NSW/ACT Font Info

The NSW fonts are designed in strict accordance with the current NSW Foundation style as specified in Writing K-12, Chapter VI – Handwriting: Teaching the Foundation Approach* originally published by the NSW Department of Education,1987 (ISBN 0 7305 3640 8).

The NSW Foundation style is also the current recommended style for the ACT. It is also used by some schools in Victoria and Western Australia.

In the NSW Manuscript GT fonts, the letters are unjoined. In the transitional NSW PreCursive GT font the letters are unjoined but they have cursive exits and entries which the writer needs to master as they move towards fully joined writing.

The weight of the Regular fonts is intended to match the average pen thickness of the illustrations in Writing K-12. The Thick weight is approximately 170% of the Regular weight as per common typographic practice.

The NSW Manuscript GT fonts are available as Regular (with and without directional arrows), OutIined (with and without directional arrows), Dotted (with and without directional arrows) and Thick. The NSW PreCursive GT fonts are available as Regular, Thick and OutIined. These 10 fonts plus PDF Manual comprises the Beginner Pack. Two additional NSW PreCursive GT fonts are available (Dot, Dot Arrow) but these are not part of the NSW Beginner GT Pack.

When fully joined, PreCursive becomes the Foundation Cursive style. The automatically-joining fully cursive font NSW Cursive GT Pro is available as a separate package with its own Manual. The NSW Cursive GT Pro font is supplied in one weight which is slightly thinner than the stand-alone NSW Manuscript GT-Regular and NSW PreCursive GT-Regular fonts to reflect the fact that, by the time the student begins cursive writing, they will be probably be using more refined writing implements such as ball-point pens etc. Also, the lighter weight allows the cursive joins to be displayed more accurately and clearly. There are no Thick, Outlined, Dotted or Directional Arrow versions in the NSW Cursive GT Pro font.

The NSW Cursive GT Pro font is a sophisticated OpenType font that will only function to its full potential in applications which are OpenType-aware and which recognize special OpenType features called Stylistic Sets. At present, the list of such applications is limited mainly to Microsoft Word and Publisher (2010/2011 & later), Apple Pages (v5.6 & later), Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress (2016 & later), CorelDRAW (X6 & later), Sketch and TextEdit. Note that the current versions of Word and Publisher only support the use of one Stylistic Set at a time providing basic joining functionality but limiting the full capabilities of the font. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (up to and including CC) do not support Stylistic Sets.

The NSW Cursive GT Pro font does not require the use of any external utility or application to create the cursive joins between letters – the joining is completely automatic, occurring in real time as letters are typed. All you need to do is select the joining level you want (see the Manual's Quick Start Guide) and start typing!

The NSW Cursive GT Pro font is a “combo” font, providing access to the Manuscript, Pre-Cursive and Cursive styles all within a single font file without the need to change fonts in the application’s font menu. The font also includes two “speed” versions (Standard and Advanced) of the Cursive style, allowing looped letterforms. The NSW Foundation Style allows for an increasing number of variations in lettershapes and joins as the student’s writing skills develop and these are all included as options in the NSW Cursive GT Pro font.

The NSW Manuscript GT, NSW PreCursive GT and NSW Cursive GT Pro fonts slope to the right at an angle of 6° to the vertical as per the majority of the illustrations in Writing K-12, Chapter VI –Handwriting: Teaching the Foundation Approach. If your application has controls for slanting text, the fonts can be slightly skewed in either direction to achieve other slopes if preferred.

The default numbers for the New South Wales style are full-height (uppercase) as recommended in Writing K-12, Chapter VI –Handwriting: Teaching the Foundation Approach. The numbers are accompanied by basic mathematical symbols.

All fonts can be set to display with or without horizontal guide lines (four lines/three spaces) with no need to change fonts to get the lines – just turn them on or off within your application (for instructions on how to do this see the Quick Start Guide in the manual). If you need to have coloured guidelines see our instruction document Coloured Dotted-Thirds GT_v2.1.pdf

The full multi-lingual character set for the NSW Manuscript GT-Regular and NSW Manuscript GT-Thick fonts can be viewed here.

The NSW Tight Text GT Pack is a 4-font OpenType family (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic) in the NSW style, optimised for use in text with normal linespacing. The Italics are based on the PreCursive letterforms. The height of the capital letters as well as the length of the ascenders (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) and descenders (f, g, j, p, q, y, z) have all been reduced, making normal linespacing possible. The fonts have similar proportions, size and linespacing to normal text fonts (eg Arial, Helvetica etc) at the same point size. Ideal for school newsletters, pupil's reports, worksheets, forms, websites and documents, allowing them to be written in the same recognisable style that the students are learning to write - but avoiding the very wide linespacing that you would get if you were to use our Beginner teaching fonts. Multi-Language support - contains all special characters required for Australian Aboriginal, NZ Maori, Classical Latin (Phonetic) and many other commonly-taught languages which use the latin alphabet. Enhanced Maths support, with the ability to type "true" fractions automatically.  Includes Special custom Keyboard Layout software (Mac & Windows) for use with Australian Aboriginal and Phonetic Latin  (Note - Keyboard Layouts for all the other languages are already standard with the Mac and Windows operating systems). Note these fonts don't include horizontal guidelines. Numbers are cap-height by default. Not available as individual fonts. Delivered by download. 10-computer licence. Win/Mac compatible. The NSW Tight Text GT fonts are NOT recommended for use by pupils in the very early handwriting teaching stages.


* Download the free digital version of the NSW Department of Education document "Writing K-12, Chapter VI -
Handwriting: Teaching the Foundation Approach" 
2.7MB PDF:

Download Syllabus

Please note that this downloaded material is Copyright NSW Dept of Education and Communities.