General Categories > Guidelines

Guideline Generators, grids and pre-generated guidelines

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Have been doing calligraphy for about 20 years, on and off, and have only recently caught the pointed nib bug. Making guidelines was a much hated task, but now with easily available resources, its easier to just concentrate on the fun of writing and leave the guidelines to the machines.

Have compiled a short list of various guideline resources and generators, along with the instructions. Hopefully, will be useful. Most work for all types of calligraphy - pointed nib, broad pen or brush.

Guideline Generators

This one is easy and simple to use. One of the best ways to generate a guide sheet


Suggested by @Wonderer. Very nice generator, with visual info available for all kinds of guidelines.
All editing is to be done with 3 tabs. A bit jumping around needed between the tabs, but very easy to use.

__________________________________________________________________    (Open source, so can be used even on this site. Has a nice collection of pre-generated pages too)

Unique in that it has a radial generator, giving concentric lines.

Instructions are there on the page. These are values to use for copperplate. Can be modified easily as per your need.
Nib width - Keep this equal to the x height.

Partitions - For the traditional 5 line system, enter 1,1,1,1,1  This will give you 5 equally spaced lines with x height gap between them.

Gap - This is the gap between successive lines. It will be greyed out so will appear as a thick bar.

Top margin - In nib widths

Number of rulings - The number of lines of text you want the ruling sheet to be generated for. (Suggest you play with this figure to get a filled page.)

Angle guides - 55

Title - Title for the generated pdf

Page size (experimental)  -  The default is A4. A3 is the other available option.

Landscape (experimental) - Worked for me

Radial (experimental) -  I haven't used it, so can't really comment how it works. The description given by the
If you select this, the program will generate a concentric circles with the above specifications rather than parallel lines. This is useful to write circular text. This is a work in progress so feedback is welcome.


This allows you to set the size of the x height.
5 per inch is about 5mm x height.(The calculation is 25.4/no. per inch = x height in mm)   You can choose "custom" to make even 1 per inch.
You can also set the distance between the slants.  To get good spacing, you should make the slant distance about half the x height. 

So you can make the selections like below:
Ascenders - 2 x
Space - no overlap
Angled - 55 degree
Every - (choose mm ) and mention a figure that is half the x height.
5 lines per inch is about 5mm x height.  So the "Every" option will be 3 mm
3 lines is about 8mm  - Every option 4 mm
and 2 lines is about 13 mm - every option 6 mm
This is helpful in the forming of width of the letters and spacing.
The width of a letter should be half the height and the space between alphabets should be half height in most cases.

Next is the option to vary the darkness of the guides. 
If you set it to 25% black or non-photo blue and then print on your practice paper, you can practice directly on the guidelines itself.

Set it to 100% and you can use it behind your paper.

A very good generator with visual and self explanatory visual interface.

Only thing to keep in mind is the Pen Nib Settings -> Nib (mm) governs the x-height.

Rest is simple.


One of the best sites I have found for visual generation of guidelines. Might not have the option of colours etc, but you can visually see each change in the settings.
Also, great for beginners, as it can make light lines in between the x-height, so that you can mark out the 1/3 part for your underturns and overturns.


Designed by our own member here - @KrzysiekS, Using his instructions here. Reproduced from another thread without his permission :P

In guidelines section set:
Nib width to 1 (mm)
Change lines to:
10 above baseline, plain
5 above baseline, plain
baseline, plain
5 below baseline, plain (enter it as -5)
delete unneded guide lines.

Modify slant line
Set angle to 0 degrees
Set distance to 5 nib widths

Modify nib guide
Set angle to 55 degrees
Set distance to your preferred distance between guidelines

Adjust line widths too your preferences.

For your information:
Slant line angle is angle between (imaginary) vertical line and slant line.
Nib angle line is between horizontal guidelines and nib angle line.


Pretty straight forward site


Graph paper

Collection of pre-generated guide sheets. 

Regards and happy writing


Erica McPhee:
Thank you Vipul for such a comprehensive post! I will sticky this topic (make it stay at the top) so others can easily find it without searching.  :)


--- Quote from: Erica McPhee on March 29, 2018, 08:02:31 AM ---Thank you Vipul for such a comprehensive post! I will sticky this topic (make it stay at the top) so others can easily find it without searching.  :)

--- End quote ---

Thanks, and hopefully it will be useful to everyone here.


Nicely done Vipul. Thank you for collecting this information and providing it to the community.

All the best,

Thanks for taking the time to explain about how to create guidelines Vipul. I do not know why I just cannot get it, I am trying to create the simplest guide and just can't get it. Could I ask you a HUGE favor, would you be willing to walk me through it? I will send you the details of what I would like if you are happy to help me, not problem if not. thanks again, K


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