The rules for writing Chinese characters are intended to smooth hand motion and thereby promote faster and more beautiful writing.
The basic principal when writing Chinese characters is Left to Right, Top to Bottom.
The rule of left to right also applies to compound characters which can be divided into two or more radicals or components. Each component of complex characters are completed in the order of left to right.
The following pages contain more specific rules. They sometimes seem to contradict each other, but once you start writing Chinese characters you will quickly get the feel for the stroke order.
Please click on Next to see the following rules for the stroke order of Chinese characters. All rules are illustrated with animated graphics.