top of page
Notebook and Pen

Forensic Examination of Indented Impressions

QD Examiner offers forensic examination of indented impressions.


We can forensically examine text indented impressions which may have been written onto one page of a document while resting on another page (of the same or a different document) where a permanent impression may be detectable.

​Indented impression examples:​

  • A 6 page agreement with a signature page at the back is signed with the back page folded over and lying on top of the first page. Impressions of the signature may be visible on the top page(s) of the agreement, depending upon the pressure applied by the writer. If the signature page has been substituted, the impressions of a different signature might be present on the top page(s).

  • An anonymous letter is written in a lined notepad. Impressions on the letter may reveal clues about the author, based on previous entries in the notepad.​ 

  • Pic1_edited.png

    Our Equipment

    The ESDA (Electrostatic Detection Apparatus) or Docustat employs a sensitive electrostatic process to reveal these faint impressions of writing. When present, these impressions are preserved in the form of black toner particles affixed to a clear plastic sheet.


    The clarity of an ESDA trace depends upon many factors including the type of writing instrument, type of paper, amount of handling the document has received and how it has been stored. In favourable circumstances ESDA traces can reveal impressions on several sheets below the one bearing the original handwriting.


    ESDA does not generally work well with very thick or thin papers, some coated papers, and documents that have been wet, crumpled or treated for fingerprint development. 


    The ESDA process is non-destructive and will not alter or damage the original document.

    Projectina Docustat

    The QDE office is equipped with a Projectina Docustat, used for the examination of indented impressions. 

    Examples of ESDA examination

    Photo of blank lined paper in ESDA Examination
    Photo of indented impressions of writing in ESDA Examination

    Blank sheets of notepaper

    Visualisation of indented impressions of writing

    bottom of page