How do you write neatly in hieroglyphic?

The Egyptians didn't just write all their hieroglyphs one after another like this:

They liked to write neatly. That meant if you were reading left to write, or right to left, stacking hieroglyphs on top of one another. If you were writing down in columns, it meant putting some hieroglyphs next to each other. Look at these examples:



At the top here you can see four symbols all in a row, including the vulture. Because of the direction the vulture is facing in, you read all these from left to right.

 After that the snake, mouth, and water sign are all wide and thin so they should go on top of one another.Then there are two seated men who can fit next to each other. Again you go left to right.

Then a few signs that are best on top of each other.


The last two signs can fit next to each other.

In this example you read the hieroglyphs right to left, because the faces are pointing right. But in lots of places the hieroglyphs are stacked on top of each other, to make it look neat. Look at the eye above the bowl, and the water above the arms. You should always read top-down when they are stacked like this - so the eye before the bowl, the water before the arms.