Stroke Order and Direction

The stroke order and direction are important when drawing HanGul and HanJa characters by hand. The stroke order is particularly important when sketching a HanJa character on a computer to search for its HanGul pronunciation or definition. The following guidelines generally apply to drawing both HanGul and HanJa characters:

Stroke Direction

o Draw individual strokes from top-to-bottom or left-to-right, when possible.

o Right–to-left diagonals are drawn top-to-bottom and right-to-left.

Stroke Order

o Draw horizontal strokes before vertical strokes.

o Start with the strokes on the top and work down to the ones on the bottom.

o Draw the left-to-right diagonals before the right-to-left diagonals.

o Strokes that pass thru many others are drawn last.

o For symmetric characters, draw the center stroke first, strokes left of center second, and strokes right of center last.

o Draw very small strokes last.

o Use 3 strokes to draw a square. Draw the left side first (top-to-bottom), draw the top (left-to-right) and right (top-to-bottom) in one stroke that includes a corner, then draw the bottom stroke (left-to-right).

o If a stroke or group of strokes is inside a square group of strokes, draw the outside square first then the contents.

To see how any HanJa are drawn, go to, look up a character by typing HanGul or sketching HanJa with the mouse, then look at the “획순 보기”section to see the stroke order. You can also click on the button by that section title to see an animation demonstrating the correct stroke direction and order.

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