This paper presents new techniques for slant and slope removal in cursive handwritten words. Both methods require neither heuristics nor parameter tuning. This avoids the heavy experimental effort required to find the optimal configuration of a parameter set. A comparison between the new deslanting technique and the method proposed by Bozinovic and Srihari was made by measuring the performance of both methods within a word recognition system tested on different databases. The proposed technique is shown to improve the recognition rate by 10.8% relative to traditional normalization methods. Moreover a long exploration of the parameter space is avoided.