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Only those who needed the knowledge in their professions acquired the arts of writing and reading.These people were, for example, officials and priests (insofar as they had to be able to read rituals and other sacred texts), as well as craftsmen whose work included the making of inscriptions.
In that hieroglyphic signs represented pictures of living beings or inanimate objects, they retained a close connection to the fine arts.
The same models formed the basis of both writing and art, and the style of the writing symbols usually changed with the art style.
There was no lack of attempts to replace the hieroglyphic writing, cumbersome and ever more divergent from the spoken language, with the simpler and more convenient Greek script.
Such experiments, however, remained ineffective precisely because of the emotional value that the old writing system had when the country was under the foreign domination of the Macedonian Greeks and the Romans.
In addition, hieroglyphs appear in the most varied kinds of metal and wood inlay work.
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All these applications correspond exactly with the techniques used in fine art.
Hieroglyphic texts are found primarily on the walls of temples and tombs, but they also appear on memorials and gravestones, on statues, on coffins, and on all sorts of vessels and implements.
Hieroglyphic writing was used as much for secular texts—historical inscriptions, songs, legal documents, scientific documents—as for religious subject matter—cult rituals, myths, hymns, grave inscriptions of all kinds, and prayers.
For example, if an animal hieroglyph faces right, you read from right to left.
If it faces left, you read from left to right (the same way that we do).