Handwriting is basically a function of the subconscious and conscious function of the mind. It is the arrangement of muscular, motor, and the movement of nerve. Handwriting is an autonomous and continuous feature of human beings, used as an identification of individuals because each and every individual has its unique handwriting characteristics. Handwriting is an acquired skill and form try the formation of symbols, letters with the help of various writing instruments, Handwriting is a neuromuscular feature of a person.

According to Lewis in his book, ‘Forensic Document Examinations: Fundamental and Current Trends’ no two people write exactly alike which simply means that each individual has its own handwriting characteristics which are different from others. This individuality feature is one of the basic principles in forensic document examination, Osborn wrote in his book, the individuality of handwriting depends on the common and uncommon habits and characteristics of an individual. As by these characteristics, the identity of an individual can he analyzed.

The importance of handwriting characteristics depends on the development qualities of an individual from the time they start learning the writing skills.. The human brain is a collective functioning of automatic and willed behavior. It contains all the multimodal perceptions, restorative functions as well as emotions.

There are various definite areas of the brain like the cortex which shows the high level, executive, and integrative function, whereas the other parts i.e. the basal ganglia function in the fine-tuning. Writing is an outcome of conscious and unconscious mind activities and it involves the coordination of motor nerves and the muscles of the hand with the influence of the movement of the body.

There are basically the three cortical regions that are helpful and play a significant role in hand our control, i.e. primary (Brodmann a 4), premotor area (Brodmann area 6), and supplementary motor area (midline to area 51). The two basic areas of the brain are helpful in dealing with the motor control of handwriting. The first is the voluntary motor cortex in the central hemisphere which is present in front of the Sylvain fissure in frontal bones. The left hemisphere is responsible for the right hand. The development of motor control in all the parts of the body seems like an ‘inverted homunculus in the brain. Another part of the brain Le the cerebellum which is considered as the recording machine where all the memories of all complex muscular actions involved in particular skill actions are recorded..

The main purpose of handwriting examination to provide evidence about a questionable document or the suspicious document with the help of numerous scientific methods and processes, to establish the genuineness and non-genuineness or to reveal the forgery, to identify the person or eliminate the person as the source of handwriting. The examination was conducted in the basis of the certain basic principle of handwriting.

The principles are basically followed with respect to the fact that it has been confined with the experimentation and observations by the forensic document examiner on the basis of their experience. Following are the various principles of handwriting examination:

Principle 1

“No two people write exactly alike”

Principle 2

“No one person writes, exactly, the same way twice.

Principle 3

“The significance of any feature, as evidence of identity or on identity and therefore the  problem of companion become one among of considering its rarity, the relative speed and naturalness with which it is written and its agreement or disagreement with comparable features.”

Principle 4

“No one is  in a position able imitate all the features of another person’s handwriting and simultaneously write at the same relative speed and skill level because the writer he is seeking to imitate. This is especially to the greater relative speed the model writer e Farther in simulating anther’s writing, the simulator will try to imitate those features that strike his or mist forcibly. He will send either to disregard these features that are inconspicuous or else fail to imitate them successfully”.

 Principle 5

“For those writing where the author successfully disguises his normal handwriting habits or where he imitates traces-the writing habits of another writer while leaving no trace of his own, it is virtually impossible to spot the imitator”.

Natural Variation

Writing variation plays a very important ani vital mile in the identification of handwriting samples. This variation occurs with respect to some extent of natural variation which is so relevant in the identification of writing. Writing variations are also observed due to physical and mental illness. Variation is something which is defined as the fact that change or deviation in the structure from other within the same species. Writing varies greatly from person to person.

The handwriting chooses for the examination can be of both good and bad qualities. It is considered that the variation in handwriting is habitual. Each and every handwriting exhibit a natural variation. A lot of forms of variations are seen because of the illness, intoxication, tensions, tiredness, etc. The great variation was seen at the stage of adolescence and the stage of old age when it is difficult to manage pen control.

According to Allen in Foundation of Forensic Document Analysis Theory and Practice’, handwriting is basically dealing with a number of dimensions. Hence it is important and yet creates problems as well. Natural variations are the centerpiece for the examination of handwriting. It is identified that the slight skilled writers will always letters which are although identical but not the same at all the time hence a variation occur there also.

Natural variation is the fact that the inability of the writer to produce a repetitive movement. The hand arms, and fingers of individual do not make an accurate reproducing machine hence natural variations are inevitable. The best way to analyze the variation of handwriting is identify the master pattern of an individual.

Characteristics of Handwriting

The appearance of the writing and the manner of construction are two features of handwriting that exist. They cover the writer’s entire body of work. The attributes that a big number of people share are referred to as class characteristics. They are frequently distinguished in handwriting by the penmanship system that a writer has mastered. Despite the fact that all writers stay from the handwriting system they were taught, many of the  traits are kept.

Class tits aid in identifying a writer, hat they are insufficient to identify are kept e writing as belonging to a single author. Although they are not part of any handwriting system, some deviations from penmanship norms are so widespread that they are classified as class characteristics The Greek letter epsilon is a good example.

Individual features are variations from the standard created by authors who do not adhere in the principles of handwriting. Individual characteristics creep into everyone’s handwriting as they change and stylize it. The strongest identification is provided by these alterations. No other writer can mimic all of the peculiarities that appear in a writer’s handwriting Although many writers share certain qualities in their writing, it is a writer’s unique blend of characteristics that distinguishes them. There are no two writers who have exactly the same trains. Each writer has his or her own set of characteristics.

Class Characteristics

Class characteristics are a kind of characteristics of handwriting that undergoes the common traits for specific or group of writers. There are various characteristics under which parameters of the identification of handwriting are done.

AlignmentDeals on the basis of the imaginary line i.e. baseline
Pictorial AppearanceGeneral appearance of writingSkill of the writers
MovementMovement of the wrist
Movement of the finger
Movement of the forearm
Movement of the whole arm
Line qualityGood line
quality Poor
line quality
spacingBetween letters Between words Also depends on the flow and rhythm of the writing
SkillInitial training
Physical, mental and emotional personality
Mixture of both

Individual Characteristics

Individual characteristics in the name suggest unique characteristics that are not found in any other individual. It comprises of the letter forms, pen’s nature, etc. These characteristics take time to develop and very few chances of duplication may occur.

Individual characteristics are basically those deviations that the writer makes when they alter the writing from the way they are taught. They are very strongly identified when they are comparing with the questioned document.

Pen pressureLight
shadingpersistent or continuous
smooth and artistic
graduated impulsive
Pen liftPen lift occurs when it is used to put a dot to cross the word like ‘t’. it is to correct formation and connection to form  letter.
RetouchingIt is somehow showing the pictorial effect of some writing. To imitate the shading pattern of genuine writer
EmbellishmentAlso called rubrics. They are mainly done through extra strokes.

Factors Affecting Handwriting

Handwriting factors can be affected by numerus reasons and hence helpful in the examination of writing samples Handwriting is an automatic feature and once permanent it will continue unless any commotion of physical and mental factors may occur.

The factors are of two kinds, namely. Internal and External factors which are explained as follows:

Internal Factors

Health Condition

It can be of two types’ in physical conditions and mental conditions which collectively affect the writing. Once a person is ill either chronic or transitory or suffering from any injury or any accident which affects the handwriting of an individual. Hence it is known that if a person is not well with respect to any illness or accident or any mental condition will not be able to write in their normal handwriting. For example in the case of a person suffering from cancer which is a long-term disease shows a slow deterioration of handwriting.

Also if an individual loses their way of writing with their dominant hand will learn to use their other parts for writing ie use of the opposite hand, foot, or any part. There is again a very important role of the handicapped person that they are so in practice with an alternate body part and it’s being difficult to identity with their previous dominant handwriting.

Drugs Intoxication

Drugs have a very adverse effect on the person’s body and hence show their unpleasant side effects. It is creating a problem in writing characteristics or the style of writing For the sake of this kind of factor the document examiner during examination have to keep in mind the two relevant factor in medication prescribed in the patient by the doctor and definitely the drug abuse.

Effects of Drug Intoxication

  • Nervousness
  • Tremor
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Confusion
  • Pain
  • Parkinsonianism

These factors are highly responsible for the sake of the alteration in the handwriting characteristics of a person with the involvement of disturbing baselines and also the overlapping of lines and words. There is a kind of vibration seen in the writing as well because of the intoxication of drugs like caffeine.


Tremors are a very significant characteristic of handwriting which is a class character and is a recurrent movement of the pen also involuntary in action. There are various reasons for occurring of tremors like any disease, injury, aging, and drug intoxication.

Although stakes waving will alter the writing skills but there is still the presence of the individual characteristics which are helpful in the identification of the writer Tremors are hence difficult to imitate and also the variation between the illiterate and the literate one can be identified Le on the basis of the handwriting characteristics because the illiterate was not being familiar with the writing manner. In the case of criminals and frauds, tremors occur when one is attempting to copy other writing.

Drug Abuse and Effect of Alcohol

These factors create a great variation in the handwriting and signore examination. The person handwriting gets affected due to the hallucination effect and also with the consumption of toxic substances which itself proliferated the handwriting characteristics. The dig addict or person consuming alcohol show variation in handwriting with respect to its original handwriting on the basis of the pen movement which becomes more lethargic and also the change in its handwriting characteristics is also observed. Ale, the individuals who are drug-addicted with such strong drugs like Cocaine. Hemin, Opium,.

External Factors

Writing Posture

The writing posture is one of the external features of handwriting. Posture plays a very significant de during the writing in the variation shows when the during writing person is standing, holding any weighted tool on other hands while writing, or any other posture which will deviate the writing skills from the original writing. Hence the document examiner will examine the changes.

Guided Hand

Guide hand in such an interesting and significant factor of handwriting which is again an external feature. According Osborn, in his hook guided handwriting is an assisted handwriting that was formed by the two minds means one who is writing the document and the other who is guiding that person Guided writing is of two types i.e Deathbed & Assisted

  • Deathbed – It is a kind of guided hand when the ability to control the writing instrument almost diminishes with the time close to death, It is the time when the wills are made or revised. In this case, the writing became erratic and the presence of false strokes. There is a great relief seen in the terminal strokes of writing because the fluency is more in the last part.
  • Assisted – Assisted is another kind of guided hand as in this the second party is guiding or assisting the write to write the text by holding the hand through movement.

Writing Instrument

Writing instrument is one of the points which affect the handwriting externally as writing instrument consist of pen, pencil, the type of paper that may affect the handwriting. Like some paper is porous which will spread the ink if the individual having a problem with paper and pen it will affect the pressure and speed of writing. There are a some of the writing instruments which are non-traditional i.e. lipstick mirrors lipstick on mirrors or walls, writing by scratching from sharp objects, chalk on a blackboard, etc.

Writing Surface

Writing surface is again an external feature that affects the handwriting as it affects the indentations in the paper. If the surface of the paper is rough and irregular it will create huge grooves on paper. If it is on a soft surface the indentations will be heavier due in heavy pressure.

Environmental Factor

This is one of the features which affect handwriting the environmental circumstances are responsible

for the change in handwriting like lighting which will make the individual visions impaired and hence affect the handwriting, Abs, the temperature affects the body alters handwriting characteristics.

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