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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


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If you wish to help others who are learning, I invite you to offer something of your own experience of learning and using shorthand. Everything already on my websites is taken from my own past, learning at home and college, and office employment, but obviously just one person's experiences cannot cover everything.


This is your opportunity to pass on a nugget or two of your experience that may help today's learners, who may not have the benefit of a teacher to guide them as we older writers did in the years when shorthand was commonplace.


Contributions below


Any of the following would be of interest:

  • Advice for beginners and learners

  • Anything that helped you or you have discovered worked well when learning or using shorthand in real life, techniques, attitude, mindset, materials, etc

  • Difficulties you had and how they were overcome

  • Advice to left-handers

Link to my YOU CAN HELP FORM hosted on the Bravenet site


I do not need full name or any contact details. I will summarise whatever I receive into the absolute bare basics of information and in my own words and none of your own text will ever be published in any way whatsoever or shared with anyone. This means there will be a delay between receiving messages and generating useful entries. Please note the items will not be a forum type effort. No personal replies will be undertaken, so I would like to thank you now in advance for taking the time and effort to contribute to help those who are learning.




Someone has asked for help as a complete beginner. As the enquirer needs the skill immediately for legal work, I advise them to get through all the theory as quickly as possible, and this will require a firm and consistent schedule of working through the instruction book. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, so the earlier matter automatically gets revised as the next chapter is taken on. Concentrate on just one section of each chapter at a time, and write out all the outlines, saying them out loud, so that the sound is associated with the outline. It is the action of writing and saying that gets it learned most effectively. Do not stint on filling lots of pads with practise outlines and sentences.

Although there will be the temptation to make up outlines, which turn out to be written differently once a new rule is presented, it is important to only use those outlines that are given, until the course book is completed, and then always look up any others in the shorthand dictionary, so that nothing has to be unlearned and the shorthand remains reliable and readable. The frustrations of limited knowledge in the early stages will soon pass, but are greatly outweighed by the longer term benefits of writing as fast as people speak. (BP)

Page turning

While still writing at the top of the page, use the other hand to lift one of the bottom corners of the notepad page, ready to turn it over quickly, so no time is lost.

Left handers

Draw the margin on the right hand side of the notepad page instead of the left side, to reduce the travel of the left hand.

If using a spine bound notebook, use it from back to front, with the spine on the right, out of the way of your left hand.



"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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