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imron

Introducing Hanzi Grids - A tool for creating printable worksheets for handwriting practice

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imron

Because the plan is to allow people to upload their own content and save their favourite layouts, however that part wasn't quite ready yet so I left it out of the initial release (it will be coming shortly though). At the same time I'd like to be able to contact people who are interested in knowing when that (and other future) update occurs.

I also imagine most people are either like me and have a generic email, separate from their main address, that they use for registering at any random site on the internet, or it doesn't bother them enough to care.

I hate spam as much as the next person, and I'm not going to use anyone's email except for those who have opted-in to receive updates on matters related to the site. Such emails are not going to be the sort of generic marketing fluff that some sites seem to feel a need to send out every few weeks, it's only going to be when something happens regarding the site that is particularly noteworthy.

I respect people's desire not to receive such email if that is their preference and you'll note I don't even pre-select the email opt-in check box like many sites do (something that always annoys me when I see it). At the same time, some people are interested in receiving email notifications of updates (judging by the current sign-ups, it's about half and half, with slightly more people opting-in), and it's a convenient way to let people know what's happening.

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imron

I've had a number of people ask about Hanzi Grids and extra fonts, and so I've created a poll here to see if there is enough interest in this to support me licensing the fonts involved. Let me know what you think in that thread.

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semantic nuance

It's very useful and great. I can print words for my nephew and niece to practice. It would be perfect if there're strokes for each word! But I'm contented to use this tool so far.

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semantic nuance

I just tried to typeon the grid, andI found it is written as 立 instead of 文 (which should be the correct part of the word), why?

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imron

Most likely a font problem. On my computer is displayed with a 立. What font do you normally use that has it displayed as 文?

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semantic nuance

I used this tool to type 薩, and it turned out to display 文 in it. Also, when I typed 薩,it appeared with 文 in it, and I had no idea why it displayed as 立 after I posted.

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imron

It will be because a different font is being used, and the two different fonts have slightly different glyphs for the same character. Just like how some fonts will write 曾 with 丷on the top and other fonts will display it with 八.

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imron

Also, Hanzi Grids has now been updated to include a Kaiti font. The font being used for PDF generation is Zenkai-Uni, which can be downloaded from here. Note, you don't actually need to download this font to generate PDFs that use it. The PDF generation is handled on the server.

I'm just mentioning it in case you don't have a Kaiti font installed on your computer and you would like to also see it in your browser, or if you have a different Kaiti font installed and you are wondering why the PDFs look slightly different from your screen.

I've also updated the login page so that either your username or your email address will work when signing in.

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rezaf

Great, now I can start using your website. Hope that you can somehow add a 行書 font soon but in the meantime I can improve my 楷書.

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yonglin

I think it works pretty great. I wish this had been available about 5 years ago, when I actually cared deeply about writing well proportioned characters! :P

Since it's a "beta", I'll let you know about a couple of things that I noticed as I was messing about. I'm using Chrome (up to date) on Win7.

First, I think there might be some issues with the font preview. If I change the font style to 楷体, it still shows me the preview in 宋体. The characters move about a wee bit on the preview grid when I change the font, so maybe this is a font rendering problem... or something? The pdf that is generated has the correct font. (I also tried this in Firefox just now, and while the font changes, it's to something like 黑体 rather than 楷体.)

Second, I was wondering if it's possible to do something like a three character expression first in black, then in grey, and then with empty boxes. I didn't quite get this to work with the continuous text setting, but maybe that wasn't the intention of the continuous text setting in the first place!

Oh, and I just came to think about that when I was just starting to learn how to write characters I used a grid paper that had "double" grids, i.e., both an "X" and a "+" (maybe with different thicknesses?). I found the corner-to-corner "X" lines sort of crucial for getting the right angle on some strokes, so this might be something you could consider incorporating in a future version as an option for the less spatially talented such as myself.

Keep up the good work! :)

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rezaf

I agree with yonglin. I'm practicing now and I find it difficult without the X grids.

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Hofmann

OK I tried it and I have some suggestions:

  • Most users are unlikely to have the Zenkai-Uni font, so in the preview you might want to consider pointing to DFKai-SB and other common 楷書 fonts that come with operating systems.
  • There is no use for practicing a 明體. Make 楷書 default.
  • Make an option to place characters from right to left in a row, for vertical writers.
  • The more useful guides IMO are eight triangles arranged like 米 and nine squares arranged like 井. Make options for those.

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querido

"The more useful guides IMO are eight triangles arranged like 米 and nine squares arranged like 井."

I agree. My teacher's preference is for the 3x3.

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imron
First, I think there might be some issues with the font preview. If I change the font style to 楷体, it still shows me the preview in 宋体.

This will be because you don't have the Zenkai font installed, or any of the other Kaiti fonts I list in the CSS font-family for the grid. @Hoffman, yeah, this wouldn't be my preference for a Kaiti font either, however it can be freely used and embedded in PDFs without the need to pay a licensing fee. The font family I specify for the browser CSS does include a number of common Kaiti fonts for other OSes (Kai and STKaiti), but I'll add DFKai-SB also. If all else fails, Yonglin, you can download the Zenkai font from the link above.

More grid styles are definitely on the way, including both 井 and 米. Getting them in the PDF is simple, getting them on the browser is slightly more tricky if you a) want it to be relatively fast and b) work in slightly older (i.e. non-html5) browsers. Vertical writing is also on the cards.

@yonglin, the continuous text is more for having a text article to practice with, rather than repeated characters. You can however use it to achieve the 3 character effect you want.

Just type the 3 character phrase two (or more) times on a line and then press enter.

Then adjust the visible character slider so that the first three characters are black the next ones grey, and the next ones empty.

See attached screenshot for more info.

I'm also planning on adding a "word" mode that will take each line of input as a word, and repeat that across a single line.

post-462-0-84994100-1326579172_thumb.png

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imron
The more useful guides IMO are eight triangles arranged like 米 and nine squares arranged like 井. Make options for those.

I seem to recall from another thread that you mentioned single, dashed vertical lines also made a good option. Would something like that also be interesting to you?

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imron
Make 楷書 default

I made the other font the default mainly because most people will have it on their computer, and also because it contains many characters that the 楷体 font doesn't.

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yonglin

Thanks for the three-character thing. I think I wasn't creative enough!

This will be because you don't have the Zenkai font installed

So I haven't been doing any html-ish thing since CSS got popular (10+ years ago?), but for your information I do have a font called "KaiTi Regular" (simkai.ttf) for simplified 楷体 installed on my system. It usually just shows up as "楷体“ in something like OpenOffice. I can't remember installing this font, so it's probably something that's bundled with the Win7 Chinese language support (so something that most people running Win7 should have...?).

And yes, it was the 米 pattern I was getting at with the "X" and "+" together. :P

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Hofmann
I seem to recall from another thread that you mentioned single, dashed vertical lines also made a good option. Would something like that also be interesting to you?

For 行書 and 草書 only, and without horizontal grid lines, i.e.

wc1tsk.png

This is because 行書 and 草書 are not vertically limited.

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imron
I do have a font called "KaiTi Regular" (simkai.ttf) for simplified 楷体 installed on my system.

I'll have a fix up that addresses this hopefully sometime later today.

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imron

@semantic nuance, with the Kaiti font, 薩 has 文, so that should solve your problem also.

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