The goal of this paper is to study the main uses of the residual imprint of the indentation test. It also discusses the different technologies and methods employed in this context. The difficulties encountered when trying to exploit the full potentials of the imprint are thoroughly examined. A survey of the literature on the quantification of the pile-up clearly shows that there is a lack of consensus on the measurement of the residual imprint as well as on treatment methods. Therefore, in order to widen the application fields of the indentation residual imprint, relevant and standardized indicators should be established. SCANNING 36:115–126, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.