Commons:Stroke Order Project

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Hello and welcome to the Commons Stroke Order Project. This project aims to create a complete set of high quality and free illustrations to clearly show the stroke orders of Han characters (hanzi, kanji, kana, hantu, and hanja). The project was started in 2006 as there was none like it in terms of quality and it seems that it was the only one working on the three standards of Han character stroke order; ROC, PRC, and Japan.

You are free to use the graphics we've made and welcome to join us and contribute to our progress. It's easy, you just have to follow the simple steps stated in our graphics guidelines. And please, feel free to leave us an encouraging message :-).

The characters[edit]

The project mainly focus on the Han characters, but also on any phonetic scripts as well. See the status section in the top right of this page for a list of characters and their status.

This project specifically considers three stroke order standards for Han characters — that of the PRC (S), ROC (T), and Japan. In the cases where these share stroke orders, there are redirects linking these. See the Han characters page for more details.

ROC Standard PRC Standard Japanese Standard
same stroke order. 中-tbw.png should redirect. same stroke order. 中-jbw.png should redirect.
生-tbw.png should redirect to 生-bw.png. Sheng
伐-jbw.png should redirect to 伐-bw.png.

Image types[edit]

The stroke order project currently includes three image types. The black & white (*-bw.png) and the red gradation (*-red.png) sub-projects produce printable versions usable for making books or printed textbooks. The Order sub-project (*-order.gif) is based on stronger calligraphic interest, and though painstaking to create, the results are spectacular.

Finding characters[edit]

The characters are categorised by image type and variant:

  ROC PRC Japan
Sequences (b&w) *-tbw.png (9) *-bw.png (1,060) *-jbw.png (70)
Shades of red *-tred.png (17) *-red.png (237) *-jred.png (34)
Animations *-torder.gif (7) *-order.gif (573) *-jorder.gif (27)

Each character also has its own category (e.g. ) You can look up a character with this form:

Free use, Free License[edit]

Of course, you can use all materials on this site for your own website. All materials are published under the GNU-Creative Commons 3.0 License ^. You only have to state the:

  1. source:
  2. license: Images/animations under CC + GFDL (using the license template {{SOlicense}})
  3. authors: Mostly M4RC0 for -bw.png; Muke and Yug for -red.png; Wikic, Micheletb and FanNihongo for -order.gif.


BlackWhite RedGradient Animation
Bopomofo 37/40 Done 2
Hiragana Done Done 0
Katakana Done Done 0
Hangeul 1/35 0 0
Kangxi radicals These aren't categorised separately. See the progress pages.
ROC standard characters 9 17 7
PRC standard characters 1,060 237 573
Japanese standard characters 70 34 27


  • The project page has been moved to Commons:Stroke Order Project.
  • After a discussion with input from the Village Pump, the ROC characters and Japanese variants will no longer fall back on the ROC characters. When there is overlap, redirects will be created.
Commons:Stroke Order Project members <ed>
Black & white images :
Animations : FanNihongo
Red images :
Organisation and accessibility: Swift

Contributors wanted[edit]

Joining the team is easy: just join our work! You can contribute images, or verify stroke orders. See our graphics guidelines and stroke order sources for more.

Collaboration is organised on the road-map page. Drop us a line if you have any questions. :-D

Animation Request[edit]

The Category:AnimationRequest is a collection of temporary GIF picture files to be replaced by their animations. All files are used as not-yet-animated place holders to show the stroke order in many articles like e.g. de:Radikal 176 or Category:Radical 176-0.

An SVG etymological sister-project[edit]

The Stroke order project was originally limited to Standard Script (楷書 kǎishū) characters, showing their correct stroke order. Subsequently, some users began uploading historical characters, referencing, a dictionary of etymological research published online.

The Ancient Chinese characters project has taken these over and provides SVG images of characters in oracle bone, bronze-ware, great seal, and small seal styles.


Who benefits from these images?[edit]

  • Students who study Chinese characters' stroke order, this material(pictures in black and white or animated GIFs) can be used to study that with a program to remember things(like Anki for example).
  • The web page: Openwords is working on a "handwriting learning module for Chinese utilizing the Wikimedia Stroke Order project" (quoted from the webpage).
  • The Commons Stroke Order Project is especially useful as a graphic database, both for other Wikimedia projects and free databases such as EDICT and CEDICT. All the files are uploaded under clear, Unicode (UTF-8) encoded filenames.