 (㇔)
N ㇏ usually read as 捺 nà. 大 人 天 入 走 边 廷 尺 U+31CF (㇏)
提捺 TN Tí Nà (1) , "stretch". (2) , "to move" (archaic). 尐 之 道 八 入 廻 U+31DD (㇝)
斜钩 XG Xié Gōu   戈 弋 戰 我 U+31C2 (㇂)
扁斜钩 BXG Biǎn Xié Gōu   心 必 沁 惢 蕊 U+31C3 (㇃)
弯钩 WG Wān Gōu   狐 狱 豹 家 啄 嶽 貓 家 逐 U+31C1 (㇁)
[b] Q Quān líng, "zero"; also read as quān, "circle". Rare. 〇 㔔 㪳 㫈 U+31E3 (㇣)

Besides, some strokes have been unified or abandoned in Unicode:

CJK basic and compound strokes which have been unified or abandoned
Stroke Name in PRC Abbr Full Name Note Example characters
横撇弯 HPW[4] Héng Piě Wān It only appears in Regular script, can be merged into stroke HPHP in Song typeface. 辶 过 边
竖折撇 SZP[7] Shù Zhé Piě This stroke has been merged into stroke SZZ in Unicode.[8] 专 𧦮 𤓷 𤦡
竖折折弯钩 SZZWG[4] Shù Zhé Zhé Wān Gōu This stroke has been merged into stroke SZZG in Unicode.[8] 弓 丐
W[4] Wān It never occurs alone, only appears inside compound strokes. 辶 豕 𢀓
弯钩 WG[4] Wān Gōu It never occurs alone, only appears inside compound strokes.
点捺 DN[7] Diǎn Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke TN or N in Unicode.[8] 內 全 廴
平捺 PN[7] Píng Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke N in Unicode.[8] 是 走 廴
提平捺 TPN[7] Tí Píng Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke N in Unicode.[8] 辶 之 辷

Note that some names in the list do not follow the rules of controlled vocabulary. For example, stroke P (Piě) is not found in the compound stroke PN. The name "PN" comes from 平捺 (pinyin: Píng Nà), not 撇捺 (pinyin: Piě Nà). The meaning of 平 (pinyin: Píng) is "flat", and it should be called "BN" 扁捺 (pinyin: Biǎn Nà) if the rules are to be followed closely. The letter "Z" in stroke SWZ means 左 (pinyin: Zuǒ), not 折 (pinyin: Zhé). The meaning of 左 is "left", and it is not defined in the naming convention. Moreover, some 折 (pinyin: Zhé) strokes are far more than or far less than 90°, such as stroke HZZZG, stroke HZZP and stroke PZ.

Some strokes are not included in the Unicode standard, such as , , , , , , etc.

In Simplified Chinese, stroke TN is usually written as (It was called "stroke DN", but Unicode has rejected it[8]).

Abbreviated naming conventions[edit]

On the other hand, naming conventions that use abbreviated forms of the CJK strokes also exist. After the names of CJK strokes are translated into English, first letters of the English names are used in the naming system. The controlled vocabulary can be divided into two groups.

The first group is the abbreviated forms of the basic strokes.

Abbreviation form of the basic strokes (10 items)
Abbr form H V T P D U C A J O
Shape of stroke
English name Horizontal Vertical Throw Press Dot Upward
J hook Oval
Chinese name

The second group is the abbreviated forms of deformations.

Abbreviation form of the deformations (10 items)
Abbr form F W S L R E N I M Z
English name Flat Wilted Slanted Left Right Extended Narrowed Inverted Mirrored Zag
Chinese name

“Zig” can be omitted in the naming system. The following table demonstrates the CJK stroke naming convention:

Inherited names of CJK basic and compound strokes (63 items)
Stroke Chinese
Full name Name in
Ming Kai
H Horizontal H 三 言 隹 花
斜橫 SH Slanted Horizontal (H) 七 弋 宅 戈
U Upward horizontal T 刁 求 虫 地
點挑 DU Dot – Upward horizontal (T) 冰 冷 汗 汁
V Vertical S 十 圭 川 仆
斜豎 SV Slanted Vertical (S) 丑 五 亙 貫
右斜豎 RSV Right Slanted Vertical (S) 𠙴
T Throw P 竹 大 乂 勿
扁撇 FT Flat Throw (P) 千 乏 禾 斤
直撇 WT Wilted Throw SP 九 厄 月 几
D Dot D 主 卜 夕 凡
長點 ED Extended Dot (D) 囪 囟 这 凶
左點 LD Left Dot (D) 心 忙 恭 烹
直點 WD Wilted Dot (D)
P Press N 人 木 尺 冬
挑捺 UP Upward horizontal – Press TN
橫捺 HP Horizontal – Press (TN) 入 八 內
扁捺 FP Flat Press (N) 走 足 廴
挑扁捺 UFP Upward horizontal – Flat Press (TN)
C Clockwise curve W
A Anticlockwise curve X
O Oval Q 〇 㔔 㪳 㫈
橫鈎 HJ Horizontal – J hook HG 冧 欠 冝 蛋
挑鈎 UJ Upward horizontal – J hook (HG)
橫撇 HT Horizontal – Throw HP 夕 水 登
橫斜 HSV Horizontal – Slanted Vertical (HP) 彔 互 恆
橫豎 HV Horizontal – Vertical HZ 口 己 臼 典
橫豎鈎 HVJ Horizontal – Vertical – J hook HZG 而 永 印
橫撇鈎 HTJ Horizontal – Throw – J hook (HZG) 勺 方 力 母
挑撇鈎 UTJ Upward horizontal – Throw – J hook (HZG)
橫豎橫 HVH Horizontal – Vertical – Horizontal HZZ 凹 兕 卍 雋
橫豎挑 HVU Horizontal – Vertical – Upward horizontal HZT 说 计
橫曲 HA Horizontal – Anticlockwise curve HZW 沿
橫曲鈎 HAJ Horizontal – Anticlockwise curve – J hook HZWG 九 几 凡 亢
橫捺鈎 HPJ Horizontal – Press – J hook (HZWG) 風 迅 飛 凰
橫撇曲鈎 HTAJ Horizontal – Throw – Anticlockwise curve – J hook HXWG 乙 氹 乞 乭
橫撇彎 HTC Horizontal – Throw – Clockwise curve ---
橫撇橫撇 HTHT Horizontal – Throw – Horizontal – Throw HZZP 延 建
橫撇彎鈎 HTCJ Horizontal – Throw – Clockwise curve – J hook HPWG 陳 陌 那 耶
橫豎橫豎 HVHV Horizontal – Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical HZZZ 凸 𡸭 𠱂 𢫋
橫撇橫撇鈎 HTHTJ Horizontal – Throw – Horizontal – Throw – J hook HZZZG 乃 孕 仍 盈
豎挑 VU Vertical – Upward horizontal ST 卬 氏 衣 比
豎橫 VH Vertical – Horizontal SZ 山 世 匡
豎曲 VA Vertical – Anticlockwise curve SW
豎曲鈎 VAJ Vertical – Anticlockwise curve – J hook SWG 孔 已 亂 也
豎橫豎 VHV Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical SZZ 鼎 亞 吳 卐
豎橫撇 VHT Vertical – Horizontal – Throw (SZZ) 奊 捑 𠱐 𧦮
豎橫撇鈎 VHTJ Vertical – Horizontal – Throw – J hook SZWG 弓 弟 丐 弱
豎鈎 VJ Vertical – J hook SG 小 水 到 寸
豎彎 VC Vertical – Clockwise curve SWZ 肅 嘯 蕭 瀟
豎彎鈎 VCJ Vertical – Clockwise curve – J hook --- 𨙨 𨛜 𨞠 𨞰
撇挑 TU Throw – Upward horizontal PZ 去 公 玄 鄉
撇橫 TH Throw – Horizontal (SZ) 互 母 牙 车
撇點 TD Throw – Dot PD 巡 兪 巢 粼
直撇點 WTD Wilted Throw – Dot (PD) 女 如 姦 㜢
撇橫撇 THT Throw – Horizontal – Throw (SZZ) 夨 𠨮 专 砖
撇橫撇鈎 THTJ Throw – Horizontal – Throw – J hook (SZWG) 污 號
撇鈎 TJ Throw – J hook PG
彎鈎 CJ Clockwise curve – J hook WG 狗 豸 豕 象
扁捺鈎 FPJ Flat Press – J hook BXG 心 必 沁 厯
捺鈎 PJ Press – J hook XG 弋 戈 我 銭
撇橫撇曲鈎 THTAJ Throw – Horizontal – Throw – Anticlockwise curve – J hook --- 𠃉 𦲳 𦴱
撇圈點 TOD Throw – Oval – Dot --- 𡧑 𡆢

Numbering scheme[edit]

A numbering scheme is a categorisation method where similar strokes are grouped into categories labeled by nominal numbers. Category numbering may be an index of numbers of types, with sub-types indicated by a decimal point followed by another number or a letter.[7]

The following table is a common numbering scheme that uses similar names as the Roman letter naming convention, but the stroke forms are grouped into major category types (1 to 5), which further break down into 25 sub-types in category 5.

Example of a CJK stroke numbering scheme (34 items)[9]
Type No. Stroke Name
(simplified Chinese and pinyin)
Horizontal (一)
1 1 Héng
Vertical (丨)
2 2 Shù
2.1 竖钩 Shù Gōu
Slash (丿)
3 3 Piě
Dot (丶)
4 4 Diǎn
4.2 提捺 Tí Nà
Type No. Stroke Name
(simplified Chinese and pinyin)
Turning stroke (折 Zhé = right angle turn) or (弯 Wān = curve turn)
5 5.1 横折 Héng Zhé
5.2 横撇 Héng Piě
5.3 横钩 Héng Gōu
5.4 竖折 Shù Zhé
5.5 竖弯 Shù Wān
5.6 竖提 Shù Tí
5.7 撇折 Piě Zhé
5.8 撇点 Piě Diǎn
5.9 卧钩 Wō Gōu
5.10 弯钩 Wān Gōu
5.11 斜钩 Xié Gōu
5.12 横折折 Héng Zhé Zhé
5.13 横折弯 Héng Zhé Wān
5.14 横折提 Héng Zhé Tí
5.15 横折钩 Héng Zhé Gōu
5.16 横斜钩 Héng Xié Gōu
5.17 竖折折 Shù Zhé Zhé
5.18 竖折撇 Shù Zhé Piě
5.19 竖弯钩 Shù Wān Gōu
5.20 横折折折 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé
5.21 横折折撇 Héng Zhé Zhé Piě
5.22 横折弯钩 Héng Zhé Wān Gōu
5.22.1 横斜弯钩 Héng Xié Wān Gōu
5.23 横撇弯钩 Héng Piě Wān Gōu
5.24 竖折折钩 Shù Zhé Zhé Gōu
5.25 横折折折钩 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé Gōu
  1. ^ Pipa
  2. ^ Kolo

Some strokes are not included in the numbering scheme, such as stroke , , , , , , , , etc.

Besides, there are ways of grouping strokes that are different from the Unicode standard. For example, stroke is merged into stroke in Unicode system, while it is merged into in this numbering scheme.

Number of strokes[edit]

Stroke number or stroke count is the number of strokes making up a character. Stroke count plays an important role in Chinese character sorting, teaching and computer information processing.[2] Stroke numbers vary dramatically from characters to characters, for example, characters , and have only one stroke, while the character has 36 strokes, and (a composition of in triplicate) has 48. The Chinese character with the most strokes in the entire Unicode character set is 𪚥 (the aforementioned in quadruplicate) with 64 strokes.[10][11]

Counting strokes[edit]

There are effective methods to count the strokes of a Chinese character correctly. First of all, stroke counting is to be carried out on the standard regular script form of the character, and according to its stroke order. And if needed, a standard list of strokes or list of stroke orders issued by the authoritative institution should be consulted.[12][13]

If two strokes are connected at the endpoints, whether they are separated into two strokes or linked into one stroke can be judged by the following rules:[14]

  1. If the two strokes are connected in the upper left corner of a character or component, then separate them into two strokes.
    Examples:  (stroke order: ㇐㇓), (㇑㇕㇐) and (㇑㇕㇐㇐).
  2. If they are connected in the upper right corner, then one stroke.
    Examples:  (㇑㇐), (㇓㇐㇐), (㇓㇑㇕㇐).
  3. If they are connected in the lower left corner, then if it is a fully enclosed structure, then count as two separated strokes
    Examples:  (), (㇐㇐), (㇕㇐㇑)
    • Exceptions: 惯, 實, 母, 马, 鸟, 乌
  4. If it is not fully enclosed, then count as one stroke.
    Examples:  (㇑㇑), (㇐㇓㇔), (㇐㇑㇑㇑㇕㇐㇐㇓㇆㇓㇔) .
    • Exceptions: 馬; 巨(Taiwan: 12511;Mainland:1515)
  5. If they are connected in the lower right corner, then two strokes.
    Examples:  (㇑㇕㇐), (㇑㇕㇐㇐), (㇑㇐㇑).

An important prerequisite for connecting two strokes into one stroke is: the tail of the first stroke is connected with the head of the second stroke.

Distribution of characters[edit]

Chart of Standard Forms of Common National Characters is a standard character set of 4,808 characters issued by Taiwan's Ministry of Education. The stroke numbers of characters range from 1 to 32 strokes. The 11-stroke group has the most characters, taking 9.297% of the character set. On the average, there are 12.186 strokes per character.[13][15]

The List of Frequently Used Characters in Modern Chinese (现代汉语常用字表) is a standard character set of 3,500 characters issued by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.[16] The stroke numbers of characters range from 1 to 24 strokes. The 9-strokes characters are the most, taking 11.857% of the character set. On the average, there are 9.7409 strokes per character.[17]

The Unicode Basic CJK Unified Ideographs is an international standard character set issued by ISO and Unicode, the same character set of the China national standard 13000.1. There are 20,902 Chinese characters, including simplified and traditional characters from China, Japan and Korea (CJK).[18] The stroke numbers of characters range from 1 to 48 strokes. The 12-strokes group has the most characters, taking 9.358% of the character set. On the average, there are 12.845 strokes per character.[19][17]

Stroke form[edit]

Stroke forms (笔形; 筆形; bǐxíng) are the shapes of strokes. Different classification schemes have different numbers of categories by which one may classify individual strokes.[20]

Two categories[edit]

The strokes of modern Chinese characters can be divided into plane strokes (平笔) and turning or bent strokes (折笔) .[21]

  • Plane or basic strokes move in only one direction, or only curve gently—usually less than 90 degrees.
Examples: heng (, ), ti (, ), shu (, ), pie (, ), dian (, ), na (, )
  • Bent strokes are composed of plane strokes and turning points with sharper bends. Bent strokes also called derived strokes (派生笔形) or compound strokes (复合笔形).[22]
Examples: ㇕ ㇅ ㇎ ㇡ ㇋ ㇊ ㇍ ㇈ 乙 ㇆ ㇇ ㇌ ㇗ ㇞ ㇉ ㄣ ㇙ ㇄ ㇟ ㇚ ㇜ ㇛ ㇃ ㇂.

Five categories[edit]

When the six plane strokes of “heng (横, ㇐), ti (提, ㇀), shu (竖, ㇑), pie (撇, ㇓), dian (点, ㇔), na (捺, ㇏)” are classified into four categories by putting "ti" into category heng, and na into dian, then together with the bent stroke category, a five-category system is formed:[23]

  1. heng (, ), ti (, ).
  2. shu (, ).
  3. pie (, ).
  4. dian (, ), na (, ).
  5. Bent strokes: ㇕ ㇅ ㇎ ㇡ ㇋ ㇊ ㇍ ㇈ 乙 ㇆ ㇇ ㇌ ㇗ ㇞ ㇉ ㄣ ㇙ ㇄ ㇟ ㇚ ㇜ ㇛ ㇃ ㇂.

Current national standards of PRC such as Stroke Orders of Commonly-used Standard Chinese Characters and many reference works published in China adopt the five categories of strokes, and stipulate the hengshupiedianzhe (横竖撇点折) stroke-group order. This order is consistent with the stroke order of the character (zhá): ㇐㇑㇓㇔㇟, and as such is called the " order".[12] In Hong Kong and Taiwan among other places, people also use the group order of dianhengshupiezhe (點橫豎撇折)[24]

The five basic strokes of heng (), shu (), pie (丿), dian (), and zhe (𠃍) at the beginning of each group are called main stroke shapes; and the following strokes are called subordinate stroke shapes, or secondary strokes. The name of a category is the name of the main stroke. For example, category heng include main stroke heng and secondary stroke ti.

There are disputes over the classification of the vertical hook stroke () among the five types of strokes. In the currently effective national standards, belongs to category shu,[25] but some language scholars argue that it should be put in the zhe ('bend') category.[22]

Eight categories[edit]

In this classification, a new category gou ( 'hook'), which include all the strokes with hooks, is divided out from the original bend category; then, together with the six types of plane strokes, an eight-category system is formed:[23]

  1. heng (): ㇐.
  2. ti (提): ㇀.
  3. shu (竖): ㇑.
  4. pie (撇): ㇓.
  5. dian (点): ㇔.
  6. na (捺): ㇏.
  7. zhe (折 'bend'): ㇕ ㇅ ㇎ ㇋ ㇊ ㇍ ㇇ ㇗ ㇞ ㄣ ㇙ ㇄ ㇜ ㇛.
  8. gou (钩, 'hook'): ㇡ ㇈ 乙 ㇆ ㇌ ㇉ ㇟ ㇚ ㇃ ㇂.

Because the character (yǒng; 'forever') happens to contain strokes similar to each of these eight types, this classification is also called the Eight Principles of Yong.

CJK strokes[edit]

The stroke forms of a standard Chinese character set can be classified into a more detailed stroke table (or stroke list), for instance, the Unicode CJK strokes list has 36 types of stroke:

CJK Strokes[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

A stroke table is also called a stroke alphabet, whose function in the Chinese writing system is akin to the Latin alphabet for the English writing system.

YES strokes[edit]

Another stroke table is the YES Stroke Alphabet, which is used in YES stroke alphabetical order.[26]

Stroke alphabet[edit]

This is a list of 30 strokes:

㇐ ㇕ ㇅ ㇎ ㇡ ㇋ ㇊ ㇍ ㇈ 乙 ㇆ ㇇ ㇌ ⺄ ㇀ ㇑ ㇗ ㇞ ㇉ ㄣ ㇙ ㇄ ㇟ ㇚ ㇓ ㇜ ㇛ ㇃ ㇔ ㇏ ㇂

The stroke alphabet is built on the basis of Unicode CJK Strokes[27] and the Standard of Chinese Character Bending Strokes of the GB13000.1 Character Set.[28] There are totally 30 strokes, sorted by the standard plane strokes order of heng (; , ), tiao, ti (; , ), shu (, ), pie (, 丿), dian (; , ), na (, ) and the bending points order of zhe (), wan (; ) and gou (; ).[29]


The English name is formed by the initial Pinyin letters of each character in the Chinese name, similar to the naming of CJK strokes in Unicode,[27] (i.e., H: heng, T: ti/tiao, S: shu, P: pie, D: dian, N: na; z: zhe, w: wan and g: gou).

YES stroke names
Stroke English name Chinese name Example[a]
  • First stroke of
  • First stroke of
HzS 横折竖 • Second stroke of

• First stroke of

HzSzH 横折竖折横 • Second stroke of
HzSzHzS 横折竖折横折竖 • Fourth stroke of
HzSzHzSg 横折竖折横折竖钩 • First stroke of

• Fifth stroke of

HzSzHzP 横折竖折横折撇 • Second stroke of

• Fifth stroke of

HzSzT 横折竖折提 • Second stroke of

• Second stroke of 鸠鳩

HzSwH 横折竖弯横 • Second stroke of

• Fifth stroke of

㇈() HzSwHg 横折竖弯横钩 • Second stroke of

• Last stroke of 亿

HzSg 横折竖钩 • Second stroke of

• First stroke of

㇇(乛) HzP 横折撇 • First stroke of

• Third stroke of

HzPzPg 横折撇折撇钩 • First stroke of

• Ninth stroke of

HzNg 横折捺钩 • First stroke of

• Second stroke of

T • Third stroke of

• Third stroke of

• Third stroke of

S • Second stroke of

• Second stroke of

㇗(㇜) SzH 竖折横 • Second stroke of

• Second stroke of

SzHzS 竖折横折竖 • Sixth stroke of

• Fourth stroke of

SzHzSg 竖折横折竖钩 • Second stroke of

• Third stroke of

SzHzP 竖折横折撇 • Third stroke of

• Seventh stroke of

SzT 竖折提 • Third stroke of

• First stroke of

SwH 竖弯横 • Fourth stroke of

• Fifth stroke of 西

SwHg 竖弯横钩 • Third stroke of

• Last stroke of

• Second stroke of

Sg 竖钩 • First stroke of

• Second stroke of

P • First stroke of

• First stroke of

• First stroke of

PzT 撇折提 • Sixth stroke of

• First and second strokes of

PzD 撇折点 • First stroke of

• First, Second and third strokes of

[30] Pg 撇钩 • Second stroke of

• First stroke of

D • First and second strokes of

• First and second strokes of

㇏(〇) N • Second stroke of

• Last stroke of

, Last stroke of

㇂(㇃) Ng 捺钩 • Second stroke of

• Fourth stroke of

• Second stroke of in Regular font

For more on stroke forms, stroke naming and stroke tables, please visit the previous sections.

Stroke order[edit]

The term stroke order can refer to one of two concepts:

  • The direction in which a stroke is written—for example, the heng (; 'horizontal') stroke is made horizontally from left to right, while the shu (; 'vertical') stroke is written vertically from top to bottom.
  • The order in which strokes are written one by one to form a Chinese character.

Because the direction of strokes is relatively simple, people generally refer to the latter meaning when talking about stroke order.

Certain stroke orders guidelines are recommended to ensure speed, accuracy, and legibility in composition, as most Chinese characters have many strokes. As such, teachers enforce exactly one stroke order for each character, marking every deviation as a mistake, so everyone writes these characters the same way.[citation needed] The stroke order follows a few simple rules, though, which aids in memorizing these. To write CJK characters, one must know how to write CJK strokes, and thus, needs to identify the basic strokes that make up a character.

The most basic rules of stroke order are:

  1. Heng, () then shu ().
  2. Pie, (丿) then na ().
  3. Up, then down.
  4. Left, then right.
  5. Outside, then inside.

The stroke orders of ; and ; are


The order of strokes is a summary of people's experience in writing Chinese characters correctly and conveniently. It plays an important role in the teaching, sorting and computer information processing of Chinese characters. The stroke order of cursive script (草書) is quite flexible and changeable, so the standard of stroke order generally refers to the stroke order of regular script (楷書).

The current stroke order standards are

  • China's Stroke Orders of the Commonly-used Standard Chinese Characters (通用规范汉字笔顺规范[12]), and
  • Taiwan's Handbook of the Stroke Orders of the Commonly-used National Chinese Characters (常用國字標準字體筆順手册[13]).

Character Sorting[edit]

Chinese characters can be sorted into different orders by their strokes. Stroke-based sorting methods include Stroke-count sorting, Stroke-order sorting, Stroke-count-stroke-order sorting, and YES sorting.

Stroke-count sorting[edit]

Characters may be sorted by their number of strokes. For example, the different characters in 汉字笔画漢字筆劃 are sorted into:

  •  (5)
  •  (6)
  •  (8)
  • (10)
  •  (12)
  •  (14)

Stroke-order sorting[edit]

The characters are firstly arranged by their first strokes according to an order of stroke groups—such as

  1. heng ()
  2. shu ()
  3. pie ()
  4. dian ()
  5. zhe ()


  1. dian ()
  2. heng ()
  3. shu ()
  4. pie ()
  5. zhe ()

then the characters with first strokes belonging to the same group, if any, are sorted by their second strokes in a similar way, and so on. This method is usually employed to support stroke-count sorting to deal with characters of the same stroke number. For instance, (12) starts with stroke of the pie () group, and (12) starts with of the zhe () group, and pie is before zhe in groups order, so goes before .

Stroke–count–stroke–order sorting[edit]

This is a combination of the previous two methods. In China, stroke-based sorting normally refers to stroke–count–stroke–order sorting. The Chinese national standard stroke-based sorting is in fact an enhanced stroke-count-stroke-order method[31] Characters are arranged by stroke count, followed by stroke order. For example, the different characters in 汉字笔画漢字筆劃 are sorted into

  •  (5)
  •  (6)
  •  (8)
  •  (10)
  •  (12)
  •  (12)
  •  (14)

where each character is put at a unique position.

YES sorting[edit]

YES is a simplified stroke-based sorting method free of stroke counting and grouping, but without comprising accuracy. It has been used successfully to index the characters in the Xinhua Zidian and Xiandai Hanyu Cidian.[32]

Stroke combination[edit]

There are three types of combinations between two strokes (笔划组合; 筆劃組合; bǐhuà zǔhé):[33]

  1. Separation: the strokes are separated from each other. Such as: 八, 三, 小.
  2. Connection: the strokes are connected, this type can be further divided into two categories:
    1. The end point of one stroke is connected with the body of another stroke
      1. An end of the first stroke is connected to the following stroke's body, such as (stroke order: ㇓㇟),
      2. The body of the first stroke is connected to an end of the following stroke, such as: (㇓㇏).
    2. Two strokes are connected end to end, including
      1. head-to-head (首首), such as (stroke order: ㇐㇓),
      2. tail-to-tail (尾尾), such as the first two strokes of (㇕㇐㇉),
      3. tail-to-head (尾首), such as (㇇㇚). Another example: in character (㇑㇕㇐), the first two strokes are connected head-to-head, the second two tail-to-tail, and the last stroke is connected to the first stroke head-to-tail.
  3. Intersection: the strokes are intersected. Such as: 十丈車.

In a Chinese character, multiple stroke combinations are usually used together. Such as: .

The same strokes and stroke order may form different Chinese characters or character components due to different combinations. For example:[33]

  • 刀力 (stroke order: ㇆㇓),
  • 由田 (㇑㇕㇐㇑㇐),
  • 工土士 (㇐㇑㇐),
  • 八人入乂 (㇓㇏),
  • 甲曱申叶 (㇑㇕㇐㇐㇑),
  • 己已巳 (㇕㇐㇟).

Stroke combinations can function to distinguish Chinese characters.


The following tables present some experimental results on the distribution of Chinese character strokes in several dictionaries and character sets. The strokes are summarized in the five categories of heng (, 'horizontal'), shu (, 'vertical'), pie (, 丿 'left-falling'), dian (, 'dot') and zhe (, 𠃍 'bent').


Frequency of strokes in the Cihai
Stroke type Characters Appearances Frequency (%)
heng 15,830 63,658 30.6638%
shu 14,997 39,811 19.1761%
zhe 15,222 36505 17.5845%
dian 13,832 36,346 17.5076%
pie 14,202 31,285 15.0695%

where field Characters includes the numbers of characters containing the strokes of each type, and field Appearances includes the number of appearances of the strokes in each type. The data is from an experiment on the 16,339 traditional and simplified Chinese characters in the Cihai (1979 edition), sorted in descending order of frequencies of appearance.[34]

Frequencies of strokes in the Unicode CJK Chinese character set[18]
Stroke type Characters Appearances Frequency (%)
heng 20,219 82,712 30.808%
shu 19,302 51,460 19.167%
dian 17,754 48,089 17.912%
zhe 19,310 45,279 16.865%
pie 18,295 40,940 15.249%

The data is from an experiment on the 20,902 traditional and simplified Chinese characters in the GB13000.1 character set—equivalent to the Unicode BMP CJK Chinese character set—sorted in descending order of frequencies of appearance.[19][15]

The statistical results above made by different people on different character sets are basically consistent: The most commonly used stroke is heng (), followed by shu (). The least used is pie (). The orders of dian () and zhe () are different, though their frequencies are close.

Initial and final strokes of characters[edit]

Chinese Character Information Dictionary initial and final strokes for characters[35]
Stroke type Characters started Frequency (%) Characters ended Frequency (%)
heng 2322 29.827% 2288 29.390%
pie 1767 22.697% 360 4.624%
dian 1729 22.209% 3115 40.012%
shu 1247 16.017% 1202 15.439%
zhe 719 9.248% 819 10.533%

There are 2,322 characters started with the heng stroke, 29.827% of the dictionary. There are 2,288 characters that end with heng, or 29.390% of the dictionary.

The data of the table is from an experiment on the 7,784 characters in the Chinese Character Information Dictionary, sorted in descending order of numbers of characters started.[35]

Unicode CJK character set first and last strokes of characters[18]
Stroke type Characters started Frequency (%) Characters ended Frequency (%)
heng 6194 29.632% 5819 27.837%
pie 4953 23.695% 890 4.258%
dian 4506 21.557% 8964 42.882%
shu 3305 15.811% 3089 14.777%
zhe 1945 9.305% 2142 10.247%

The data is from an experiment on the 20,902 traditional and simplified Chinese characters in the GB13000.1 character set—equivalent to the Unicode BMP CJK character set—sorted by the number of characters started in descending order.[19][15]

The above statistical results on the first and last strokes of Chinese characters made by different people on different character sets are consistent.

The descending orders of strokes by number of characters started are all

  1. heng
  2. pie
  3. dian
  4. shu
  5. zhe

and the descending orders of strokes by number of characters ended are all

  1. dian
  2. heng
  3. shu
  4. zhe
  5. pie

Some rules can be drawn from here, such as: Stroke pie generally does not appear as the last stroke of a character or component, but more often as the first stroke. Stroke dian, including na (), appear more often at the end of characters or components.

Eight Principles of Yong[edit]

The Eight Principles of Yong explain how to write eight common strokes in regular script which are found all in one character, (pinyin: yǒng, "forever", "permanence"). It was traditionally believed that the frequent practice of these principles as a beginning calligrapher could ensure beauty in one's writing.

Eight principle strokes extracted from , "eternity" (five basic strokes: D, T, W, P, N and one compound stroke HZG). Enlarge this image to see the red arrows, showing the way of writing of each.
Eight basic strokes[5]
- the Diǎn 點 / 点, is a dot, filled from the top, to the bottom, traditionally made by "couching" the brush on the page.
- the Héng 横, is horizontal, filled from left to right, the same way the Latin letters A, B, C, D are written.
- the Shù 豎 / 竖, is vertical-falling. The brush begins by a dot on top, then falls downward.
- the Gōu 鈎(鉤) / 钩, ending another stroke, is a sharp change of direction either down (after a Heng) or left (after a Shù).
- the 提 / Tiāo 提, is a flick up and rightwards.
- the Wān 彎 / 弯, follows a concave path on the left or on the right.
- the Piě 撇, is a falling leftwards (with a slight curve).
- the 捺, is falling rightwards (with an emphasis at the end of the stroke).
(+ - the Xié 斜 is sometimes added to the 永's strokes. It's a concave Shù falling right, always ended by a Gōu).

Use in computing[edit]

The stroke count method is based on the order of strokes to input characters on Chinese mobile phones.

As part of Chinese character encoding, there have been several proposals to encode the CJK strokes, most of time with a total around 35~40 entries. Most notable is the current Unicode block “CJK Strokes” (U+31C0..U+31EF), with 36 types of strokes:

CJK Strokes[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also[edit]


  1. ^ according to the stroke orders in Standard of GB13000.1 Character Set Chinese Character Order (Stroke-Based Order)[19]



  1. ^ Su 2014, p. 74.
  2. ^ a b Su 2014, pp. 74–75.
  3. ^ Su 2014, pp. 74–75; Qiu 2013, pp. 74–79.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Lopez, Hugo (2007). "CJK 37 Strokes (fr:Traits chinois)".
  5. ^ a b The extended CJK(V) set of strokes has 29 strokes. These most common 29 used strokes can be reduced to combinations of 8 basic strokes, for a total of 37 strokes. The subset of 8 is found in the character "eternity" 永, hence the name of this set. But other sets of CJK(V) strokes can be found.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Proposed additions to the CJK Strokes block of the UCS (PDF), Ideographic Rapporteur Group, April 3, 2006; Documentation of CJK Strokes (Version 11.0) (PDF), The Unicode Standard / the Unicode Consortium, June 1, 2018
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Bishop, Tom; Cook, Richard (May 23, 2004), Character Description Language (CDL): The Set of Basic CJK Unified Stroke Types (PDF), Wenlin Institute, p. 8, S2CID 14099922, archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2018
  8. ^ a b c d e f IRGN 1174: Summary Report of Strokes Ad Hoc Group, Strokes Ad Hoc Group, Dec 1, 2005; Documentation of CJK Strokes (Version 11.0) (PDF), The Unicode Standard / the Unicode Consortium, June 1, 2018
  9. ^ "《GB13000.1字符集汉字折笔规范》" (PDF) (in Chinese). 中华人民共和国教育部 国家语言文字工作委员会. December 19, 2001.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Unicode Consortium 2023.
  12. ^ a b c PRC 2021.
  13. ^ a b c Taiwan 1996.
  14. ^ Su 2014, pp. 75–76.
  15. ^ a b c (Lecture notes of the subject "Modern Chinese Characters and Information Technology", Dept of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnical University, by Dr. Zhang Xiaoheng, June 12, 2017.)
  16. ^ 现代汉语常用字表 Archived 2016-11-13 at the Wayback Machine [List of Frequently Used Characters in Modern Chinese], Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, 26 Jan 1988.
  17. ^ a b Xing 2007, pp. 20–21.
  18. ^ a b c
  19. ^ a b c d National Language Commission 1999.
  20. ^ Fei 1997.
  21. ^ PRC 2021, p. 1.
  22. ^ a b Su 2014, p. 78.
  23. ^ a b Su 2014, p. 79.
  24. ^ Wang 2003, p. 24.
  25. ^ National Language Commission 1999, p. 2.
  26. ^ Zhang 2013.
  27. ^ a b "Unicode CJK Strokes" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  28. ^ PRC 2002.
  29. ^ Zhang 2013, pp. 5–6.
  30. ^ Su 2014.
  31. ^ "《GB13000.1字符集汉字字序(笔画序)规范》" (PDF) (in Chinese). 中华人民共和国教育部 国家语言文字工作委员会. 1 October 1999.
  32. ^ Zhang Xiaoheng (张小衡) Li Xiaotong (李笑通) (2013). 一二三笔顺检字手册 (Handbook of the YES Sorting Method) (in Chinese). Beijing: The Language Press. ISBN 978-7-80241-670-3.
  33. ^ a b Su 2014, p. 82.
  34. ^ Fu 1999, p. 15.
  35. ^ a b Li 1988, p. 998.

Works cited[edit]

  • Fei, Jinchang. (費錦昌) (1997). "現代漢字筆劃規範芻議". 世界漢語教學. (1997) (2).
  • Fu, Yonghe 傅永和 (1999). 中文信息处理 [Chinese Information Processing] (in Chinese) (Third ed.). Guangzhou: 广东教育出版社 (Guangdong Education Press). ISBN 9-787540-640804.
  • Li, Dasui (李大遂) (2013). 简明实用汉字学 (Concise and Practical Chinese Characters) (in Chinese) (Third ed.). Beijing: Peking University Press. ISBN 978-7-301-21958-4.
  • Li, Gongyi 李公宜 (1988). Liu, Rushui 劉如水 (ed.). 漢字信息字典 [Chinese Character Information Dictionary] (in Chinese). Beijing: 科学出版社 (Science Press). ISBN 7-03-000862-6.
  • National Language Commission, PRC (1999). GB13000.1字符集汉字字序(笔画序)规范 (Standard of GB13000.1 Character Set Chinese Character Order (Stroke-Based Order)) (PDF) (in Chinese). Shanghai Education Press. ISBN 7-5320-6674-6.
  • PRC, National Language Commission (2002). GB13000.1字符集汉字折笔规范 (Standard of Chinese character bending strokes of the GB13000.1 character set). Beijing: 语文出版社 (the Language Press). ISBN 978-7-80-126882-2.
  • PRC, National Language Commission (2021). 通用规范汉字笔顺规范 (Stroke Orders of the Commonly-used Standard Chinese Characters) (in Chinese). Beijing: the Commercial Press. ISBN 978-7-100-19347-4.
  • Qiu, Xigui 裘锡圭 (2013). 文字学概要 [Chinese Writing] (in Chinese) (Second ed.). Beijing: 商务印书馆 (Commercial Press). ISBN 978-7-100-09369-9.
  • Su, Peicheng (苏培成) (2014). 现代汉字学纲要 (Essentials of Modern Chinese Characters) (in Chinese) (Third ed.). Beijing: 商务印书馆 (Commercial Press). ISBN 978-7-100-10440-1.
  • Taiwan, 國語推行委員會 (National Language Promotion Committee) (1996). 常用國字標準字體筆順手册 (Handbook of the Stroke Orders of the Commonly-Used National Chinese Characters) (in Chinese). Taipei: Ministry of Education. ISBN 978-9-57-090664-6.
  • Unicode Consortium (2023). Unicode Standard, Version 15.1.0. Mountain View, CA: Unicode Consortium.
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