The direction of an English sentence is written from left to
right, starting at the top and going down.
This paragraph is an example of that. English letters only face in one direction.
They do not have any degree of rotation.
In contrast, Ancient Egyptian is one of the few writing
systems which can be written in more than
one direction. It was usually written from right to left. Here is a an example line of Hieratic from a
tomb robbery papyrus.
Secondly, Hieroglyphs themselves
were placed to face in the direction of the main charactor as
well as placed to satisfy considerations of symmetry and artistry.
Below is a picture which
illustrates many of these principals. One can also see from
the left and
right panels of this false door how the writing proceeds from top to bottom, and from the center
panel how it proceeds from one side to the other. The white arrows indicate the direction in
which the glyphs are placed.
Source: Page 83.The Treasures of
Tutankhamun and the Egyptian Museum
of Cairo VMB Publisers
Hebrew was and is also written from right to left. Here is an
example taken from the Siloem Inscription.
The third occurs when glyphs are flipped on their horizontal
axis, are rotated 45 or 90 degrees,
or are part of a complex glyph. When this happens the glyph can take on a different meaning.
Here are some examples taken from glyphs listed on the "Hieroglyphica" website.
Z25 Z25A Z25B A30 A100 A101 A101B