What is the suggested pattern on paper to learn handwriting?

On the web, I've found many kind of paper, such as those named 九宫格 jiǔgōnggé, 米字格 mǐzìgé, 田字格 tiánzìgé, etc.

I've got a book of chinese characters in which some characters are displayed on a 九宫格 jiǔgōnggé pattern while other characters are on a 米字格 mǐzìgé pattern.

I wonder which one should be preferred (if any), or if different characters suit better on certain patterns. Which paper is used by children at school, for example?

  • 4
    All these patterns are to help children observe the position of each stroke in a square. In my opinion, there's no preferred one. It depends on one's habit of observation. From the functional aspect (dividing the square), "Mi Zi Ge" is more detailed than "Tian Zi Ge". And from the adoption aspect, when I was in primary school, "Mi Zi Ge" or "Tian Zi Ge" were more often seen in the textbooks.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 11:00
  • 1
    Second to @Stan, when I was in elementary school (in Beijing in the 90's), we were also using 田字格/米字格. I believe 九宫格 is overly granular for common learning purposes and you couldn't easily find 九宫格 paper in the stores.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 16:52

3 Answers 3


I used 田字格 when I was in elementary school and tried 九宫格 when learning calligraphy. For daily handwriting, I suggest 田字格。


I would suggest go ahead try them all by yourself, it vary from people to people. But same as @Stan said it is just helping you to have a better sense of positioning each stroke.

But I want to mention that it only works well if you have a sample showed in a similar pattern and you try to make it looks the same way.

Think about what you would do to an English handwriting practice paper for English, it's actually the same idea. You need to firstly actually know where you should write on it, and then practice. And the eventual goal is no longer need it.


When I was in the elementary school (1999-2005), our class use 田字格 for most case, sometimes 米字格, never used 九宫格

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.