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How do you write a letter X?

Lefthanders form some letters in a different direction to right-handers because it is easier to move the pen left-handed in an anti-clockwise or right-to-left motion – it gives a smoother flow and minimises scratching and digging-in of the tip. It is also easier to draw lines towards you rather than away.

So… which direction do you write a letter “X” in?

Sorry, we are having problems with the poll not working in some web browsers – if it doesn't work for you, please
comment on our Facebook post about this instead πŸ™‚

The result so far was 58% for number 7 and 32% for number 8, which surprised me as I thought everyone would do 8!

Personally, I (Keith) would do number 8 as the first stroke goes right to left for a smooth flow and the second one is an easier move towards the body and leads naturally into starting the next letter.

If you are left-handed – which way do you do it?
(the coloured arrow is the first stroke)

Which way do you write the letter X?

View Results

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We have written a Letter Formation Guide and practice sheets for left-handers and we also have an A3 size laminated writing mat with the letter formations and correct writing position guide.

Left-handed child guides
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45 comments on “How do you write a letter X?
  1. Joyce Carter says:

    I have problems when I am asked to do a back slash / because what seems like a back slash to me is a forward slash to other people. Presumably that is related to the way I write the letter X which for me is number 8 in the examples above.

  2. Liz says:

    Number 8 for me. I’m ambidextrous to a great extent. I write with my left hand, throw and play racquet sports left-handed. However, l have never had trouble using a right-handed hockey stick, scissors, tin opener, cork screw etc. In fact, left-handed scissors defeat me. I wonder if those who write the No.8 X are like me and the No.7s much more lefty?

  3. Mary Nasvik says:

    Sometimes I do #8 and sometimes #7. Depends on my mood.

  4. Duncan says:

    I seem to do both #7 and #8, depending on the circumstances.

  5. Larry Reese says:

    I think that the reason #7 is the favorite is because it is the same way that you write the letter in script.

  6. Linda Jones says:

    It’s odd as I would do 8 in capitols but 7 if the X was in a word.

    Thanks for correcting the glitch Keith.

  7. Paul C says:

    I do think that the person who taught you how to write also influences how you do the Xs, unless you tailored it early on and developed your own way.

    Secondly, Keith says that #8 sets him off into naturally into starting the next letter, but he had to unnaturally start there from the previous letter πŸ™‚ #6 would be the most ideal one for that.

  8. Alejandro says:

    I would do numebr 7 and 8

  9. Linda Harris says:

    And my checkmark looks backwards, the bottom from right to left and the long mark from bottom up to the left.

  10. Laura Persing says:

    I write upside down and # 7 for me

  11. Dave Fisher says:

    When I was in school teachers didn’t like the way I made my check marks. They were backwards.
    Still do it at 65 years ago.

  12. Lee M says:

    How about the lowercase letter β€œi”?
    My grandson amazed me by writing the β€œi”. He first places the dot on the paper and then puts a line under that. I did not laugh, but I smiled. Very clever.

  13. Bill, New York, USA says:

    Thanks for this interesting survey – for once I’m in the majority! I’m not a statistical outlier! Hurray for number 7!

    What I find interesting is number 8 holds a substantial group (including your left hand), and that number 3 seems to outshine all the other patterns among the outliers. I also find it interesting that every possible pattern finds some representation in your sample.

    • Keith Milsom says:

      Seems I am the outlier this time and I was really surprised – No 7 seems really inefficient to me, going back in the wrong direction before moving on to the next letter, but I guess we do that with the crossing of the “T” as well! Keith

  14. Garry Flowers says:

    I always write “sideways”, i.e away from me, so the answer “5” would actually be a “2”

  15. Kris says:

    I read the instructions wrong/backwards, and marked #7, but #8 is actually how I make an X.

  16. Mary Lopez says:

    Learned to write lefty when I was in second grade. Learned script then. Tilt the paper properly and don’t have an overhand

  17. TravisM says:

    I’m with you Keith. I’m left-handed and have always used method 8.

  18. Leanna says:

    In my family, lefties rule. I have three sister- three of us are left handed. My Farher was left handed. I have two children. One is left handed. I married another leftie. My left handed son married a left handed woman. No fights about who sits where when we go out to eat!

  19. Judy Carrick says:

    It would be interesting to see if everyone who picked 7 realized that the coloured line is the first stroke.
    I almost picked 7 as my choice then read the note more carefully. πŸ™‚

  20. Rob says:

    It truly shows how much influence is on a left handed person even now a days. And or how much a left handed person can have so much influence on a right handed person. As my wife is a #7 as well as I am. And it only took 9 years lol.

    Lefty Life

  21. Kat says:

    I use 7 and 8, depending on purpose – if for mathematics, then 7 (I do not know why) and if for cursive writing then 8 (of course). Any other way and we are digging into the paper. Lefties have to be creative problem solvers from the get-go – :/

  22. Debbie says:

    #7 is how I write my X’s

  23. Kenneth Steenbuck kcubneetS HtenneK says:

    Gee I am 60% normal #7

  24. Bert F. says:

    I tried all 8 examples and # 8 is still the easiest and less awkward for me

  25. NANCY HOWELL says:

    I just realized that I do #7 when I am writing the letter “x” in a word. But I do the opposite when I put an “x” in a checkbox!

    • Bruce K. Haddon says:

      I just realized reading this response that that is correct. I am sure my writing style (I actually used so-called modified-italic–printing with a slightly cursive element–that distinctly leans left, as I keep a straight hand) was formed by the many years of technical and mechanical drawing, where a lettering guide is used, and the results are “printed”. (I have never seen a lettering guide for left-handed writing–the slope set by a lettering guide is always to the right). But a lettering guide positions the next letter by where the last letter ended, which makes, for writing (printing) #7 the natural choice. #8 makes you position the letter on the following letter, which is not even there! It is probably natural to some people (Keith?) but probably leads to some less-than-even spacing. It would be interesting to see the results of this poll for writers of right-to-left languages (except that in most countries where this is the direction of writing, being left-handed can be a cause of mild-to-deathly persecution).

  26. Finn Gustafsson says:

    It is different if you are Danish or English. The letter “X” is not used verey often in Danish

  27. Ken Johnson says:

    This is how I draw an x

  28. Ken Johnson says:

    This is how I draw a letter x

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