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How to make your own templates?

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Hi everyone,

I've been reading around the forum and have downloaded some box template to help improve my Chinese handwriting.

I was wondering if there was a way to superimpose the typed handwriting fonts onto those template so I can print them out and trace over them.

Any info would be great!

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Hi ya,

I made my own templates in Excel. It was really easy. You could add the characters in the grid if you have a chinese input method. If you choose a light grey or light red font colour, as is often used for this purpose you can print your own. Good luck, Shelley

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Those can be created using vector graphics editors such as Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape.

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Making the sheets using spreadsheets isn't too difficult, so both Excel or OpenOffice's Calc should work fine. I preferred the former since it had an "Export to PDF" function, which is ideal for sharing these sheets with friends/classmates. I've uploaded one, so you can take a look... If I can find my original .ods template file, I can also pass that your way.

When making many of these, the main advantage of a spreadsheet is using the functions to speed up the process of repeating the characters throughout. For example, in my sheet the two large characters are in boxes A1 and D1. All of the other characters fill themselves in automatically using the formulas "=A1" and "=D1". Type two characters and the rest of the sheet instantly fills itself in ^_^ It forces you to make and work from templates for vocab from 1-4 characters, but it saves a tonne of time in the end.

The font I've always used is called "AR PL Ukai CN", seems to be based on the way characters are written by hand and is freely available. I would upload it here, but it exceeds the file size limit.

a1 yi2 - 阿姨.pdf

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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions guys!

I never thought it would be so easy to make these templates with excel!

It's saved me a bunch of time and I hope that my writing will become better soon.

Edit: I had another quick question. When using excel, is there any way to make the cross-lines in the background? Or is that not really necessary to see the proportions of the characters?

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When using excel, is there any way to make the cross-lines in the background?

I'm assuming you mean the ones which split each square into 4, making it easier to keep radicals etc in proportion... I've never figured out a way, though it may be possible.

I never thought it would be so easy to make these templates with excel!

As easy as it is, you will reach a point where these sheets are overkill, or you simply too troublesome to constantly make/print. For example, I loved them in my first-year university class back home. However, once I started studying in China, and the pace picked up exponentially, I just said forget it and started making practice sheets nightly, by hand, for the following days class, writing two (or max three) lines per vocab.

It may be worthwhile trying a more efficient study method before sinking hours into making these. For example, mine right now is: 1) write each vocab for 1-2 lines on a grid (10-20x depending); 2) after every five vocab or so I quiz myself from the beginning; 3) write an extra line for each one I forgot then move on to the next five. Surprisingly, most never need to be repeated. So, you often only write each vocab a handful of times, yet the periodic revision makes them stick as well as if you had filled an entire sheet.

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