Find The Difference Between Scanning Document And OCR?

MailXaminer | January 3rd, 2019 | Forensics

Most of the users still get confused between the terms Scanning and OCR. Because both the OCR and the Scanning technologies are used to transform the paper data into digital format. In this article, we are going to explain the complete concept of scanning and OCR technology. Moreover, we will also explain how Scanning is different from OCR documents.

Scanning is the common technology used by the people to convert the hard document into digital data. It is similar to the copy machine, But in scanning technology instead of creating the hard copy it generates the electronic image of the data just like taking an image with Digital camera.

OCR (Optical Character Reader) is another technology used to change the paper document into editable digital data. Even it can be used to convert the scanned data into editable digital data.

Difference Between Scanning & OCR Document


  • Scanner generate the Electronic image of the paper document in an uneditable format

  • It reproduces the text data as a digital image with great accuracy

  • It is not possible to generate a text document directly from the scanned image
  • It is secure to share and save the scanned data because of its uneditable nature
  • Not able to copy paste text from the electronic/scanned image

  • Scanned images can be open and view using any type of image viewer


  • OCR generate the digital document in the editable format through character reading

  • It will easily transfer large amount information from paper to database or electronic records
  • OCR generate digital documents faster than the normal keyboard inputting method
  • Avoid the manual editing errors that occur during the keyboard data entry

  • The accuracy of the document will be less During the conversion of the handwritten or the smudged document

  • Confusion occurs due to the small text or font style leads to errors in the document

After knowing the difference between the OCR and Scanning Document Technology, the question arises how can we find out the OCR file stored in some Document, Mail or File format, as hundreds of Email clients are used by People all over the world. For this situation, an automated solution can be obtained through various Tools. MailXaminer is a reliable Digital Forensic Tool which allows to find and examine the emails containing the OCR file in different views and help to acquire related information through it.

How to Perform Analysis of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) File?

In the below-mentioned section, we are going to explain the process to examine OCR file details using the MailXaminer software.

1)  First of all, change the Settings to process the OCR file within the software. For that, you need to click on Options > Settings > Processing Options to run the scan with OCR process

2) Now, in the Advanced Settings screen, check the OCR option

3) After that, you can view the different document associated with the OCR file

4) Next, open the Search section, which is present at the left side and then type text to search the file in the resulted OCR file

5) You need to click on the Search icon to scan any Input Text related information in the OCR file. The software will search and display all the matching results with the input data

6) Finally, you need to click on the resultant file to view details stored in the OCR processed image file

Scanning and OCR: Now, No More Confusion!

After discussing the major difference between the OCR & Scanning Document from the above section. You can easily understand Scanning technology generating the digital image of the text document in an uneditable format. OCR technology used to generate the digital document in an editable format and help users to deal with text present in the image which is printed, typed or handwritten. During the Digital Forensic Investigation, MailXaminer tool can used to examine OCR files.