The positioning of the glyphs inside a quadrat is specified by two (2) basic operators:
Fundamentally, these 2 operators are all that are needed to combine multiple glyphs inside a quadrat. Here are a few examples:
More complex quadrats can be rendered by combining more glyphs
together. The operators to superimpose or juxtapose glyphs are analog to
mathematical operators. That is, they have an order of precedence
*" is always evaluated before
As such, there is a way to override the default operator precedence by grouping glyphs with the use of parentheses. Consider the following quadrats:
A1:X1*X1 this will render as glyph A1 over X1 and X1 juxaposed. X1 and X1 are first combined, then A1 is rendered above them. (A1:X1)*X1 Because of the parentheses, this will render as glyph A1 over X1 which are first combined. Then the second X1 juxaposed to the first 2 glyphs. The order of the positioning operations has been changed.
Just like mathematical expressions, there is no limit to the number of operators, operands and parentheses you can include in a quadrat description. However, practically, Egyptians usually did not combine too many glyphs within a quadrat, for obvious legibility and semantic reasons.