Stroke Order Principles

1. If a character has a top half and a bottom half, do the top half first.

2. If a character has a left half and a right half, do the left half first.

3. If a character divides diagonally, do the part in the upper right triangle first, and then the part in the lower left triangle.

4. If a character has an outer part and an inner part, do the outer part first (except for a closing stroke on the bottom if present), and then do the inner part (and then close the bottom if necessary.

5. If there is a "top knot," do it first.

6. Start writing horizontal strokes or nearly horizontal strokes at the top.

7. If a vertical stroke cuts through one or more horizontal strokes, write the strokes it will cut through first, and then do the vertical stroke.

8. If there is a bottom-closing part, draw that after all the  "insides" of the character
have been written.

9. If the character is symmetrical from left to right, do the center part first, then the left, and finally the right.

10. If there are any dots or miscellaneous short lines (except for a central dot at the top of a character), do them after the main part of the character has been finished.

For a PDF file giving this information plus chacters with some strokes numbered, click here.  (Single strokes with sharp turns are sometimes colored red for clarity.)