I've seen two different stroke orders for this character: enter image description here


enter image description here

Which one is more "correct" or widely used?

It seems to me that the fourth stroke in the latter picture is incorrect, and that it should be part of the second one. Is this right?

  • 1
    I don't really see them as wrong or right. They are just alternative stroke orders to me. Apr 17, 2013 at 21:55
  • Maybe you should look in 康熙字典 and see what is the correct stroke number. Apr 23, 2013 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


I believe for 印 the 1st one is correct. 氏 is written in this order: enter image description here. The first 3 strokes are exactly same as those first 3 stroks in 印.

Consider the following characters: 卯, 留,齊(齐). We finish this part first, enter image description here, then add the next strokes, which are 丿, 丶, and ㇏ respectively.

But if you make the font of 印 like this, the 2nd order in your question is correct.

enter image description here

The discussion above is for 楷书. But the stroke orders are sometimes different for 行书 or 草书, in order to write faster. See the following examples:

enter image description here

Take enter image description here as an example, the stroke order is:enter image description here


Unfortunately, there is no one universal correct stroke order. It differs:

  • from country to country,
  • between radical, standalone and handwriting forms,

It may be different in each of:

  • Mainland China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Taiwan,
  • Japan,
  • Korea,
  • Vietnam.

"The modern governments of mainland China, Hong Kong,Taiwan, and Japan have standardized official stroke orders to be taught in schools. These stroke order standards are prescribed in conjunction to each government's standard character sets. The various official stroke orders agree on the vast majority of characters, but each have their differences. No governmental standard matches traditional stroke orders completely. The differences between the governmental standards and traditional stroke orders arise from accommodation for schoolchildren who may be overwhelmed if the rules about stroke orders are too detailed, or if there are too many exceptions." - says Wikipedia.

Even more to that differences, there may also be variants of the same character in different font sets.
enter image description here

Even in English there are differences in spelling, too, e.g.: theater vs. theatre.

  • 2
    I don't see how variations of 次 have any indication to stroke order.
    – L Parker
    Sep 2, 2021 at 15:02
  • They don't indicate that indeed. It is just to illustrate that there is no single correct spelling rule set for all the characters.
    – Leonid
    Sep 2, 2021 at 15:20
  • 2
    But you could have referred to standards in stroke order that are different instead, which would have been relevant for the question! How about various ways of writing 心字旁?
    – Olle Linge
    Sep 3, 2021 at 8:56
  • Updated with the link to Wikipedia referring to standards.
    – Leonid
    Sep 5, 2021 at 13:17

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