Difference Between Manuscript and Inscription

Main difference

The main difference between manuscript and inscription is that the manuscript is something written by hand; it can be a document, a piece of music or a book, while the inscription is something written or engraved on something.

Manuscript versus inscription

A manuscript is a typed or handwritten note or record. All documents written before the invention of the printing press can be categorized as manuscripts. Rather, the inscription is a text carved into a hard surface; In ancient times, inscription was used to record or copy information, but today, it is more widely used on tombstones, coins, and marble stones that tell us about historical monuments. The inscriptions contain essential historical information, so ways must be derived to protect them.

Manuscripts can be called handwritten records of history, while inscriptions are recorded records about the past. Manuscripts are generally considered historical artifacts, so they must be protected.

Manuscripts are written on paper, for example papyrus or parchment, so they are difficult to preserve, but as inscriptions are written on hard surfaces, they are easy to protect and therefore very durable and long-lasting. That is why information about historical artifacts and monuments is engraved on marble stones.

An author‘s unpublished work is a manuscript; instead, it is handwritten or typed, which is not published. An inscription, on the other hand, perhaps a book buyer’s best wishes to the reader, eg “I bought you this wonderful book as a Christmas present, dear, with much love, Grandpa.”

Comparison chart

Manuscript Inscription
writing style
The manuscript is handwritten or typed. The inscription is carved into a hard surface.
Have little time if it is not well preserved. Very durable as they are carved from wood, stone or marble etc.
Changing or altering is very easy since the writing is on paper. No changes or alterations can be made to the carved writing.
Papyrus, vellum or parchment, etc. Rocks, stones, marbles and wood.
They are really easy to create. It needs specific tools and proper skills to be created as the thing needs carving.

What is a manuscript?

A manuscript defined as a handwritten document or record. The word ‘manuscript’ is derived from two Latin words ‘manu’ and ‘scriptus’, ‘Manu’ meaning ‘hand’ and ‘scriptus’ meaning ‘written by hand’. In the past, this writing technique was more common before the invention of the printing press and the ‘block printing’ technique in China. Manuscript writing materials varied from country to country; for example, in India, ‘palm leaf’ manuscripts were used while in Russia ‘birch bark documents’ were used. ‘Paper’ was first used for writing manuscripts in China, but later spread to Europe and other Islamic countries.

Manuscripts are easy to change and mold. If any error occurs when writing, it can be easily corrected as the writing material is smooth. But it has a small disadvantage that the manuscripts are short-lived and cannot be preserved. Paper can be easily damaged or break down over time.

A manuscript is any document written by hand or on typewriters. Today, this term is also used to refer to a text-processed copy of an author‘s work prior to publication. All documents and books written before the invention of the printing press are called manuscripts. It can be in the form of book scrolls or codex format. Illuminated manuscripts adorned with border decorations, illustrations and images.


  • Research articles
  • review articles
  • short communications
  • Guest editorials
  • corrected

What is the registration?

Inscription is writing, mostly carved into a durable material such as marble, metal, steel, rock, or stone for preservation or public inspection. The art of writing inscriptions is also called epigraphy. Today, inscriptions are often made on tombstones, building facades, and monument descriptions, which is an imitation of ancient Roman methods.

In ancient times, when paper was undeveloped, the only way to write was on hard surfaces. They used to engrave writings and drawings on cave walls or hard rock with the help of sharp handcrafted tools such as bone, metal and ivory.

An inscription has its benefits in that it is etched into some hard material so that the information it contains is very durable and can be preserved for generations to come, but with a slight disadvantage that once something is scratched into a hard surface, it will not can be modified or corrected. .

Epigraphy (inscription method) was common in China. The first Chinese inscriptions were made on pottery and bronze, and there are later writings on shells and turtle bones. The invention of paper ended the role of epigraphy in China. In earlier times, Hindus used palm leaves to write their inscriptions.

The process of epigraphy in the west began in Mesopotamia and on the Nile. In Egypt, hieroglyphic epigraphy showed an aligned development. Later, epigraphy spread far beyond the Roman Empire.

Key differences

  1. Manuscript is text written by hand; rather, the inscription is a form of carved or engraved text.
  2. An author‘s unpublished work may be called a Manuscript, while a note in front of a book is an Inscription.
  3. Manuscripts are written on soft surfaces; on the other hand, the inscriptions are on hard surfaces.
  4. Manuscripts are less durable compared to inscriptions.
  5. Manuscripts are much easier to create compared to inscriptions.
  6. Manuscripts can be easily modified as they are written on paper; on the contrary, the inscriptions cannot be easily altered since they are on hard surfaces.

Final Thought

Both manuscripts and inscriptions are techniques that refer to historical records where the former are less durable and the latter more sustainable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button