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Completely devoted to New Era Shorthand



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Find that New Era outline on the Shorthand Dictionary page - free PDF downloads


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Blog downloads and reading articles have moved to new website:


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Shorthand Books

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Theory Intro

 1   Strokes

 2   Vowels

 3   Forming Outlines

 4   Circles

 5   Loops

 6   Hooks Intro

 7   Hooks R L

 8   Hooks N F V

 9   Shun Hook

10  Halving

11  Doubling

12  Hay Aspirate

13  W Forms

14  L Forms

15  R Forms

16  Imp/Imb

17  Ish

18  Prefixes

19  Suffixes General

20  Suffixes Contracted

Short Forms

SF Intro

SF List 1

SF List 2

SF List 3

SF List 4


Contractions Intro

Contractions Main

Contractions Optional


1 Phrasing Intro & Contents list

2 Theory

3 Theory

4 Omission Part words

5 Omission Whole words

6 Miscellaneous

7 Miscellaneous

8 Intersections

Distinguishing Outlines

DO Intro

DO List 1 A-C

DO List 2 D-H

DO List 3 I-P

DO List 4 Q-Y


Vocab Intro



Word Lists

Text Lists from PDFs


Yellow Teddy's page

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Pitman's New Era: Welcome and thank you for visiting!

Free resource for Pitman's New Era Shorthand

My aim with this website is to provide learners with material to progress beyond the basic shorthand instruction book, in order to achieve high speed and write with accuracy, reliability and legibility.

  • All the reading pages and blog downloads have now (May 2016) moved from here to a new website: www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand-reading.org.uk, along with all the Blogger articles and Snippets. This is to make it easier to organise, improve and correct the shorthand.

  • The New Era version of the Shorthand Instructor is now available as free PDF download here: https://archive.org/details/pitmansshorthand00pitm (please also see their terms of use)

  • YOU CAN HELP If you would like to share your experience to help those who are learning, please see this new page (Jan 2017), where I am requesting advice from existing writers to help new learners.

New Era is the current and fastest version of Pitman's Shorthand. It dates from 1922 and was preceded by Centenary and Twentieth Century editions, which are now considered historical. It was followed in 1970 by Pitman 2000 which was a slightly more simplified and slower version for office workers. Pitman 2000 writers may benefit from the Dictation MP3s and the Contractions, Phrasing and Distinguishing Outlines pages, where they may find outlines that are speedier or more convenient than some of their existing ones.

When you first begin to learn, you may feel that the ability to write shorthand usefully is a distant dream. If you give these non-productive thoughts an inch, they will take a yard, a mile even. Replace them with the determination to spend as much time as you can practising your shorthand, and they will soon be left behind. Assiduous and regular practice is your personal time machine, bringing the dream ever nearer.

If you are a complete beginner, you will need to obtain a basic instruction book, as the material here is not graded as lessons, and the best place for this is Ebay UK (see Links/Shorthand Books) as well as the archive.org link above. The Theory pages are detailed explanations with very many examples, and are aimed more at revision and improvement than learning from scratch, as they are not graded as an instruction book would be.

A shorthand dictionary is essential for learning and improvement. If you cannot obtain a printed New Era dictionary, please see the Vocabulary Shorthand Dictionaries page for a free PDF download alternative. There are also many thousands of outlines available on this site and the reading site, and the Search Box gives a good chance of finding the one you are looking for, as all outlines have their text equivalent underneath them.

The skills that we possess between us need to be shared with those who are struggling to learn or improve. Many people do not have access to the resources they need, or the funds to buy books, and often the books themselves are in short supply. Sir Isaac Pitman spent most of his life perfecting the system, but its success was assured because he made it available easily and cheaply to the maximum number of people. I aim to contribute to its continued success in a similar manner, providing free material additional to that already available. I prefer to call the system exactly as its author did "Pitman's Shorthand" rather than Pitman. Pitmanic describes other versions where the authors (in Victorian times) altered the original version to their own tastes and gave it their own name.

Everything here is for your edification and amusement, and there is absolutely nothing for sale and no commercial interest/adverts whatsoever. I cannot guarantee to never make a mistake but I do regularly review the written shorthand for improvements, and correction if necessary. If you see a mistake in the shorthand, please report it via the Feedback Form and it will receive prompt attention.

My loyal bear Yellow Teddy is learning shorthand, one outline at a time, as he is Chief Looker Upper, and as an incentive he has been given a page of his own to share his progress. At the moment he is looking for things that remind him of the outlines and shapes, and is also busy with his own personal website www.yellow-teddy.org.uk


  Yellow Teddy  Yellow Teddy with shorthand wrapping paper What is that Teddy up to? Shorthand wrapping paper?

I hope you will:
Pitman's New Era Shorthand: Eat the hay and leave the sticks!
Eat the hay and leave the sticks!


"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

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All original material, images and downloads on this website, on the shorthand reading website and on the Blogger sites is copyright Beryl L Pratt and is provided for personal non-commercial study use only, and may not be republished in any form, or reposted online, either in full or part. If you wish to share the content, please do so by a link to the appropriate page of the website.

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