Slant (handwriting)

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Slant is the predominant angle of the downward stroke in handwriting based on Latin script. The slant of a sample of writing is a feature of many regional handwriting variations, and also a reflection of the copybook that is taught.


Copybook Slant When introduced Region of origin
Handwriting without Tears 90 1976 United States
Carolingian 90 9th century Europe
Humanistic Hand 90 15th century Europe
Zaner-Bloser ? 1904 United States
D'Nealian 85 1978 United States
Getty-Dubay Italic 85 1976 United States
Palmer Method 85 1884 United States
BFH script 80 1997 United States
Copperplate 55 17th century Europe
SmithHand 55 2000s United States
Spanish Copybook 55 1650s Central Spain
Spencerian 52 1840s United States
  • Slant is measured in degrees counterclockwise from the base line;
  • A slant of less than 90 degrees is a right-hand slant;
  • A slant of more than 90 degrees is a left-hand slant. (No examples in the above table.)

Measurement of slants[edit]

A good basis for its estimation is the point of the handwritten curve where the velocity has its peak value in the downward stroke. The polar distribution of the running angle along a handwritten trajectory is another good method for estimating the slant angle. Left-handed writing is often accompanied by a slant value which is larger than 90 degrees, i.e., it is bent backward, to the left.


In Graphology slant can refer to either upstroke or downstroke values. These strokes can be made in the upper, middle, lower, or any combination of those zones.

Handwriting recognition[edit]

In handwriting recognition, an affine transformation can be used to normalize handwritten input towards a population average or towards 90 degrees.

See also[edit]