Handwriting comparison is the most common work performed by a questioned document examiner. Handwriting samples, called exemplars, are collected for comparison with the questioned handwriting.
The purpose of handwriting comparison
Handwriting comparison is performed generally for two purposes.
- Compare the handwriting of a person who allegedly signed a document or hand-wrote a document with the questioned writing
- Handwriting comparison of a suspect with the questioned handwriting to determine whether the suspect wrote the document
Special procedures are used when comparing a questioned signature to determine whether it is a forged signature. When performing handwriting comparison to determine whether a suspect signed another person’s name we compare the suspect’s general course of business writing with the signature. The reason is writing a signature is a personal habit. When someone write’s another person’s signature, they are using their regular writing. The result is not a true signature.
Handwriting Comparison Exhibit
This exhibit demonstrates how Photoshop is used to make a direct comparison of two samples of writing. In this instance the question was whether the red questioned signature on the form was written by the person who signed the gray known signature. Annotations are added to explain the exhibit.