Lost Words – Recovering Indented Writing


The Docustat is used to recover indented writing (indented writing occurs when someone presses a pencil or pen to paper, creating a perfect copy of the text on the page directly below).


To recover the writing, technicians place the page on the surface (the bed) of the Docustat device and then cover the page with a film. An internal vacuum is activated. Then, a special toner mixed with tiny glass beads is poured across the page containing the indented writing. The toner sticks to the valleys in the page, creating a perfect image of the “lost writing.”.


Document humidifiers are used to create an attraction  to static electricity to evidence. The presence of the electricity greatly enhances the chance of recovering the writing.


Not only does the vacuum box help develop indented writing, it’s also used to enhance marks made in dust.

*Today’s post is brief because it’s moving day for me. We’ll be out of the corner room at the “Y” by nightfall, finally. And that means I’ll  have real internet service again. I do apologize for all the missed and unanswered emails during our transition from the Northeast to the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. If you sent me a message and I didn’t answer please resend it. Things should be back to normal by the end of the week.

You know, it’ll be kind of nice living just a hoot and a holler from Mayberry, Mt. Pilot, and Myers Lake. Y’all come…

*     *     *

Author Terry Odell is giving away a copy of this fine book. Please visit Terry’s website for details.

6 replies
  1. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    Good luck with the move & wish you many happy years in your new home. I’ll be down in the Outer Banks next week. I’ll send a wave in your general direction.

  2. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Congrats on the move, Lee.

    Say ‘Hey’ to Gomer.

    Oh, and … lotsa’ luck to you and yours.

  3. Elena
    Elena says:

    I noticed you carefully avoided the word “legible”. Perhaps another day you can go into who does the reading of the indented writing. Even after years of teaching I wouldn’t feel qualified as an expert in the translation of handwriting, especially my own.

    How wonderful to finally be moving into your new place – enjoy!!!!

  4. Terry
    Terry says:

    Gee, that machine looks a lot more efficient than the old, ‘rub it with a pencil’ method.

    Congrats on the move at last. Wish I could say the same. Anyone want to buy a great house in central Florida?

  5. Carla F
    Carla F says:

    Good luck with the move! How many times has someone in NC said, “You know y’all talk funny?” 🙂

Comments are closed.