What is French-Ruled Paper ?


French-ruled paper
is the school standard in France and an exception in the world. Its U.S. equivalent would be the college-ruled paper. French-ruled is also known as “Grands Carreaux” (large squares) paper or “Seyes” paper, named after the Parisian librarian who patented this grid system in 1892.

French-ruled paper section showing the margin line, the main lines and the dividing lines


This grid system is made of 8mm x 8mm squares (about 5⁄16 of an inch), with thinner horizontal lines spaced 2mm apart (about 5⁄64 of an inch ). There is room at the top and bottom of the pages for notes or teacher’s comments and a margin on the left marked with a vertical red line.

Explanations of the Seyes Grid also called french ruled paper

French children are taught how to write in cursive with the help of a few rules and the Seyes grid : letters are all written on the baseline and will follow 4 rules depending on their heights :

1 – The small letters : they fit between 2 lines. Only exceptions is the dot of the i and special accented letters like é, è, à etc.

sample french script letters on french-ruled paper

2 – The upward loop letters : These go up to the third line

sample french script letters on french-ruled paper

3 – The downward loop letter : These go down to the second line

sample french script letters on french-ruled paper

4 – Letters with an upward straight line : These go up to the second line. They are smaller than the second group

sample french script letters on french-ruled paper

5 – An exception with the letter f : it has an upward and a downward loop. It is written over 5 lines of height.


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Script letters graphics from Clic! Ma Classe