Forensic handwriting recognition

Razor-sharp photos of text details

Wil Fagel is a handwriting expert in Amsterdam. He performs forensic research and using his 35 years of experience and great precision, can determine whether handwriting belongs to a certain person. There is a stereo microscope on his desk for analysing the details of written texts. However, in addition to that traditional microscope, he often uses his digital microscope from Dino-Lite. "I always take this tool with me on location when I go to look at handwriting such as at a notary office. But the Dino-Lite is also perfect for taking razor-sharp digital photos in my own workroom of details that stand out to me in written text.

Burr striations featheringWith his expertise, Wil Fagel is brought in for civil and criminal cases. As a handwriting expert, he is registered with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, he has previously worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and he is active within The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) as well as several other organisations. A colleague at this institute brought Dino-Lite to his attention. He selected the AM4113T-FVW model. "Using it, you view things under white light. Not that yellow lamplight, but daylight. That makes viewing better. What I also find useful is that you can switch between white light and UV light with this model. Depending on the wavelength, this allows you to see subtle differences in colour or, for instance, whether or not someone has just added a zero to the amount on a bill.

With his Dino-Lite, he brings elements to light on location that appear to escape the average viewer. How crossed lines in a letter or signature move exactly, the direction that a dot was written on a letter, the white "grinding traces" in a ballpoint pen line that indicate whether a loop rotates to the left or right: these can all contribute to identifying the author of the text being examined or the authenticity of a signature. What is real and what is fake? The answer to this question can make a significant financial difference. Fagel once examined the signature under a number of etchings that were attributed to the famous artist Anton Heyboer. "I could not make any judgement on the etchings themselves, but it was clear that the signatures on the etchings displayed differences when compared to the signature of the artist himself.

He continues to treasure the sturdy stereo microscope on his desk, but stresses that he can no longer do without his other mobile viewing tool. "Because I am so often off site for handwriting research, the Dino-Lite has become an indispensable part of my work."

See also:


"I find it useful that you can switch between white light and UV light"




"Dino-Lite is an indispensable part of off-site work"