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How to Scan & Search for Text in Image Using a Smart Solution

Published By Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 4th, 2023
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading
Category Email Forensics

Quick Rundown: In forensic investigations, it’s quite common to encounter a need to scan and search for text in images especially attached in an email to dig deeper into the evidence. Since image files are easy to share via email, most prefer to scan their documents and files in image file format.

But, sometimes when it comes to searching & viewing the text from an image file, it seems nearly impossible. That’s when OCR technology comes into the picture. Here, we’ll thoroughly discuss how to scan for text in an image using OCR.

Background Information on OCR

Optical Character Recognition or in-short OCR is a pattern recognition AI-based technology that can identify text in an image even if it is an email attachment.

If you ever need to view your digital documents such as receipts, invoices, bank statements, etc. (usually in image format) tagged in an email, then OCR software is the solution for you.

Thankfully, tools like MailXaminer lets you use OCR technology to search for text in images present in an email attachment. Also, this professional tool is used by most digital forensic investigators due to its advanced keyword search mechanism.

Why is this Professional Tool Preferred by Experts?

There are ‘n’ number of reasons why it’s one of the best email forensics tools. Mainly, the keyword search feature proved to be very useful. Let’s see how.

Imagine thousands of emails containing attachments (image files) that an investigator needs to examine. But, if he/she will go through the emails one by one then it could take ages to find the required email. Thus, a smart solution that helps a user to scan the images and search for a particular text phrase proves quite useful.

And, the tool makes it easier for the officers to narrow down the searches and identify & preview the exact information stored in an image file attached to an email.

Now, let’s understand how the tool works.

How to Search for Text in Image Using OCR Technology Present in the Tool?

During an investigation, experts can examine all details stored in the image file processed by OCR technology. All they need to do is to import the evidence file(s) into the software using OCR settings.

Refer to the detailed procedure given below.

Step 1: Add New File

When you open the tool after installing it, you will find a + icon. Click on it to add files to scan text from images using OCR.

Add Evidence

Step 2: Configure

Under general settings, you need to tick the OCR checkbox.

OCR Settings

Step 3: Keyword Search

Enter the keyword in the search bar.

OCR Search

Step 4: Search Results

After clicking on the search icon, the tool will display the related information from the added files.

OCR Results

Step 5: Check the Result

Move to the attachment tab to preview files from the email in search results.

OCR Preview

Real-Life Scenarios Where Search for Text in Image Using OCR Becomes Helpful

OCR technology is handy for digital forensics investigators to scan thousands of different files including image files. It helps them search particular files in minutes.

Also, it is helpful in various investigation scenarios.

For instance, sometimes the evidence is stored in the screenshots of chats, or messages. But, finding the right information from a huge number of screenshots becomes challenging.

Hence, using a tool with OCR technology becomes a much easier option to pull out and search the text from an image file or screenshots.

Final Insights

During a forensic investigation, the examiner can encounter any type of file to analyze and search for clues to investigate further. It can be an image file too. Hence, to make things easier for the investigator, this article explained how to search for text in image using OCR.