The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Block letters (known as printscript, manuscript, print writing or ball and stick in academics) are a sans-serif (or "gothic") style of writing Latin script in which the letters are individual glyphs, with no joining. In English-speaking countries, children are often first taught to write in block letters, and later may be taught cursive (joined) writing. In Germany, children start writing with block letters in the first grade and learn cursive writing from the second grade. Other countries (Dominican Republic, Poland, Italy, Austria, France, Romania, etc.) focus on cursive writing from the first grade.
On official forms, one is often asked to "please print". This is because cursive handwriting is harder to read, and the glyphs are joined so they do not fit neatly into separate boxes.
Block letters may also be used as a synonym of block capitals, which means writing in all capital letters or in large and small capital letters, imitating the style of typeset capital letters. This is not a necessary implication, however: in at least one court case involving patents, trademarks and registration of designs, the term "block letters" was found to include both upper and lower case.