In Second phase, 'Old Gujarati' script was in wide use.
The earliest known document in the Old Gujarātī script is a handwritten manuscript Adi Parva dating from 1591–92, and the script first appeared in print in a 1797 advertisement.
Until the 19th century it was used mainly for writing letters and keeping accounts, while the Devanāgarī script was used for literature and academic writings.
It is also known as the śarāphī (banker's), vāṇiāśāī (merchant's) or mahājanī (trader's) script. Later the same script was adopted by writers of manuscripts.
Jain community also promoted its use for copying religious texts by hired writers.
The Gujarati writing system is an abugida, in which each base consonantal character possesses an inherent vowel, that vowel being a [ə].
For postconsonantal vowels other than a, the consonant is applied with diacritics, while for non-postconsonantal vowels (initial and post-vocalic positions), there are full-formed characters.
With a being the most frequent vowel, this is a convenient system in the sense that it cuts down on the width of writing.
Following out of the aforementioned property, consonants lacking a proceeding vowel may condense into the proceeding consonant, forming compound or conjunct letters.
The formation of these conjuncts follows a system of rules depending on the consonants involved.
The Gujarati script (ગુજરાતી લિપિ Gujǎrātī Lipi), which like all Nāgarī writing systems is an abugida, a type of alphabet, is used to write the Gujarati and Kutchi languages.