Hieratic was cursive hieroglyphic. It could be written more quickly. It was used for business documents and letters and for drafts of inscriptions to be cut in stone. Students in the temple schools were taught how to use it.
Demotic, or Enchorial, was an abbreviated form of hieratic. It was used by people in business and by lawyers, as well as for some literary works and priestly edicts.
Deciphering in modern times was made possible when the Rosetta Stone was found. It had writing in hieroglyphic and demotic, as well as in Greek. It was easy to read the Greek inscription. Two men, Thomas Young and J. F. Champollion, used the Rosetta Stone to decipher the Egyptian characters successfully. The Obelisk of Philae was also helpful as it, too, had Egyptian and Greek inscriptions.