Descriptive information about the hands, palaeography or writing styles used in the text should be encoded within the <handDesc> section of the document header.
The description of hand(s) may include information on letterforms and heights (or other dimensions, such as line-heights), palaeographic features including dating, ligatures, abbreviation marks, unusual characters and other symbols or textual features. On the whole only letterheights are tagged in this section (with <height>), although dating may also be marked in principle (if it is different from the information recorded in origDate).
Ligatures, while sometimes listed here manually, may be better captured by tagging in the transcribed text as hi with rend of "ligature" and mechanically generating a list of instances in the output. See also Ligatures.
If multiple hands are described, each should be given a separate <handNote>, each bearing either an n (corresponding to a numbered section in the transcribed text), or an xml:id to which a <handShift> element in the transcription may point. See also Change of hand or scribe.
See also Dimensions for more information on tagging object, campus or letter dimensions.