Numerals are the same height as the capitals.
Some of their shapes neither match the shapes of the
lower case letters nor the capitals. We got them from the
Arabs, who got them in India.
The zero is narrower than the capital letter O. They
are both written the same way: the left side comes first,
and starts at the top.
Begin the numeral 1 with a short entry stroke. And
keep it at an angle so it wont be mistaken for the
horizontal stroke of the numeral 7.
The numeral 2 starts with a curve. When youve
made half a circle, make a diagonal down to the baseline.
And finish with a straight line to the right. (The lower
half looks much like the letter z.)
Begin the numeral 3 with a curve, just like the
numeral 2. It should be a little more than a half-circle.
And then make another, bigger than the first. Keep the gap
on the left side open, to make sure the numeral 3 isnt
mistaken for the numeral 8.
The numeral 4 starts with a stem. Then lift the pen,
go back to the top, and make a diagonal to the left. When
youre about two-thirds of the way down to the
baseline, stop and make a sharp turn to the right. Finally,
make a horizontal line across the stem and a little beyond
Begin the numeral 5 with a short stem. Less than
half-way down, stop and make a sharp turn to the right. Make
a curve to the right, a little more than a half-circle, just
as in the numeral 3. Lift the pen, go back to the top, and
finish with a line to the right. (Dont write it any
other way. The pen lift is important. It makes the numeral 5
distinctive. It can otherwise be mistaken for the letter S,
a numeral three, and a terrible numeral 8.)
The numeral 6 starts at the top and to the right. You
make the left side first, as in the zero. Go up on the right
side, and make a curve that ends at the middle of the left
The numeral 7 is simple. It starts with a line to the
right, followed by a diagonal down to the baseline. It is
similar to the capital letter Z without the last line to the
right. Remember to keep the top line horizontal, and keep
the diagonal slanted enough. Otherwise, the numeral 7 can be
mistaken for the numeral 1.
Begin the numeral 8 as a letter S. Give it a curve to
the left, a diagonal to the right, and another curve to the
left. Keep going to the point where you started: curve,
diagonal, and a final curve to the left.
The bottom half should be slightly bigger than the
top. And dont allow other ways of writing the numeral
8. One circle on top of another may be easier. A closed
numeral 3 may be an amusing variant. But in fast writing,
they get misunderstood.
The numeral 9 is not the numeral 6, standing on its
head. You begin at the top, and make a small circle. (Left
side first, just like zero.) Then you stop, and make a curve
to the baseline.