The stencil is a particular type of ruler, used for writing uniform characters. It consists of a sheet of plastic or other material with carved letters of the alphabet or other useful shapes, particularly for technical drawing.
By following the shaping of the shapes with a nib, various letters and shapes can be obtained quickly and quite precisely.
Particularly used until the mass diffusion of personal computers (and the relative ease of printing), it was an indispensable tool for architects and designers in general;

for the dimensioning and the description of the projects, it was good practice to use the stencil to obtain well written and uniform texts.

The stencil could also be used by illiterate or semi-illiterate people to learn to write or to write better; it is said that, to facilitate people with writing difficulties, some politicians provided specific cardboard stencils with the sequence of characters of their surname, so that they could be traced on the ballot paper and the vote was not lost.

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