Neat Desktop - What The Heck Is Going On?

Neat Desktop – What The Heck Is Going On?

In the past few months I’ve been flooded with emails from people looking to migrate away from Neat Desktop for their receipts and document scanning and organization.

When you get one or two emails on a subject you assume it’s a coincidence. When it becomes dozens of messages, it’s time to see what is going on.

Neat Desktop Is Being Discontinued

Neat is getting out of the desktop software game, and that seems to have many people heading for the door.

Here is what they say in their support note:

Effective immediately, Neat will no longer continue developing feature enhancements, updates, and/or bug fixes for the versions of Neat desktop software listed below:

  • Windows – Neat version 5.7 and all previous versions
  • Mac – Neat for Mac version 4.5 and all previous versions

Neat has been developing their cloud system for quite some time, but until this year you have been able to continue using Neat on the desktop. Now they are pushing everyone to the cloud.

I asked one of my readers why they are switching, and here was the response:

Neat stopped their Legacy desktop support early this year. They are focusing and concentrating on their cloud-based application which gets very mixed reviews. In my opinion it’s not great.

I don’t have personal experience with Neat’s cloud service, so if you are a user I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Neat Alternatives

For those that don’t want to make the switch to Neat’s cloud, what do you do? This is especially an issue for those that rely on Neat’s receipt extraction functionality.

Option 1 – Ride Out Neat Desktop Until It Dies

This is the easiest option, but as new versions of the Mac and Windows operating system are released it will eventually become untenable. Sooner or later something is going to stop working, and since there is no support there isn’t much you can do.

Option 2 – ScanSnap Receipt

Many users (based on my email inbox) are making the jump to the Fujitsu ScanSnap.

Modern ScanSnaps come with the ScanSnap Receipt software that lets you scan, categorize, and export receipts to Excel or Quickbooks.

Neat users will find one big feature missing in ScanSnap Receipts – reports. Unfortunately ScanSnap Receipt doesn’t have the nice reporting feature that Neat does.

Option 3 – Mariner Paperless

The closest software package to Neat is Mariner Paperless. It has receipt extraction, exporting, and reporting.

It has been quite a while since a major upgrade, but at least it is updated for macOS Sierra and Windows 10.

How To Export From Neat Desktop

If you want to get your PDFs out of Neat Desktop, here is how to do it on Mac and Windows. You can then bring those PDFs into whatever other system you decide to go with.

What Are You Planning On Doing?

Situations like this highlight one issue with using a proprietary system for storing your documents. You need to know how to get them out if you ever need to, and it will probably be annoying.

Christopher Price has an excellent writeup about what he has decided to do. Make sure you read the article and the comments.

If you’re a Neat user, have you made the jump to their cloud service? If so, how do you like it?

If you’re not making the jump, what are you going to do now that Neat Desktop is DOA?

Please leave a note in the comments and share your experience.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 158 comments

Kevin - August 22, 2023 Reply

What a great resource this is! I’m looking for an alternative to Neat and this was one of the few posts I could find that actually had a bunch of great suggestions. For right now my Neat software is still working but the scanner itself is a little sketchy. I was thinking of getting a Brother DS640 or Epson ES50 but it looks like they only come with scanning software and nothing for document storage. Is there any other document storage software I might try that is similar to Neat? It looks like Mariner Paperless doesn’t exist anymore. I just want something basic that functions like Neat, where you can easily search through documents and receipts. Thanks for your help!

MV - December 24, 2020 Reply

I decided to stay with the classic Neat desktop software. Works fine on Win 10 20H2. I just changed my workflow. Instead of saving scans to the local Neat database, I choose PDF which creates good quality, small, searchable PDFs. I found that Paperless doesn’t work well with the Neat scanner. It doesn’t scan the way you tell it to, like color vs black, and does not trim documents as well as Neat does. I also tried the free Neat scanning software, and although it works well with the scanner, it produces massive size PDF files. Does not compresses them well. I also think it doesn’t do a good job with the OCR as the classic Neat Desktop software does.

So for now I just use the Neat software to scan and save the PDFs to my cloud storage. The cloud storage can search PDFs just fine.

sunni - December 24, 2020 Reply

Great article, just was researching Paperless by Mariner and it looks like a great option. However their website states that they offer a discount if you have been using an alternate software such as neat. They ask you to contact them for details, and when I did so I was told that they do not offer that discount. While I still may have purchased the software without the discount, the fact that customer service did not seem bothered by the inaccuracy on their website makes me pause as I am wondering what customer service will be like if I have a problem with the program.

Clive Woodhouse - October 31, 2020 Reply

@Greg. Hi, If you have the old desktop version of Neat installed you can do the following:
1. From the main window make sure your Cabinet is selected in the left panel.
2. Select view all from the “SMART FILTERS” in the panel just below.
3. Now sort the retrieved list by the first column “Item Type”.
4. Scroll to the now consolidated list of contacts (head and shoulder icon) and select them all.
5. Just above the list select the dropdown arrow next to the export icon.
6. An export settings window opens where you can set “Select Format” with vCard, Excel, or CSV as options.

Greg - September 11, 2020 Reply

I just want my biz cards out of the damn .nwdb file… I’m not willing to spend on a monthly subscription just for some old business cards. I haven’t found a single work around but if anyone knows how to extract them please let me know.

Gregory Stenstrom - July 29, 2020 Reply

Can anyone provide me a link to of copy of Neat 5.7 or earlier (preferably 5.2) EULA?

Mac - June 20, 2020 Reply

HI, all.

Is anyone familiar with the free download of the Neat Desktop Software v5.7.1 offered through a website called TechMate Tips ( I’m trying to determine if it’s legitimate or only a means to get desperate folks to download and install some malware.

The website does have some characteristics of those I would consider nefarious, and this just might be a too-good-to-be-true situation.

Can anyone vouch for it?

Backup Bob - April 27, 2020 Reply

I am migrating to a Windows 10 pro system from Windows 7 pro. I just bought a Fujitsu iX1500 scanner and ran into a problem.

The Neat ND-100 scanner does work with Quicken and Windows 10. I have not tried installing the Neat software because I have exported everything to PDF and no longer need it.

The Fujitsu iX1500 scanner with the Scan Snap software is wonderful in almost every way. The software is a bit simplistic but it looks as if will work for me. I can “attach” folders, which means putting a shortcut on the ScanSnap desktop, and it will scan to that location with a file name of my choosing.

The iX1500 has no WIA or TWAIN drivers and Fujitsu tech support says to buy the FI series instead. They are ridiculously over-built for my purposes and they are very expensive.

This means I cannot scan with Quicken. This is not essential but I have been using it and I would like to continue to do so. Quicken has trouble exporting files so maybe I am better off using ScanSnap instead.

It also means I cannot scan into Word. I would have to create a PDF and have Word interpret it. That could become a serious issue soon.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I could REALLY use a WIA or TWAIN driver.

Many thanks.

Jason - April 15, 2020 Reply

I mainly used Neat as a “digital file cabinet”. I did my bookkeeping in other places. For anyone still hanging on… Neat 5.7 still works in Windows 10 and should for a while yet. But I’m on a Mac now. I run Neat in a Windows VM since the MacOS side will break much sooner. In a Windows VM Neat works fine for now, but I know I’m way past end of life. So in my search for a Mac-based solution to move to I came across.

I don’t think I can migrate into it, but I can start the new year with it and just move forward from there. Meanwhile I’ll have to export my Neat data to a format to an intermediate format in case I ever need to access any data.

Backup Bob - March 14, 2020 Reply

Does anyone know how to make the ND-1000 drivers work with Windows 10?

The MSI installed and I have plenty of Neat driver files all over my hard drive. The only problem is that Microsoft does not see them.

If I go to install a device (not a printer) I see my Epson scanner / printer and a note to click if my device is not listed. Microsoft brilliantly takes me to a page on setting up bluetooth devices. There is no option to search for a device.

If I look for scanners in Device Manager there are none. My Epson works as a scanner but Windows does not see it as a device.

You cannot re-install the drivers because they are already there. Neat recommends removing a LOT of files from several locations and running a repair. That simply replaces the files I just deleted.

It is really possible for a company to screw things up this badly? Oh, forget that question. They already did that when they abandoned their desktop users.

Sandra MacMillan - February 19, 2020 Reply

I have been using Neat for a small business and home use for many years now and love it but just did not want to go to the cloud and pay a subscription per month. Plus I have also heard many horror stories about the cloud and other people seeing your documents.
What is going to happen when my scanner doesn’t work anymore? It already has an Error message at the top of the screen but it does still scan fine.
How can I get my stuff out to still be readable with something else?
Or am I just going to loose all of my information that is on my computer?

    Backup Bob - February 19, 2020 Reply

    Before exporting make a backup of the NEAT database. After I synced my data with the cloud I found the local database had been deleted. I was able to recover it through my backup software.

    You can export your documents to a JPG or to a PDF. With the desktop version you can export groups of documents into one file. The cloud version only handles one document at a time. The large PDF is not especially convenient but it does preserve the data. If you export each item separately you can name the files appropriately and then import them into new software.

    The export process does not pick up the information about the document. If you are running a new package at the same time you should be able to manually copy the data into the new system.

    The folks at NEAT are shameless. They took away an excellent product, replacing it with a package that was not intuitive or efficient. For example, if I entered the vendor “NERT Software” and scanned a few documents for that vendor, I could edit the list of vendors to “NEAT Software” and the records would all adjust. With the cloud version there is no means of editing or deleting a name. so I would have to create a new vendor and correct each record. For another example, exporting a folder must be done one item at a time.

    They automatically renewed my cloud subscription and when I complained they would not refund any money.

    As for replacement options, Fujitsu scanners come with good filing software and there are products such as Mariner that also work well. I have not found anything that works as well as the original NEAT.

    I am now scanning receipts directly into Quicken. I scan other documents into files in folders I have set up. Neither process is as friendly as NEAT was but neither is difficult. There is no way to organize the data within Quicken other than in its place in a register. As long as you make good comments the data should be easy to search.

    This business with NEAT has made me behave more like the people in the Bible. Remember the part about being in that place where is the constant wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth?

    NEAT was great while it lasted. Good luck with your data conversion. And try not to gnash your teeth too much as you go through all of this.

Joe - January 21, 2020 Reply

The link to Christopher Price’s writeup did not work for me.

Joe - January 21, 2020 Reply

So it seems some are having success with Win 10 and Neat. I lost my original CD and need to reinstall. Does anyone have a copy of the last CD version I could copy? I believe the last version that came on CD also required an upgrade file to get the “final” version that ran locally. Perhaps someone can confirm?? I see many “download” links for Neat but they all appear to be fake. Can someone point me to a good ISO and the upgrade file if needed? Thanks!!!!!

MV - January 4, 2020 Reply

I posted previously about my solution to document scanning after Neat decided not to support their desktop software anymore. I still use the classic Neat desktop software because I refuse to pay a monthly fee for their cloud service. I use the Neat Desktop software only to scan to PDF instead of a Neat database. The software works great on Windows 10 (1909). I know that at some point the software will stop working, so I proactively exported my Neat database to PDF documents and found they fit nicely in my Google Drive (free) account. So now I have all the benefits of the cloud, plus my entire library is PDF so it is not married to or locked in any particular product. Searching the PDFs works great in Google Drive on the web as well as on the iPhone and Android app even for queries for text within the documents that have been made searchable using OCR. I went through testing other products to scan to PDF but none of them worked correctly using TWAIN (Filecenter, Paperport and a couple others) because the Neat scanner has its own proprietary language that only the Neat software understands correctly. The other programs either scanned multiple pages in the wrong order, or could not scan in color even though it was set to scan in color, or did not crop documents correctly.

I recently discovered that Neat now has a free software called Neat Scan Utility, which is supported on Windows 10 just fine. I presume that after customer defection and so much pushback against the Neat Cloud, they decided to do something nice for a change.

The Neat Scan Utility is by far the best alternative to the classic Neat Desktop application. It works perfectly well, crops documents accurately, and creates searchable PDFs in the folder of your choice on your computer. So I simply point it to my Google Drive folder and it saves the PDFs there. I find the workflow very simple and quick. I think this would be a great solution for those with a Neat scanner and need some good software to scan to PDF.

So if you’re looking to get away from the Neat Cloud service, or are stuck with a local Neat database and are looking for alternatives, I suggest you export your Neat database to PDF right away and start using the Neat Scan Utility. That way, you can back up your documents to your favorite cloud service at no extra cost.

    Shy - January 17, 2020 Reply

    Can you please provide the steps that you used to get the documents scanned to Google Drive. I changed my laptop and I do not know where to start with my old scanner. I still like to use the business card scanner. Thanks, Shy

      MV - January 20, 2020 Reply

      When you install Google Drive it creates a local folder on your computer. All you have to do is point Neat to scan a PDF in the local folder for Google Drive. I believe the Google Drive software you have to install is called “Backup and Sync”

      Neat Desktop and Neat Scan utility have a way to change the scan destination. You can scan to Neat or Scan to PDF. When you scan to PDF the Neat Desktop software will prompt for the destination folder in your computer.

    MV - January 20, 2020 Reply

    I’m gonna have to reconsider my recommendation to use the Neat Scan utility. Here’s why: I recently scanned an 8 page document in B&W which I store in Google Drive. I then tested for OCR search and the search in google drive would not find the document. I then realized the PDF created by Neat Scan Utility was a massive 79MB! Keep in mind it was scanned in black & white. OCR was useless. What’s weird is that I have tested this before with other documents and it worked fine. Not sure what happened here. I had to delete this massive PDF and rescan with the classic Neat Desktop software which did a great job at creating the PDF, this time at just 2MB, and OCR search worked fine in Google Drive. Granted, the scan quality was higher with the Neat Scan Utility, but 79MB is just a massive bloat!

    I like the scan quality Neat Scan Utility gives me, but it does a poor job at trimming the fat out of the PDF file. I can always use Adobe Acrobat (paid version) and optimize the PDF to trim the file size, but that defeats the purpose of “free” and adds a step that should not be necessary.

Kolin McIntire - December 25, 2019 Reply

OK…I waited to long to transition and Neat Receipts has stopped working on my laptop. I now have over 10 years worth of receipts stored on my computer in Neat format….. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to retrieve all of this info for import into another paperless software program. I haven’t decided which yet…that may depend on the import capability.

Thanks in advance.

    Harald - February 9, 2020 Reply

    @Kolin: I did some tests about a year ago on the readability of the Neat DB from other programs. The database is SQL Server Compact (SQL CE), and the native file type for this is sdf (not nwdb as Neat calls it). You can then rename a Neat database file to SDF and read it with any tool that is able to real SQL CE files.
    I did my tests with a tool called CompactView, but there are probably a lot of other tools out there that can read SQL CE files.
    Neat keeps its data in two types of files: NeatWorks.nwdb and Imagedb.nwdb
    So far I haven’t started converting my data since I still didn’t decide on what format I will store it in. It will also be quite some work to sort out the data model (mostly in NeatWorks.nwdb – the other files only have images).

    If you starts playing around with the database — please make sure you have a good backup of the original.

    I will probably have to go through the migration myself now in 2020.

      Dave - March 15, 2021 Reply

      This worked for me. I had the 2012 version backed up from an old windows vista machine that finally died. I changed the .nwdb extension to .sdf, downloaded SQL Server Compact (SQL CE) and opened the file. All the data was there but not pretty. Each record was a database item. I copied each record into a word document (image) and got all my files and reports.

      Thank you for the info 🙂

Darlene Kuny - December 3, 2019 Reply

I’ve been using Neat Desk for some time. With the discontinued 7.5 support my only option was to go to the Neat cloud. What a disaster – it’s very $$$ and once you max out your plan, your options are pay .50 per scan or upgrade for more cloud storage. I selected 1200 per year and paid the full year to get a discount. No big surprise I reached my limit my only option is pay more. I should have stayed stand alone. I would live to hear from other Neat users for advice.

1,200 DOCS PER YEAR – $29/mo. – $23/mo. – BILLED ANNUALLY
3,000 DOCS PER YEAR – $62/mo. – $50/mo. -BILLED ANNUALLY
12,000 DOCS PER YEAR – $208/mo. – $166/mo. -BILLED ANNUALLY

Don - October 31, 2019 Reply

Just took DeskScan out of the box. Yes set unopened for several years..
I’ve read many posts. I’m currently running Windows 7 Professional, 32 bit.
Any software/driver suggestions so that I can use DeskScan. Currently nothing works as the product is not supported by Neat.

Roger - October 17, 2019 Reply

Maybe this will help someone else. I was able to get my old neat scanner working with the NEAT driver and NAPS2 software. I set it as a WIA scanner, and had to set the brightness and contrast up a bit in the profile, but I was able to get good scans repeatedly after that. My settings are 24-bit color, 250 brightness, 150 contrast.

    MV - October 18, 2019 Reply

    Roger, I thought your idea was a good solution until I discovered that using the WIA driver does not allow duplex scanning. So if you have a double-sided page, you can only do one side and then flip the page manually. Using the TWAIN driver has another problem, you have to use the driver interface to get it to scan in color. If you use the application interface, which is usually nicer, then it always scans in grayscale no matter what you tell it to do. With the WIA driver it works better but it doesn’t have the ability to scan 2-sided pages. It’s all the driver’s fault, not the application. If you try the same from any other application, the results are the same.

MV - October 12, 2019 Reply

I’m done doing research on how to use the Neat scanner with other software and these are my findings. In conclusion, you CAN use the scanner with other applications that have access to the TWAIN driver. However, it is a guessing game as to how it will work. Normally, with the Neat Desktop application, you can place several sheets of paper on the scanner facing up, and they will scan in the right order. With Paperport, if you do this, the PDF comes out with the reversed paper order and there’s no way to fix that. With Filecenter, it has an option to fix the page order. In Paperport, I found a workaround by placing papers facing down so they come out in the right order. However, if you mix different paper sizes in the same scan job, the resulting PDF, the pages will not be trimmed properly.

Then there’s another problem: you can’t scan in color. No matter how much you tell the scanner to scan in color, either from the application or from the TWAIN interface, the scan comes out black and white (grayscale). Also, the scan quality leaves a lot to be desired. Many times documents were too dark which affected the OCR. Scanning the same document through the Neat Desktop app, resulted in a much cleaner document. There is really no solution for this. If it is not one problem it is another. So this was my “lesser of the evils” solution: Use the Neat Desktop application solely to scan directly to PDF instead of its own database. It will scan with the same good quality, do the OCR for you and saves the document in the location of your choosing.

In my case, I save them to my Google Drive folder on my desktop computer. By doing this, they become searchable on the web browser, are backed up to the cloud and you have 15GB of free space. I have hundreds close to a thousand documents and I am only using about 3GB so I can be on this for many years. Since it is in Google Drive, they become searchable through my iPhone as well, so I can have access to my data on the go. In addition, if you need to do a quick scan and you are not by your computer, you can use your phone’s Google Drive app to scan PDFs directly to your account and make those part of your library. I tested doing the same with my free Box account, which gives you 50GB for free, but Box free accounts have a limitation that does not allow to search metadata, meaning, your PDFs are not searchable, so that’s not good. Google Drive, on the other hand, searches within the contents of your PDFs.

For all it’s worth, I think I have a good solution for now. I have Windows 10 1903 and Neat Desktop still works. I can continue using this method until the Neat app stops working. I suppose some day a Windows version will come out that will no longer run Neat Desktop. At that time, I will have to bite the bullet and buy a new scanner, but my documents will not be held hostage by an application that no longer runs. In conclusion, the best solution is just to buy a new scanner since there is no good workaround for this problem.

GUSTAV A HAUSSLER III - October 12, 2019 Reply

To start with, it is BATE & SWITCH. They sell us this scanner, THEN they decide you can only use it through them! Customer service took weeks to get back to me, they did have a solution, but when you download it, it doesn’t work. I tried an aftermarket software. The quality was terrible, you couldn’t do a PDF search, and it took up 10 times the memory space. I can’t believe it, I bought 4 of their machines.

But I bit the bullet and VOTED WITH MY FEET. I bought an EPSON ES-500W. A week later I bought another one, even though the “Neat” was still working on one computer. I am not here to talk up EPSON but talk down NEAT. In addition to the support, the software, and the support, it is light years about the clunky NEAT machine. If the paper is wrinkled, it’s going to go through. If you have a stack of 40 pages, you don’t even have to watch it, it’s going to go through. With NEAT you had to hand feed, push straighten, monitor its every move. To do 40 sheets on NEAT would take 20 minutes, you would end up trying it three times, or breaking it down into several files, as it jammed.

I hope every employee at NEAT finds a “productive” job, and the NEAT company goes down in defeat.

Backup Bob - August 31, 2019 Reply

I need a little advice. I am done with Neat, after five happy years and two very unhappy years. Feedback, suggestions, and opinions will be greatly appreciated. My needs are these:

1. Store receipts and warranty documents, exporting a copy to Quicken.
2. Organizing important family papers so they are easily located.
3. Organizing user manuals and service manuals.
4. Scanning moderately large documents such as music so they are easily located.

The database must be located on a NAS storage device, or in the cloud, or both. It is not necessary for it to permit simultaneous multi-user access but that would be desirable.

We are not talking about huge amounts of data, just what is necessary to maintain a household and a small business such that anyone can take over management of the data with a little guidance.

Hardware options seem to be Fujitsu, probably the iX1500. I also have an Epson Workforce that would be used for flat documents, photographs and slides, etc. The software needs to work with both scanner, but not necessarily at the same time.

I have a concern that the iX1500 has been “dumbed down” with simple buttons that could make it less useful to other software such as Word or a PDF maker. Does it have full features not accessible from the front panel?

Software options seem to be ScanSnap and Mariner. ScanSnap looks simple and reasonably powerful and it might suffice, as long as it works with the Epson as well as the Fujitsu. When I tested Mariner a year or two ago it seemed a bit complex and I had trouble finding documents, or even confirming that I had filed them properly.

I have seen bundles with Evernote. This looks like note taking software that could double as a filing system. It is subscription based using cloud servers with local backup.

Then there is the problem of maintenance. A four year replacement with Micro Center seems like an ideal situation. If it fail, and if it is no longer repairable or replaceable, they will give a full refund (not a pro-rated refund). Amazon has a depot repair service, which can be slow and messy.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Jennifer - August 31, 2019 Reply

    I am using the ScanSnap. And I do love it. I’m just feeling a little concerned that the software might also eventually go away, and become to proprietary.

Joanna Benz - August 29, 2019 Reply

Since several people have asked about the Fujitsu Scansnap software, I would just like to mention that Scansnap Receipt is very good and can be downloaded for free. Here is a very good review:

I don’t use their Scansnap Organizer software for other documents, as it seems a bit clunky to me. But Scansnap Receipt is very close in usability to the Neat software.

I don’t know if this will work with other brands of scanners (not Fujitsu), but they also allow you to import jpg files of your receipts, which is very handy.

Arthur R Ruderman - August 22, 2019 Reply

Glad to have found this website. I wanted to reactivate an ND-1000 Neat Scanner I had stopped using in 2015. I downloaded the current app for the ND-1000. When I doube click on the icon on my desktop, I need to tell windows its OK to load an app that is not from their store. Then a dialogue box opens from Neat: “Welcome to Neat ADF Scanner Driver Set Up Wizard” , however when I click ‘Next’, nothing happens. Installing on a Lenovo laptop, 64 bit, using Windows 10 current Version 1903.
Thnx for your advice.

    Computer Cat - October 7, 2019 Reply

    Authur, I’ve seen a similar problem on a client’s Win 10 machine connected to a ND-1000. Check in the Control Panel to see if there are any instances of Neat s/w installed and remove all of them, then restart the PC. That being said, if you are installing from the original CD-ROM that came with the scanner, the software won’t complete the installation. Neat does have a scanner utility for download, but no link to download the last version of their Desktop organizer software.

Mario V. - June 23, 2019 Reply

I have used Neat Desktop for several years. I have years of documents stored on a local Neat database that I need to backup constantly because hard drives die some day. Then Neat decided that we should upload our entire document collection to their cloud service, years of PHI, HIPPA, and confidential data, and we should entrust basically our entire lives to their cloud so they can lock it neatly behind a monthly fee for their business pleasure. I say no to that. I shall not submit perpetual wallet loyalty to any company and allow them to hold hostage my entire document collection full of private and sensitive data which they will happily shred to pieces with a click of a mouse in the event I can no longer pay their fees, which by the way, are never guaranteed to stay at the same price level. Allowing ourselves to become corporate slaves gives them control over our wallets and that is something we should be quite aware of before it is too late. If you need more evidence of how evil companies can become once they lock you into their monthly subscriptions, look what Adobe has been doing recently.

So it is for this reason I need to move away from Neat Desktop. I have held for as long as possible, but as stated in this article, it is a non-sustainable path. At some point, Neat Desktop will no longer be compatible with our operating system and then we will be stuck in the mud scrambling to find an alternative while our documents will suddenly become inaccessible.

I have looked for an alternative and have tested Lucion FileCenter and now I am testing Nuance Paperport. FileCenter is great but it has one major flaw which forced me to give it the thumbs down: it relies on Windows Search and indexing for searching inside the contents of a PDF file. What a horrible idea, knowing the limitations of Windows Indexing Search and how unreliable it can be. Why would any company would entrust one of the most important features of their software to a third party? If it weren’t for that, FileCenter would’ve been my choice. Then comes Paperport, which seems to work great in this regard as it keeps its own index of searchable PDF content. However, I am having second thoughts about Paperport because its performance is not very good. It is quite slow to load folder contents and its OCR capabilities leave a lot to be desired. It is also not 100% compatible with Neat scanners.

I will continue on my journey trying to find the best replacement for Neat.

    annette - July 3, 2019 Reply

    Hi Mario,
    I am in the same situation with Neat desktop and doing research. Have you looked at Mariner’s Paperless 3?

    Backup Bob - August 31, 2019 Reply

    Make sure you have a good backup of your local data and software. It might just go away.

    I pulled almost everything from my Neat database using the desktop software. It let me export individual items. It also let me combine a year’s worth of old papers into one PDF very easily.

    A few weeks later I decided to finish copying my data, only to find the local database missing. I guess Neat decided I did not need it. I found the data on the cloud and copied it, but I could not join multiple documents into one PDF. The almost non-existent on-line help said it was not possible to do so. Mercifully there was not much left to remove.

    As for a refund, they will not refund anything unless you contact them within 30 days of an auto renewal. The folks at Neat are no longer … neat.

    Neat has gone from being a joy to use to a huge hassle. If the cloud software had the desktop functionality I would likely have kept using it but it is primitive, unreliable, and not a joy to use by any stretch of the imagination.

Robin - June 1, 2019 Reply

I have loved my Neat scanner and legacy software. I could scan hundreds of documents quickly and have them all organized. I have tried to get used to the cloud based program but I find it very time consuming and tedious. Scanning takes at least twice the time it did previously. Further complicating the situation is that many many times my documents scan blank. There doesn’t seem to be an explanation or solution.

I have to save my pile of scanned docs, make sure they scanned correctly and then rescan several times to finally get it to appear.

I am looking at other options for scanning. I preferred the legacy software for the ease of use. I am also not a fan of having all of my data in the cloud. Too many security issues.

I had to get a new PC and no longer have the option to use the legacy software.

    K - June 20, 2019 Reply


    You might need to run the calibration program a few times to get it to detect your documents better. If the original is very light, take a black marker and make a line or check mark on the document. That way it will detect that part and the scan should be successful.

    Hope it helps!

Kris B - March 16, 2019 Reply

I have a Neat Scan bar that I bought around 2012. My Neat software is 5.7.1_474. My computer is running the most current version of Windows 10. I am still able to scan to Neat, without a Cloud subscription.

I remember having problems with Neat on my old Windows XP computer. I had to disconnect it from the Internet in order to use it. I wonder if that, plus using the 5.7.1 software, would work for people who don’t want to use the cloud?

Ira Kirkpatrick - March 16, 2019 Reply

We have purchased a 2 neat scanners years ago so we could scan and place items in our own personal cloud not theirs. I have sensitive information that is protected by HIPAA and I think it is greed on the part of Neat to pull this crap and unprofessional behavior. Now we have a useless piece of shit that is a $300.00 paper weight. If I want to keep my stuff private I should still be able to use the Neat in my own privacy. I do paperless without your cloud now. Shove it Neat.

Julie - February 12, 2019 Reply

I just got this email from Neat, and downloaded the drivers, haven’t used them yet.


MacOS Mojave 10.14 Drivers Available

Did you know that 90%+ of scanner detection issues are related to missing or old drivers? You may need to reinstall or update the scan driver for your specific scanner model to get it working in Neat.

We now have a driver available for Mac OS 10.14 Mojave that is also backward compatible with older OS versions (10.12 or higher).

Please use the following steps to install the Mojave driver.

1 Disconnect the scanner from your Mac.
2 Download the Mojave driver by clicking here.
3 Open the driver in your downloads and click through to install it on your computer.
4 Once the installation is complete, you MUST RESTART your computer for the changes to take effect.
5 Once the restart is complete, plug your scanner back in and relaunch your Neat software to try to scan.
If you still see ‘No Scanner Connected’ in Neat, then restart your computer again. It may take more than one restart for your MacOS to recognize the scanner again.

P.S. Please note that while Neat is no longer offering Neat-branded scanners for sale (since Neat software now works with any TWAIN-compliant scanner or multi-function device) and all Neat scanners are now outside their one (1) year limited hardware warranty, Neat continues to provide these drivers at no charge for our customers to utilize.

Best Regards,
Neat Customer Care

    julie - February 12, 2019 Reply

    Wish the link were active so everyone else here could check it out. It’s probably available on the website. My guess is an attorney approached them threatening a class action suit, and they thought it’d just be easier to do this and shut us up, which is fine with me.

    Bob - February 17, 2019 Reply

    I had had a Neat Desktop system for years and I love it. I centered everything around it. Then one day Neat pulled the plug on it. I signed up to keep my data alive but the cloud experience has not been a good one. I did discover that the old Windows desktop software still works, and it syncs to the cloud, which has helped me maintain my sanity.

    There are too many problems with the cloud software to cover here but I will mention a few. Most of them seem to be the result of crappy programming and a lack of attention to detail.

    1. You cannot edit lists.
    If you enter a vendor as “Document Snup” by mistake the desktop version lets you correct it easily. The could version does not, and you cannot delete the bad entry. You are stuck with it.

    2. Scanning is iffy.
    The scanner seems to work but all too often the image does not appear. There may be a message advising of a problem. If you scan a few times and have the same results, just wait a while. All of those scans will suddenly materialize.

    3. The cloud system is slow.
    There are too many mouse clicks required to do what used to be simple tasks. The ease of use of the desktop system is history.

    4. The cloud does not like my other scanner.
    I cannot scan with my Epson Workforce despite it being WIA and TWAIN compatible.

    There are a few solutions.

    I was auto renewed so I have a few months to pull my data form Neat, and I am doing so as quickly as I can. The desktop will let you export a batch of items into one PDF. I figured that was OK because some of them were old and rarely viewed so I put them in a single file per year.

    Quicken can now scan receipts. It is not as convenient as Neat but it works with the Neat scanner. The only problem is that you must do one page and save, then view, expand the view, and add a new page. Also, the Neat Desktop scanner produces a grayed output and sometimes the scan is upside down. If I scan three receipts from the same source one or two may be inverted.

    Use 8 bit gray scale. If you choose anything else there is a good likelihood Quicken will crash. I have not tried color. You cannot scan double sided. You have to add each side to the document.

    I experimented with the Mariner Paperless software and found it a bit wanting. They have a new Windows version coming out and hopefully that has addressed a number of issued I raised with them. It will never be as simple to use as Neat but then again, it can do a lot more and it seems to be reliable.

    I plan to review this site and learn what I can. If I order a Fujitsu scanner I will be sure to link through here to Amazon to order it.

      Bob - June 24, 2019 Reply

      It has finally happened. The Neat Desktop software for Windows 7 no longer works.

      I was using the desktop version to export my data. It seems to have connected with the Cloud database, giving me a decent piece of software and a cloud database. In Marcy 2017 I exported my data to PDF files. Here in June 2019 I discovered one small folder I missed. I tried to tag everything in the folder and export it to a PDF as I had done back in March.

      My local database is now gone and the software will not start without it. The Cloud software only exports one record at a time. I needed only a few items but I can imagine the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth if someone wanted to export a large database now, and found it had to be one item at a time.

      Neat has moved me to their new Cloud application. It is really spiffy. Now, with an improved look and feel I still cannnot do most things easily. There is no “Help” button other than a link to a Web-based help system. They do have a robot chat system that is an insult to the intelligence of most people except, perhaps, the inexperienced idiots who designed this software in the first place.

      So now I have several problems: The feed rollers in my Neat Desktop scanner are losing their grip so I will have to replace it with a Fujitsu. Quicken’s scanning is clumsy and I cannot manage what is in it unless I know how to find it.

      I would like to find a scanning solution that works with PDFs, that lets me manage my data and my database in a reasonable manner, and that will let me store data in various folder. It should be able to store its database on a shared drive. Ideally it could be multi-user but that is not essential. If I can find such a package I may have an archiving project that could use the same setup. It should work with Windows 7 and 10. Mac compatibility would be a plus but not essential.

      I am open to suggestions. I have tried Mariner’s software and found it tantalizingly good but lacking in a few areas. Perhaps they have improved it in the past year or two. I have seen packages that appear to require a lot of work to use. I have not found anything as simple or as friendly as the original Neat Desktop.

      BTW – I have opened a service ticket asking how to cancel my account and receive a refund. Wish me luck. While I was entering my information a window popped up asking how likely I was to recommend Neat to a friend. I am afraid I told them just a bit of what was on my mind, albeit in a constructive manner.

        MV - June 27, 2019 Reply

        Bob, have you tried Paperport or Filecenter? I am trying to get used to Paperport’s cluttered interface, but it gets the job done. It is almost 100% compatible with Neat scanners. The problem is you need to place multipage documents facing down on the Neat scanner instead of facing up so that the page order is correct.

        As for FileCenter, it works great with the Neat Scanner and it is 100% compatible, but the deal breaker for me was the lack of native indexing. It relies on Windows indexing to search your documents which I find the most unreliable method. For this reason, you can’t store your documents in cloud storage folders like Box or Google Drive because Windows does not index those locations. If it weren’t for this limitation, I would prefer FileCenter over Paperport because Filecenter has a much cleaner interface and it is much more responsive than Paperport. Hopefully you will find a replacement that suits your needs and please share if you find one.

        As I said, I am stuck with PaperPort for now, but I want to keep searching. I have tested half dozen other programs and there doesn’t seem to be anything out there worth exploring.

          Bob - June 27, 2019 Reply

          MV – I have tried Mariner’s Paperless but not the products you mentioned. Paperport may not be quite what I am looking for. Paperless looks more comprehensive. if it can organize my existing PDF files I might be very happy with it.

          The biggest problem I had with Paperless when I tried it maybe 18 months ago was its complexity for simple tasks. I never knew if I had properly moved a document where it needed to be. I can search by when it was entered but finding it by date or key words did not work well.

          In Paperless receipts were simply another document. Whereas Neat could read a horrid receipt and make sense out of it, Paperless could not seem to tell much about, from what it was seeing. It should not be necessary to scan a receipt and then enter all of the data manually.

          Their Website shows how it now handles receipts. I don’t know if that is just the Mac version or if Windows is there yet. If Windows can handle receipts then I may give it another try. My Neat Desktop scanner’s feed rollers are losing their grip so I guess I will have to buy a Fujitsu scanner.

          I spoke with Neat yesterday. They offered to help me export my records as one big PDF, using a remote system. I told them it was of no use because the documentation says it can only export one record at a time and she acknowledged that was indeed true. Thank goodness I got most of my data exported in March, before they deleted my local database.

          The representative asked if I had tried the newer version of the software. She said it was much more like the old desktop software. I had tried it and I found it a bit better but not at all to my liking. It still does not let me edit vendors or other list items and there are few options except to add a record or click on a record to edit it, It is totally unintuitive, much like the version they are retiring. It does have a really slick colorful new interface, though.

          I asked about a pro-rated refund, since I wanted to cancel the plan. They do not do that so I will be paying through the end of November for a product I cannot use. At least the account is flagged as not being renewed.

          Neat will never get another dime from me. This is yet another company that decided to put greed before ethics, putting the screws to their customer base while destroying a really good product. Crash Plan and LogMeIn also did that.

          Crash Plan gave me almost no notice that they were leaving the consumer market, with no refund for services not used. LogMeIn gave less than a week’s notice that their free version was history.

          For backup I switched to iDrive and found it to be a better product than Crash Plan. It works well with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. There is a version that does a great job backing up two Synology NAS devices I maintain.

          I found Team Viewer to be much better than LogMeIn. What LogMeIn did not know is that I was considering buying several of their products when they pulled the rug out from under my feet. That will never happen now.

          Hopefully this time Paperless will prove it can do the job. If anyone has any comments or suggestions before I start the 30 day demo clock ticking I am all ears.

          MV - June 28, 2019 Reply

          Bob, I also tested Paperless, and I found it to be very good, but for some reason, it did not do a good job cropping papers that are not standard size such as checks, receipts, etc. Besides, I could not understand why all receipts were scanned as a photo negative, meaning the paper appeared black and the letters white. I did all I could to correct this, but nothing helped. The other thing that disturbed me about Paperless is that the user base is very small so I could not find a user community out there like you can find for more popular products. This helps troubleshooting issues many times. Plus, Paperless seems to be mostly a Mac product and I am afraid they neglect their Windows user base. I did like their OCR capability, though not as good as Neat.

          I understand perfectly what you say about CrashPlan. Although, I did have time to move away from their platform when they made the announcement they were killing their best product. At that time, they were pushing everyone to Carbonite, which is mediocre at best. So I moved to Backblaze which worked great, until a few months later I moved one of my computers from Windows 10 to Server 2016, and then I discovered that Backblaze does not run on Windows Server. So I had no choice but to go back to CrashPlan and get their Business plan. They gave me a good deal ($2.95/mo for a whole year) so I gave it a shot, and I have to say their CrashPlan Pro for Business is worse than their defunct consumer product. Extremely slow to upload, very inflexible, and has less configuration options. I will jump in a heartbeat if I can find something better that works on Windows Server at about the same price for unlimited storage. I will check out iDrive to see if it is convenient for me.

          As for Teamviewer, it is a great product, but I had to give them the boot because their software kept saying I was using their software in a business environment when I wasn’t. I only used it to remote to my unattended computers in my house and to them that was considered “business” use and kept disconnecting my sessions. It got so bad eventually, that the software refused to let me connect to my own virtual machines. So I kicked them in the butt and moved to AnyDesk. Not as good as Teamviewer, but it gets the job done for what I need.

          Bob - June 28, 2019 Reply

          MV – You are correct that Paperless is a Mac product. We share the same concern about its Windows support. I don’t know what else there is if they won’t do the trick. Perhaps I just need to refine my storage system so I can operate with a n Excel index and a bunch of PDFs.

          Moving from Crash Plan to Carbonite is like trading in an Escalade for a VW beetle. Carbonite limites the types of files you can back up and it is not very friendly if you are doing much more than backing up the “My” folders.

          IDrive has worked very well. I don’t know about a server version but they may have something. With iDrive backing up a Synology NAS is super simple using their Synology app. With Crash Plan I had to map a drive to the Disk Station NAS and back it up, which was not the best solution. I checked out Backblaze and many others before settling on iDrive.

          Team Viewer does nag about the licensing but it is a free product for non-commercial use. That being said, it is starting to give me trouble not connecting sometimes.

          Google has a remove system, which I have not tested. O&O Software has Syspectr, which is a monitoring tool that includes a somewhat limited remote desktop package. O&O is not well known but they have some excellent software. I use their Disk Image to protect a number of laptops against catastrophic failure.

          Lifewire has reviews of a number of remote products.

Miamirafy - February 12, 2019 Reply

I feel I was scammed. I never wanted to go on the cloud and now have a big paper weight deemed useless. There should be no reason for me to be forced to use the cloud. Needless to say, I will never even look to buy a neat scanner again.

Ralph - January 31, 2019 Reply

I don’t do business with people that abandon their customers after soaking them for a product that they know will go obsolete in 2 years. I have successfully blacklisted NEAT as a vendor from our county purchasing system and an working with surrounding counties to do the same. The word is spreading.

Larry Lilly - November 14, 2018 Reply

I have been a windows and mac Neat legacy user for many years and fairly pleased until the mac os updates started before sierra. I have 4 Neat ND1000 desktop scanners and 3 Neat mobil scanners. All have been rendered useless for scanning because of Neats cloud policy. I can still use the windows but it is slow and cumbersome on the virtual windows on my mac. I am looking for a change as I keep all receipts in digital format with Neat. The only receipts I can use the Neat machine for is by importing receipts already in pdf, jpg…. formats. This works fine with receipts I receive electronically. Hard copies have to be digitized and then imported which is time consuming.

I tried the cloud twice. There won’t be a third time. The cloud is very slow, some images do not show up. Some are not even registered on scanning. They charge too much for the service given. They also have my data which I do not care for.

So far I have been suggested to use scansnap and their software or Paperless with their suggested scanners. After spending over $2000.00 on Neat, I am hesitant on investing more in another system. However Neat is not giving me much choice.

Ian - October 14, 2018 Reply

Just bought a NIoB Neat scanner because they claimed TWAIN and WIA support.

Those appear to be locked inside the driver that requires a cloud account to function.

Clear case of false advertising.

Don’t let me give you all any ideas, but…

Nicoel - July 15, 2018 Reply

I am so disappointed with the new version of Neat Desk. We have been using the old Legacy version for years and now that there are ZERO fixes for that version we had to convert to the new one. We have several years of information that we cannot bring over to the new version and cannot open in another program, so essentially, it’s lost. If we need it, it’s gone. So, thanks for nothing and thanks for wasting my time. I have a ton of information stored on a backup drive that I can’t even access.

I have been working on re-scanning just this year’s documents into the new version and there are so many steps that it’s taking forever. It used to be such a simple process and they’ve taken something that was just a single step and made it into a 5-6 step process. And, you can’t combine documents that may go together but that come in at different times. So reconciling is a pain in the butt. It also doesn’t tally at the bottom like the Legacy did. What’s the point?? I shouldn’t have to run a report to see what my tally is in a pinch. It’s so not worth it… I’m ready to cancel my subscription, which I think is ridiculous to have to subscribe to anyway, and just save to my own folders on my own computer.

I am a VERY organized and busy individual. The LAST thing I need is to spend more of my time farting around with this system. If I don’t see some of the old and easier options being offered on this new system soon, I’m cancelling my subscription. I always used to recommend Neat Desk. I cannot, in good faith, do that anymore. They took a perfectly good product and pooped all over it. It’s terrible…

    Sandy - August 2, 2018 Reply

    Hey – I purchased a old MAC and loaded to old version of NeatDesk and it works flawlessly…. well as well as it did when I used it full time. That means I can access all my previous years… might be a good alternative for you if you till have the files.

    This is a company that took a very good software idea and trashed it with on-line for greed.

    Stephen Lee - September 20, 2018 Reply

    I agree. I just purchased the scanner and the legacy software about 2 years ago, and really was impressed with its capabilities. The move to web based BS subscription has been so disappointing. I’m willing to pay a subscription if it still supported the legacy software.

Jess - July 14, 2018 Reply

I just spent many hours in a remote session with one of Neat’s techs in the Philippines. I watched as he created a new database so he could copy and paste folders with 750 documents from the old to the new – by hand! One by one by one. The process took hours over two days. After completing the migration he synced everything to the cloud which also took a few hours longer.

While the tech was excellent and clearly knew what he was doing, the whole process scared the crap out of me! All this just to migrate from desktop Mac 4.5? And everyone here seems correct, the interface seems clunky, report customization seems very limited and – most annoyingly – I don’t like the “retrieving document” notice I get each time it pulls a document from the cloud.

Even if I end up warming to the interface, I too am less than impressed by assurances that “everything will be in the cloud and secure.” The vulnerability is that ALL your personal data – birth certificates, medical data, relative’s information, names dates and addresses – everything you scan – is kept by this one company. You are putting all your eggs in one cyber-basket just begging to be hacked. Deep Root Analytics, Target, Citibank and the CIA all discovered their systems were more vulnerable than they thought.

Nonetheless, I’m going to give Neat Cloud a try this week. But after reading all the posts here from this year I am dubious. I want to try the SnapScan / DocFetcher / combo mentioned below as well.

gthomson - July 13, 2018 Reply

I bought the Neat setup about 3 years ago – probably 2015/2016. I didn’t realize the software I was using was dependent on their cloud-based setup. Used it for about a year, then my free subscription expired. I have maybe 15-20 statements to scan in per month – I wasn’t about to pay $10/month for life to keep doing that and have access to them forever. Neat Receipts became ransomware in my mind at that point.
I called to find out what I had to do to just scan local – no-can-do. They suggested if I didn’t want to pay the $120/yearly, I could use their monthly plan at $15/month. How is that even remotely a better option?
After 30-40 minutes on the phone, they finally said I could download and install the desktop version since when I bought the setup, the desktop version was still available and supported.
Did that.
They helped me export from the previous version.
Unfortunately my subscription was cut off before all the exports were done – my fault on that one – I thought all were exported. Lost about 300 out of 1200 pdf’s because of that.
Imported to desktop version. Ughhh – lost all categorization, all pages are single pdf’s, not combined into one per each doc.
It was all a royal PITA. But I could live with it – I don’t often need those docs, and have most (at least 900 of the 1200) if I need to ever go back to it, if I can find which one it is.
Okay, so now fast forward to current day – July 2018.
My regular workstation may have been compromised.
It’s time for a migration to Win 10 anyway, so I begin re-installing apps, moving data, etc… to a Win 10 setup.
Go to run the desktop version of Neat Receipts – the version is no longer supported, and they won’t let me activate it. But a button there to ‘try our new version for free’.

Yeah, been there, done that, no thanks Neat Receipts.
They’ve lost me as a customer forever at this point.

Still have to look through all these posts and see what other options might be good.
But I’m a programmer by trade and hobby as well. So it may just be that I write my own app this time around to scan and save to pdf, and stuff in a database in a way that links the separate pages together.
About 1000+ pdf’s that I’d have to either find a way to get into it – lots of wasted time – thanks Neat Receipts – or maybe just put them in a folder and leave them be and hope I don’t need to sift through them all for something, and then just move forward with something that isn’t going to tie me to paying them for life to keep using it.

Learned a good lesson on this one. Twice.

Linda - June 8, 2018 Reply

I follow the posts on this site and understand the pain about which many of you write given the abandonment from the Neat Receipts company for desktop users. Shame on them!

I am a solo provider, an LLC.

While fortunately my scanner still works with old Neat Desktop s/w even in Windows 10 and I’m still using it, I will migrate to Mariner’s Paperless software for my 2018 records once I can scan and classify the inputs and spend more time with the software.

I was able to set up my Neat scanner to communicate with Paperless, at least on a trial. It took a bit of work, but I figured that out. Perhaps Mariner can provide some help for those of us that have challenges with that NR scanner. I believe there has to be a generic scanner driver that is not proprietary.

I encourage anyone to at least try Paperless. I believe the company will be responsive for people/companies that have to keep receipts and track for taxes and produce reports. There is a huge market out there; one that isn’t addressed for smaller business, and especially for those of us that believe a useless and expensive cloud solution isn’t an option, be it HIPPA or for any other reasons.

Mariner has been out there for a long time; I’m committed to seeing how Mariner and its users can all make this work. I was a reviewer of s/w for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for five years, have attended CES with press credentials, and have many years in IT as an end user advocate, so I am all in.

I will continue to follow the posts. Thank you for reading this.

Best; —Linda

J - June 7, 2018 Reply

I have a Neat scanner in mint condition made obsolete, well, by Neat. How ridiculous does that sound?! A recent Windows update has made it impossible for me to scan to my Windows PC, even after uninstalling and reinstalling legacy software. It crashes when I try to open the software.
Multiple page scanners are not cheap, now mine has become a paper weight overnight. Can I sell it to a sucker that subscribes to Neat’s BS business model?

I never used their cloud service or their OCR file reporting. NEVER. Using their servers is not HIPPA compliant without a business agreement and if they ever did go down that route, it would exponentially more money for such subscribers.

I will look into ScanSnap or Brother. At least Brother release firmware updates for their older devices. Neat tries to bully you into thinking you need their buggy service without leaving you options, says they won’t help you BC you’re not a subscriber, and only care about their bottom line. Not previous legacy users.

What’s really messed up is Neat won’t even create a substitute software so that legacy owners could still use their scanner! At lease as a regular scanner to PC or USB. Pulled some real proprietary hardware/ software isolation like Apple.

I am not a fan of the mass migration to subscription based service with EVERYTHING. Cost of living is getting higher with an annual or monthly subscription for every service. No one should have to pay Neat’s subscription service just so they could scan to their PC desktop. That is the price of the scanner.

Can someone please create a hack so legacy owners could still use their scanners and our hard earned money is well utilized. You know, like a scanner.

Melissa - May 3, 2018 Reply

I just installed the latest update for Neat on my desktop. All my information is gone!!!! Do they even care about all the complaints being made? Does anyone line Neat now? If anyone finds another option, please let me know. I don’t just use Neat for receipts. I scan a lot off documents ; ie, Division orders, transfers etc and was able to customize my categories. Now, I can’t do any of this. Ugh!!!!!!

    Partne Daugherty - October 15, 2018 Reply

    Your Neat data is not gone.
    If you have the Legacy software, then you can recover a corrupt database.
    I have done it MANY times.
    Basically, you have to create a new database in a different location.
    Then, Copy certain beginning files, go to the lost database, delete those files that have no database data, and replace them with the ones from the newly created database.
    Back everything up before playing.

    Personally, I think that corrupting our databases and forcing us to switch over has been part of the game plan.

Steve - April 29, 2018 Reply

Neat should offer a free cloud version for existing users if forcing us to abandon the desktop version.
I use neat as a filing cabinet and have my own backup drive and wanted to add Neat to new PC but am now forced to pay for cloud storage that is not always available.

Bo - April 26, 2018 Reply

I won’t bother rehashing all the complaints of Neat abandoning their desktop software, but I’m also pissed. I simply won’t put all my info on their cloud servers (plus the UI is terrible from what I’ve gathered). They can claim all the security in the world, but the fact is that their cloud is very opaque and you have no idea who has access to the servers and personal data within the company, nor the auditing they perform on their network security.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a Windows solution that’s a good alternative to Neat Desktop. Luckily I still have it running on my PC, but the document processing is becoming unbearably slow, with the occasional crash. I’ve tried the different software mentioned in the comments, but nothing works the way I like. If anyone has other software suggestions not mentioned previously, please make a mention of them.

    Joanna Benz - August 29, 2019 Reply

    Hey, Bo. I bought a Fujitsu Scansnap ix500 scanner, which is a great scanner, hardware wise. Their main scanning software is rather clunky. But they have a separate software program called Scansnap Receipt which is very nice, and closely resembles the Neat software.

    You can download their software for free, although I’m not quite certain that it will work with any old scanner. Go to

    Worst case scenario — you can scan your receipts into jpg files, and then import them into Scansnap Receipt. The organization and search functions of SS Receipt are excellent.

JerryG - April 11, 2018 Reply

I have been using the Desktop v 5.7 and my old computer died. My original version was 5.2 so I loaded that on my new computer but Neat tells me I can’t upgrade that computer to my 5.7 version anymore. I live in a rural area with no broad band so can’t be uploading documents so, no moving to the cloud for me. Also, guess what, the Back Up from my version 5.7 won’t work on my new computer with the old Neat 5.2. Fortunately, I migrated all my scanned docs into PDF before that computer died but I learned a lesson and will never trust Neat. If they screwed us over on the desktop so I can’t even get a new computer and keep my same version, what will happen with my docs on their servers in the cloud.

Backup Bob - March 26, 2018 Reply

Neat keeps telling me I have an update available. If I install it the message does not go away.

Neat also loses documents I scan. No longer do I see an indication in the tree that a document is processing. I have to wait until it is done. I have had several documents just disappear that I had to re-scan. If I look at the folder I can tell a document is processing. That is because Neat defaults to “All Items” every time I click on a folder.

The categories and accounts fields have many defaults I will never use and that I cannot remove or edit. I want nothing to do with American Express yet I have to look at their sorry name every time I choose a payment method. Every time I want to choose a category I must sort through useless items such as “Bedding”. Just how many mattresses and sheets does someone buy in a year?

I tried Paperless but it did not have a decent means of categorizing things. It is designed for general filing and it looks as if it can do that well. It is not designed for keeping receipts and it does a terrible job of identifying the data on a receipt.

Unfortunately, Neat is no longer that good at that, either. I fed two identical statements into it, one for me and one for my wife, as I have done every month. One was identified properly but the other one picked up a name I have never heard of, and that appears no where on the statement. Worse, that name is now probably fixed permanently in my vendor list.

The many things that made Neat great are totally missing. I cannot rely on the old desktop version because Windows could do an unsolicited update and kill the product, leaving me with nothing. I am paying over $100 per year for reduced capabilities and no assurance of usability. I would gladly pay an annual fee to keep the desktop software alive. I do that for several other companies. I resent being forced into a sub-standard system and paying such a high price.

Paperless looked promising but it was too frustrating to use. Are there other solutions, or should I plan on building my own filing system and scanning to PDFs? How is the software that comes with the Fujitsu scanners?

    Backup Bob - April 10, 2018 Reply

    I have just spent over an hour scanning a handful of receipts and two statements. With Neat Desktop this would be a simple task. Instead, I have been tearing my hair out.

    I tried to add two new credit cards. I have added them multiple times and one of them keeps going away. For a while it was there but incorrectly but now it is gone.

    I found a typo in one payment method. With Neat Desktop that could be easily corrected. Not with the cloud version. There is no way to edit anything. I have to paw through Diner’s Club, American Express, and a number of other defaults I will never use to find the ones I do use, that is, if they have not disappeared.

    I have learned to exit the scan module, otherwise I have to drill down through the tree to tell Neat where to put the documents. I did this a few minutes ago and the documents, any my screen display, shifted to where I had been earlier. The program also crashed several times.

    Speaking of which, I went through an update, which took several minutes. After the crash Neat advised that an update was ready and asked if I wanted to install it. They still have not fixed this bug.

    Neat’s programmers have no concept of paying attention to detail or to understanding how people might interact with their software. Neat used to be enjoyable to use. Now I find myself avoiding it and letting documents pile up. It is not enjoyable, it is not efficient, and it crashes a lot.

    So, is Fujitsu’s Scan Snap a good replacement for Neat? I would like to be able to export transactions to Quicken but that is not essential. Then there is the problem of pulling out many years of data. Some of it can be trashed but I have a lot of tax records in Neat.

    There must be a solution out there. I cannot deal with this much longer.

    Joanna Benz - August 29, 2019 Reply

    Bob, please see my comment that I just posted to Bo.

    Scansnap Receipt (from Fujitsu) is quite good, and I think you would be happy with it. But, as I mentioned, I’m not sure if it can work with other scanner brands.

    One thing I neglected to mention. Before scanning in my receipts, I created a folder for each year. This makes things a little easier when I am looking for something.

    The software does make some errors, mainly wrong date, and mainly when the receipt is very faded. But it’s easy to just type in the correction. Hope that helps!

Justin Greene - March 26, 2018 Reply

Hi All,

Here is my #metoo story about Neat Receipts.

They used to be a progressive company. They have fallen to the notion of simply wanting a Cloud presence over everything else; rendering a feature poor UX (User Experience).

They once had a compelling product abd gave the impression that they actually understood the use cases and real world application of it’s product in the market place.

We recently upgraded and bought a subscription and it has been unbearable; trying to determine a viable exit strategy. Two weeks of pain is enough.

Here a few statements of fact:

– Doesn’t Support Custom Cover Pages on Reports
– Cannot select which columns are rendered on Reports e.g. Client or Project Name
– eMailed Receipt Error “Processing of embedded images in html not supported” Image is wiped
– Cannot Pass Input Parameters to build Expense Report; One Template and its their way or no way
– Support is dismal Chat Agents key in Keyword Search results and send you any result whether it’s relevant rot your inquiry or not; They refuse to answer binary questions for example is “X” supported Yes/No ? You get machine gunned with a pile of Videos none of which addresses the direct question in most cases which is a simple “No” or Not Anymore
– Cannot edit Image once it’s imported into the application. No Post Import Cropping, Page Deletes, Import what you need or forget about it
– No ability to duplicate receipts to handle splits, e.g. Lodging Vs. Meals on a singular Hotel Bill. Use to be able to duplicate the bill and book expenses for Meals on one record and lodging on the other.
– Neat Cloud is an Epic Failure; In the Cloud but Feature Poor worst product experience we have ever endured.
– Cannot Spool a Document Directly to Neat Application. Have to attach it and then send it to an eMail Address and wait for server processing; Feels like the dark ages just in the Cloud so I suppose that’s suppose to make it better NOT !

Novel Idea the execution is just not there. We’re done done !!

The question is why ! Why ruin a relatively good product? Head Scratcher …..

Sam - March 14, 2018 Reply

My name is Sam and I was recently alerted by a customer that another customer posted about our services and products on this site.

I will try to keep this brief.

We sell Neat Cloud for half the price of We purchased a huge number of pre-paid Business plans for a significant discount through Panasonic that allows us to sell the software so cheap.

We’ve been selling the software for almost a year now and have gotten very good at supporting customers and discovering tricks to get around some of the quirkiness of the cloud software.

Anyway, we invite you to visit our site and ask us any questions via phone, chat or email.

We look forward to speaking with you.


    Sandy - March 23, 2018 Reply

    Still I would NOT want my financial information on the WEB for any hacker to get to. Why would people actually believe that we want this.

    Neat Desk and the scanner were one of the most functional programs I have used. It was a time saver, put out great reports for my taxes and I didn’t have all the paper clutter. When they went to the WEB I quit. I now have a older MAC that runs the software and I can use the scanner with it. I am happy and I will never transition to WEB based software. It sucks

      Sam - March 23, 2018 Reply

      HI Wendy –

      If you use online banking, pay your credit card online or do a half of dozen other type of online functions then you are exposing yourself to hackers. Neat has the same level of security as a bank so unless you plan on living off the grid you will have fewer and fewer choices in the coming years of what services you can use. Everything will eventually be cloud based. The benefits greatly outweigh the cons.

      I was also a big fan of their desktop software but I have transitioned to the cloud product and greatly benefit from the ability to snap receipts with my phone and use Neat Verify for complete automated data entry and I love the email forward…an I still use the desktop software.

      Never is a long time. But to each their own.

      Sandy - April 5, 2018 Reply

      You’re not the only Sandy that is incredibly upset about this. Its a bait and switch.

    Backup Bob - April 10, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for the offer, Sam.

    The problem is not the price. The problem is that Neat, which used to be a wonderful product, is now a piece of junk. It is poorly thought out and poorly executed. As some others have complained, it is also poorly supported.

    Support does not mean giving people references to documents and videos and saying, “Goodbye and good luck.” Support means fixing problems.

    Neat is a product that his been “improved” to the point that it is no longer usable, even at half price. This is not your fault, it is the fault of a company that has not a clue what they have done.

    Bill Busch - May 6, 2018 Reply

    Sam, I think you miss EVERYONE’S point. The cloud version is GARBAGE and people posting here do NOT want to pay for it. I use Desktop V5.7. I have enough issues with that since the last update. No way I will ever purchase the cloud software based on everyone’s complaints. There are TOO MANY complaints to simply dismiss these people as just whiny or not knowing how to use the software. Many posts go in depth with their issues and it’s obvious they know what they are doing. Even your so called “cheap” offer is not worth the time you took to write your post. I feel it’s quite foolish of you to even have posted that here.

Backup Bob - March 10, 2018 Reply

I have had Neat Desktop since 2012. It made my life much simpler and more organized. Bill paying and filing are never fun but with Neat I could get the job done with relatively little pain. It was intuitive, fast, and mostly reliable.

I would be happy to have the Neat Desktop software I know and love for an annual fee, with cloud storage as a paid option. Instead, I am saddled with the Cloud version which has lost much of the simplicity, charm, and reliability that made Neat Desktop such a wonderful tool. The software is unintuitive, many features appear to be missing, and it is buggy. For example:

1. There is no tutorial, other than a brief overview.
2. There is no menu at the top of the screen. The help button yields a crappy video presentation with no substance.
3. Online help is virtually non-existent. Searches yield useless results.
4. The software wants to update itself. After I do that it continues to prompt for an update.
5. Documents can no longer be combined and the help screen acknowledges this.
6. Documents scanned with the ND1000 are gray. Neat corrects this but a PDF file stays gray.
7. Dates must be entered with the year. Entering “12/7” will crash the program..
8. The system continually defaults to “all documents” even though I select “receipts”.
9. Clicking within a category or vendor field requires deleting what is in there before entering data.
10. It does not appear possible to edit the category list. A mistake is there forever. Unnecessary defaults, i.e., Discover and American Express, cannot be removed.
11. The scan screen defaults to the last scanned location, not the folder currently in view.
12. PDF scanning is a crapshoot. Documents disappear or have a “_1” appended to their name.

The list can go on and on. Neat used to be a pleasure to use and highly recommendable to others. It is now a millstone around my neck that I will not recommend it to anyone. I am now paying an annual fee for a product that can no longer get the job done.

I investigated Paperless and found it feature rich but not friendly as a receipt manager. There are too many steps required to scan a document, document management is not overly intuitive, although it has some power features once you discover them, and there are limited options to the document hierarchy. Part of the problem is that Paperless relies on the scanner’s Twain software, whereas Neat had all of that integrated.

I would like opinions on the Fujitsu scanners and software. Perhaps my best option is to buy a Fujitsu scanner certified for Neat and then move to their software.

I do not care how my data is stored, be it in a database, as a collection of PDFs with indexing, or some other method. I do require that I can easily access what I need and that I can archive or purge old records easily.

The worst part about Neat is that they do not seem to care how they have hurt their user base. When a company has such a loyal following it seems foolish to kick them in the teeth.

Crash Plan did the same thing with their excellent backup software. Once they decided to pursue the business market dropped their personal users, who had helped make the product popular in the first place. The announcement came with almost no warning and a limited time to make other arrangements

Their suggested replacement was Carbonite, which to me seems like replacing an Escalade with a Kia. I have switched to iDrive and while I am happy with the product I really miss some features that Crash Plan included.

    Sandy - March 23, 2018 Reply

    Buy a cheap older PC or MAC and use it with that. I have one that is 5 years old and totally dedicated to just Neat Desk and the scanner and I am sooooo happy right now.

    julie - April 5, 2018 Reply

    In your list, you may have forgotten, “Doesn’t total categories anymore.” That’s my big complaint nowadays. I’d like a total of the dollar amount of the category’s receipts, or a total of a group of receipts in one category, and now there’s no way to make that happen, or even copy a category and paste it into a Numbers spreadsheet. Apparently Neat wrote sums out of the program. Incredible.

    The funny thing is when I use it, it has different glitches, errors, and idiosyncracies than you get. How weird. Re your #5, I am able to combine receipts. Re #8, mine does default to “receipts”. Re your #11, sometimes it will default to the last scanned category, and sometimes it defaults to the inbox, even though I clicked on the category I wanted the scan to go to. Hmph.

Jay - March 2, 2018 Reply

I’ve been using Neat for 7+ years for organizing receipts for my small business, I actually don’t mind paying and was paying $15/mo until last year when I went to yearly . I don’t like the look of the cloud and find it not ‘user friendly’, I have desk top versions on all my computers and loved being able to synch them up to work where ever I was or being able to have someone scan them in for me while I reviewed and assigned folders from another computer. I recently bought 2 new laptops one Windows 10 and one Windows 10 Pro and installed my 5.1 that I purchased years ago with the desktop scanner. They refuse to synch or just do it seemingly when they’re in the mood 🙁 As soon as I get my taxes done I need to find something new. I don’t need reports but to need ‘totals’ per folder which do not show up on the Cloud. I black out all account numbers for anything going to the Cloud. Very frustrating to have 7 years of receipts and have to change now… I’m going to try and re install one the computer I spent hours scanning on today in the morning and see if that works as it DOES seem to work that way though not consistently and it hasn’t synched to the Cloud in a week with error messages and ‘try later’

Pauline - February 12, 2018 Reply

I have been using Neatworks for probably 7 or 8 years…..I have never been that happy with it……but my needs are fairly simple and I was used to it. Every year I vowed to quit. Now it seems I have to quit. I’m using Mac version 4.1 . It won’t even let me upgrade . I just get an error msg. It crashes constantly.
Have been using Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner for years now. The Neat Scanner was useless.

Networks is now completely unreliable so I am switching to Quickbooks. Something I should have done years ago. When they first came out with the ICloud service I tried it and was not happy at all. I refuse to have my banking information in the Cloud. Why? For my information to be stolen or corrupted. No thanks.

    Linda Webb - February 28, 2018 Reply

    I am still using NR Desktop for Win [most recent version; ha!] to try to prepare my LLC taxes for this year.
    Frightened about the ongoing DB crashes, I’m backing up the NR database LOCALLY ONLY every 15 minutes because of data integrity issues regarding the entries, graphics and database record pointers to mismatched receipts and DB records.

    Because ALL of my work life for tax purposes is in Neat for 2017 [and going back some years], I will reluctantly continue to work with it until filing this year’s taxes.

    However I’m holding ALL of my 2018 receipts for potential use in another product.

    I downloaded a trial version of Mariner Software’s “Paperless” product because a) it’s not a cloud solution and b) I think it has the features/benefits I need. I’ll be happy to post updates after tax season is over. Please stay tuned. [I’m a solo provider, and like many of you, do not wish a high monthly fee for s/w use be it subscription or cloud…]

    Best; —Linda

      Tom - February 28, 2018 Reply

      Linda, I just downloaded the trial of Mariner Paperless today! I am hoping for the best. Already love the Snap Scan iX500 a whole bunch.



Linda Webb - February 10, 2018 Reply

I have read the posts of others.
I was a Neat Receipts user until they went to the cloud.
The reporting I needed was not there.
After the could service did not deliver, I got a refund, and have been trying to use the desktop version which now crashes so is no longer reliable. Should I have to re-create all this stuff due to their crashes?

As a solo provider who reviewed this software from CES, what a disappointment as they changed their business model. Shame on them!

Sharon - February 3, 2018 Reply

I agree. Neat now stinks in every way including customer service. Has anyone tried File Center?

Matt A - January 8, 2018 Reply

I knew this day would come and it has finally arrived. Most things are moving to the cloud, like it or not. For many of my PC based Apps I do NOT like it. Neat is not the only one that’s doing this. Check out Adobe, who has been forcing customers away from locally installed software to a cloud based subscription model. The new owners of Intuit Quicken are now doing the same thing with Quicken 2018. I prefer to buy software and get really good at using it, maybe update once every 2 or 3 years. I don’t like paying subscriptions, they become cost prohibitive. I will tell you from a Technology perspective however, the cloud subscription model is really a better option and here’s why:

1.) The company making the software improves their bottom line. This adds value to the company for the share holders but more importantly provides more resources for R&D and product improvements.

2.) When there are security issues, or broken features and functions, etc. the cloud centric solution can be immediately updated thus over all improving the customer satisfaction and lowering support costs and customer frustration.

3.) In most cases (not all as we’ve seen on the news) the cloud based solution is going to be more secure than what most people implement for security on their home computers.

4.) Similar to this, when your data is in the cloud, it’s redundantly backed up at multiple sites. Now I’m not a fan of having all my receipts in the data center of Neat Desktop (largely because I can’t seem to get a straight answer out of them about what’s encrypted and what’s not, etc.) but think about all the natural disasters just in the US alone in 2017. How many of those people had their receipts and documents backed up to the cloud where they could access them after the home PC was gone? I would venture to guess very, very few.

Lastly, I will tell you I bought Neat with a single page scanner in an airport back in 2003 or so. I used it to scan everything. I loved the desktop software. Having worked, and still working, for tech companies over the years, I could never understand how my original $199 purchase and free software updates for over 14 years kept them in the positive cash flow. Turns out it hasn’t thus the move to subscription based software.

I spent $400 and bought a ScanSnap which I know see in many Doctor offices replacing the Neat Scanners. I use an open source software called DocFetcher. Combined they work great and that ScanSnap is fast as heck.

    Sandy - January 12, 2018 Reply

    I tried, really, to use the cloud based software. It was awful. I am currently looking for another solution because I don’t believe anyone should keep MY FINANCIAL records on their server. I back up weekly and keep my hard drive out of my office so it’s not a problem that I needed to solve.

    Also, if Neat wasn’t making money then perhaps they should just update the software and charge us? Novel solution right?

    Now I’m stuck with a scanner that is specific to their software, they have opted to not support me any longer with software updated for it, and I am truly angry.

    Adobe is another such company only they are worse. I used Photoshop and one other app and they were buggy, slow and their customer support from INDIA is terrible. In face I think East Indians now own the company or at least run it. I am happy however that I did find another solution to Photoshop that works just as well for 1/4th the price.

    As for Neat – I’m through with them. I am currently trying to contact Fujitsu and see if their software is still available to run on their scanners.

    Sandy - January 12, 2018 Reply

    Ok so I finally gave it up and just decided to use Quicken. Now I don’t have to have a scanner, I can just put my receipts in files by month in case I need them. Now all I do is bring up the application and see all my credit cards and bank statements at a glance. I can even pay bill – all for $45.00 per year. Beats the hell out of Neat and their slow buggy software and I don’t have to worry about putting my stuff out on the web for any hacker to find.

Ryan - January 7, 2018 Reply

Neat use to be a great product, buy the hardware and then you can use the software at no additional cost. Then the executives noticed the valuations of other companies that were offering pay as you go or Software as a service (SaaS model.) So now your Neat hardware that you have used for a few years with the old software is rendered useless when you buy a new computer and have to download their latest software unless you want to pay $10+ per month. Most of us scan a couple documents a month and just want to have them organized. Toodles Neat… see ya never again

Raphael - December 26, 2017 Reply

I was a Neat desktop user since 2010 and was last using 5.7. The windows 10 update started giving me problems so I looked into the cloud which is ok. Not worth $15 per month but I found a reseller selling the cloud for $3 per month. Called them up to make sure they were real and they helped me migrate my old stuff. Totally legit. Check out

julie - December 16, 2017 Reply

I’m seriously considering contacting an attorney who does class action suits, about this situation.

    Gordan - January 2, 2018 Reply

    Agree, I bought a very specific scanner that does not work without their software. Now they just pull the plug. There should be consequences for that kind of move. So far it’s just leave them. Not satisfying.

    Laury - January 8, 2018 Reply

    I think their should be legal consequences as well. I don’t scan that often and don’t need it saved on their software. Now they want $110 a year – for what? I paid $400 for mine about 6 or 7 years ago and now it is useless. I am super angry.

    Debbie - January 22, 2018 Reply

    I hope someone does open a class action suit. If so please let us know. They sold me a $400 product bundle and changed the terms of the agreement. I don’t want my data , financial or personal sitting on NEAT server. Will they protect it, Neats word doesn’t mean anything to me these days. Mac user searching for a new open source solution.

      Sandy V - January 28, 2018 Reply

      Same boat. I switch over to Quicken. I find it works fine for me for must basic accounting and taking care of personal finances. I can still use the neat scanner to scan my receipts into file if I want, and then I use those scans to verify transactions in Quicken. Still play with it, but seems to be working well for me.

      Not as fast and Easy as Neat was… but it works and I can see all my bank balances in the application.

        Carol - March 31, 2018 Reply

        I have 2 neat scanners – It is NO longer scanning to my mac at all! I did know that I had to plug it in prior to starting NEAT, however, now that doesn’t even work – I also cannot just scan to my computer using the PDF button – NOTHING is working. what tricks do others use – or what alternatives do you use for scanning and organizing a few (and obviously) far between items. Thanks so much in advance!

      Sandy V - February 27, 2018 Reply

      Well after using Quicken for a time it’s not nearly as good as Neat for cataloging items. So my solution was to bring out an old MAC (9 years old) and set it up for just Neat. I hooked up my Neat Printer and it’s working like a charm as long as the MAC keeps ticking along.

    ceighbree - February 17, 2018 Reply

    I’m in!!!!

    Stephen Davis - February 28, 2018 Reply

    I too am considering using a class action suit against neat. I purchased the scanner, and software, now something has happened and the software keeps “encountering a problem and has shut down.” Started when doing a batch of receipts, then found I could scan two receipts at a time, then only one at a time, and now I cannot even get one scanned! (wondering if they have done something to 5.7 to make it unusable, I wouldn’t put it past them!!)

      Mark Novick - March 24, 2018 Reply

      I’ve been using Neat for 7 years. Lately I’ve developed some odd problems, but have been able to fix them with a reinstall (5.7).

Todd Nilson - December 16, 2017 Reply

Neat’s cloud based program is HORRIBLE! Don’t do it. It is extremely slow, and every time you open the application it takes 15 minutes to repopulate all of your folders.

I am looking desperately for an alternative. I actually really liked the Neat Desktop program, but it has now become very glitchy with Mac OS Sierra. I would strongly recommend that you don’t waste your money on any of Neat’s new offerings.

Linda - December 12, 2017 Reply

The Neat was the best scanner ever until they changed to the cloud. The cloud is extremely mediocre compared to the Legacy. Clients would send various documents as one attachment and then I could load those to Neat. Then would then separate the pages and then I could combine the pages that I wanted. Also, if I scanned a bunch of pages as separate, I could easily combine them into one. I just bought a new Neat, not knowing that it is discontinued. It is not working right, and Neat refuses to honor it s warrranty. Here was a company that had the best scanner on the market and is now the worst company.

MattA - November 30, 2017 Reply

Jason – I feel your pain. I actually liked their software and yes, while you can convert or print a lot of docs to PDF, searching can then be an issue. I did find a great tool that’s Open Source called DocFetcher. I use it on my work PC and home. It looks as though you are an Intuit Quicken user as I have been since the early 1990s. I have bad news for you. Quicken 2018 is ONLY Cloud based and also will require an $80/year subscription (prices vary based on functionality and version). I hate to say this but it’s the best way for these companies to make money. Effectively you’re locked into their product and if it’s on the cloud, well it’s their systems and you’re stuck. I’ve opted to buy Quicken 2017 so i can upgrade my home PC from 2016 and will wait a year or two before moving to the Cloud hosted option, if I ever go taht route. Good luck! BTW – after reading a lot of other postings, I purchaed the $400 ScanSnap scanner. Their software sucks but that scanner is 10x faster than anything Neat had. I am also noticing many doctor’s offices have the same ScanSnap scanner.

    SAndy V - January 28, 2018 Reply

    Seriously? Just bought Quicken and am using it. Now you tell me they are also going the way of the Cloud. I DON’T WANT MY FINANCIALS ON THE CLOUD. I don’t trust any of these companies to keep my data safe and secure. WTF….. Just charge me for software updates and I would be happy.

Reynaldo Williams - November 2, 2017 Reply

I hate this crap! Simply. I spent $300. for this machine in 2012. It worked wonderfully, now this. Why should I spend the money for a subscription when i do not need it. Now my scanner is nothing but paper weigh. The legacy driver is no good for any of my Macs. I hate that I ever wasted the money in this product. Bad reviews from me. Will not recommend…

    Jane Quade - November 9, 2017 Reply

    I feel exactly the same way. This is complete nonsense that we should have to pay for a subscription. My Neat Scanner is in perfect condition. I have taken great care to keep it clean. The Legacy software will not work with any of my macs either.

    This isn’t right. How can they just stop providing updated drivers?

    I’m going to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


      Carol - December 7, 2017 Reply

      I agree. I never used my Neat Desk. It’s still in the box. I desperately need assistance organizing and from what I read Neat was a very good tool for someone like me. Now it looks like I have a nearly $400 piece of hardware I have no use for. I will not pay subscription prices either. It’s insulting and certainly no way to build business and treat customers.
      I am not particularly tech savvy. Now reading these comments, especially from the writers that seem to have a pretty good grip on computer tech. and usage. I don’t have a chance at getting this thing to work, if these people can’t do it. What a shame. Why do humans constantly try to fix what’s not broken? I am thankful that I did not screw up my Mac or lose documents. Although a complete waste of money, at least I don’t have to try and retrieve documents and clean up a tech related mess. I feel for you all that are struggling. What a shoddy, stupid thing to do. Maybe if enough people speak up, Neat will go back to the old policy and software (I know, get my head out of the clouds ;-). Not cloud, clouds……That’s a whole other topic.

Tom - October 31, 2017 Reply

Just read Julies comments. My first comment was almost a year ago. I get it if you don’t agree with me, but do yourself a BIG favor and buy an iX500 ScanSnap. The best money I ever spent. I have configured it where it just sends all scans to one folder. ScanSnap “specialty” software is mediocre at best for my needs (boy are they missing the boat). I have gradually gotten better at Hazel thanks to Paul Kim’s amazing customer response and have written up various Hazel routines for my various needs. I just have them all sent to one folder for manual filing once a week or so. I’m sure Hazel could throw them in the exact destination file, but I’m not there yet. I also use the very reasonably priced File This, although, it seems the new subscription of Quicken could supplant that. Quicken is still buggy enough that I probably won’t go the subscription route, yet. The other thing I do is photograph all receipts when I’m out and about and deal with them manually. Quicken’s mobile app is crappy at this. There may be other mobile receipt solutions out there that are good, but I am just tired of trying them all out. I’m sure I could be much more efficiently “paperless” but I am not that gifted at a lot of this and don’t mind the extras steps I now take. Finally, the BIG wish I have is for ScanSnap to come up with a way of OCRing the document and then dating and naming and adding a dollar value. Neat could do this fairly accurately. No Brainer? Give up on Neat ASAP. Boy, what a crappy business move.

Julie - October 31, 2017 Reply

I haven’t read through all comments here (yet) but am really glad to see this group/forum/info. I’m very much looking forward to reading more about what to do with everything I’ve already scanned. I’m going to try copying pages and columns to paste them into a spreadsheet, but then there’s the report issue.

With the extremely sporadic functionality of both of my Neat usb scanners, I found a workaround recently, using my smaller Neat scanner with Image Capture on my Mac. It worked. I could just scan documents and receipts from the Neat scanner to my desktop, and then import those receipts into Neat Desk. It was great. That lasted a couple of weeks. Then I updated the OS on my computer, redownloaded the Neat drivers, and now neither of my Neat Scanners even work with Image Capture. This is a disaster for me because I’d gotten psyched about having a small, portable scanner to scan documents as well as receipts.

Here’s another system I’ve used recently for getting receipts into Neat: Lay up to 7 receipts on my hp all-in-one’s legal sized flatbed, scan once for each receipt, crop the page around each receipt (one per page), save them to a folder, then import them into a pre-designated Neat Desk folder. That’s basically what I was doing with the Neat scanners when they were malfunctioning in Neat (I think something may have happened to the lens when older, dry receipts were scanned) and stopped importing directly into the Neat software, but now they’re not even scanning with Image Capture anymore. I’m awaiting a warranty replacement for my hp all-in-one (at least hp has decent customer service, decent tech support, and sometimes decent warranty replacements), and will try scanning receipts on the flatbed. Fingers crossed that Neat will import those receipts after the High Sierra upgrade.

It’s really a shame that they couldn’t just keep going with what the original vision was.

I did use Neat Cloud for a trial period earlier this year, while scanning in checks I deposited by mobile deposit and was able to keep. There were a couple of hundred checks. The Neat Desk software wouldn’t allow me to set up a category for deposits, which I thought meant I couldn’t really set up a folder for them in Neat Desk (I’m not sure this was correct), but the Neat Cloud did. I scanned them to the Neat Cloud software and could then download them and drag them into a spreadsheet (not Neat). But though I was able to download the images to my computer, only some of the data downloaded, so I still had to go through each check and add more info to the spreadsheet.

What ultimately made me decide not to use Neat Cloud is that there was even less leeway for creating my own categories, so it limited my ability to organize the info in ways I needed to. I took this to mean that Neat had figured out a way to dole out to me my own information. This was very, very offensive. I also found it very offensive that my having spent a $400 on two of their devices wasn’t enough: now they wanted to tether me to them for life, with a subscription. NO THANKS. Not to mention the privacy issue. How do I know what they do with my financial information? I don’t.

So I’m unnerved at the idea of needing to find another system. Argh.

nate dish - October 9, 2017 Reply

Just paid $300 for a Neat connect from Staples and Im about 2 min away from boxing it up and taking it back. Extremely cumbersome and full of bugs. logs me off after 5 min and then when I try and log back on it says I dont have an account

Jon - September 28, 2017 Reply

Just to add my voice to the chorus of totally disgruntled Neat Desk users. I was a huge proponent of Neat before what is likely greed and or stupidity caused them to crash and burn.

While working I routinely avoided the large powerful and huge network scanner and printer and would use my neat desk unit instead unless it was some 100 page document. But now that I retired my volume is way down. I am not interested in paying $1.00 per page for the few things I need to scan in now. So neat cloud is a total waste of money.

Scanner has long had issues of Gray stripe, black strip or no image stripe and Neat only says they have never heard of such a thing and they don’t do repairs. Regular cleaning and 3x daily recalibration along with shut it down and restarting seems to get it going again.

So my solution is to buy a small semi portable unit such as the Brother ADS 1000W and tell everyone I ever encouraged to get a Neat to stay away!!! I predict Neat will go the way of Palm and shortly cease to exist.

You can be the best and the most expensive, or you can be the worst but the cheapest, but you can’t be both expensive and bad and expect to survive.

Tom - September 9, 2017 Reply

I gave up on Neat Cloud Subscription after probably one session of using. ScanSnap Receipt is not good enough (at least for me) and that is a REAL shame. Everyone has a different filing philosophy, and if something out there compared favorably to Neat, I might consider it. Right now, I have cobbled together a way of working that is working pretty well (though constantly undergoing minor changes). I use FileThis and Hazel and prefer keeping my info on my computer with 3 different back-ups. I have not reached Hazel’s full potential, but am working on it. I can see a possible future where I do no manual editing/changing at all. I suspect many of you more adept at Apple Script and/or Automator and more capable of working with Hazel could end up being happier than even using Neat. Remember, there was always some editing involved with Neat.

Jeremy - August 18, 2017 Reply


Neat was fantastic!! Right up until they decided to inflict the cloud on their customers. I cannot put into words how disgusted I am with the disaster that this company became in the space of month. ALL my accounting files dating back 6 years and across 7 different business entities were mixed together, part deleted, part simply invisible and as a result completely, 100% disorganised. The cost of fixing this mess has been in the tens of thousands of dollars. This is aside from constant software crashing on both their legacy software (which was great until they ‘updated it’) and Neatcloud. After months of trouble shooting I managed to limit crashing (not eliminate) by replacing a PC, changing physical scanners (from Neat to the excellent Fuji Scansnap) ONLY scanning a SINGLE page at a time and using a seperate folder to scan into, then drag and drop across to that once-great platform Neat. Different computers do result in different results (don’t know how, but they do) and one of my Neat scanners suffers much more from a random black stripe down the centre third of the page than others – again strange. I haven’t managed to troubleshoot anything other than ‘random’ with this black stripe issue. That’s the now atrocious products they sell. Now the ‘customer support’. I appreciate providing support to such a woeful (why are they doing this to me??!!!????) product must be soul destroying, however, trying to extract something sensible from Neat Support themselves is like dealing with an ex-spouse’s mother after a lengthy divorce. Absolutely horrific and infuriating. Nearly 18 months of wasted emails, I do admire their ability to say the words there ‘is nothing we can do’ as creatively as they do, but that is the ONLY area of expertise I can recommend Neatdesk on . You CANNOT trust their software and support AT ALL. Putting your financial life in these people’s hands is EXTREMELY dangerous. PLEASE take heed of my warning.

    Bill Marx - September 8, 2017 Reply

    I have been using this program since 2012. I loved it before they discontinued support of 5.7. Now my 5.7 will no longer launch and the cloud version lacks many of the features of 5.7. I can no longer export multipage PDF’s all at once. I have to do them one at a time which is very frustrating when I am emailing a 20 page invoice to a client and instead of exporting one attachment with 20 pages, I have to export 20 separate attachments and send them all separately. I also type up invoices and have NEAT setup as a printer. So it makes it easier then actually printing the document and having to scan it in. I could go on and on about all the things I can no longer do on the cloud platform. It is very frustrating. I called neat and talked at length with them about these and other issues and it’s like they don’t even care. How can they take a one of a kind product that was SO good and eliminate it. It baffles me. I do have a theory however. I think they are steering people to the web based platform to essentially hold their data hostage for monthly fees. The old system stored everything on my computer and backed it up to the cloud. The new platform uses the cloud exclusively. If you want to access your data you must continue paying the fees. There are many times I use the 5.7 when I’m offline and then sync it later when I get online. You can no longer do that. If you don’t have internet you don’t have neat. It’s ridiculous what they have done with this once great product. I am actively looking for a replacement.

      Peter Clark - September 9, 2017 Reply

      I am totally with you Bill. They really upset me a lot at NEAT. I have been lied to numerous by their tech support. I am in the process of trying to get Mariners (Paperless) working but it has its own set of problems. I ended up buying a Fujitsu Scanner “ScanSnap” to work with Paperless but oh well it hasn’t worked out so well yet. The software that comes with the scanner is in some ways similar to NEAT but not the same. Best of luck with this. NEAT used to be one of the best companies to deal with but now I wouldn’t even recommend to my worst enemy.

      Mark Novick - March 24, 2018 Reply

      I’ve had many of those problems with 5.7. I’ve reinstalled several times, and can still (so far) export single and multiple page files. There is software that will let you combine multiple PDF files into one file. One such program is integral with Windows 10. I backup to an external usb drive. So when Neat failed to launch because it couldn’t locate the database, I was able to copy it from the external drive back to it’s correct location, without having to worry about it being corrupted. And I’m talking about a 15.4 GB cabinet.

    Jeremy - October 3, 2017 Reply

    I have purchased (from the recommendation on this site – THANK YOU) Mariner Paperless. I preferred Neat for a couple of reasons, but Paperless is good enough. I hope they avoid the nonsensical issues Neat created for themselves and I can continue to use Paperless years into the future. I can’t overemphasise the disorganisation and workload that Neat caused us. Crazy, dumb STUPID management!!!

Dave - July 28, 2017 Reply

I agree with Sandy, it is virtually impossible to Sync Neat Legacy contents to the cloud. I am 29 days into the process and have been in contact with Neat Support for most of that time. Support has been in my system via remote access, off and on for the past week leaving each day at COB and restarting the next.
I have a “Cabinet” that has approximately 800 folders and 8500 documents. At this point, more than half of the documents have not made it to the cloud and the legacy software is crashing every 5 minutes and must be restarted for the Sync to continue.
Since I can’t scan while the initial Sync is incomplete, I now have a 29 day backlog of documents to scan. I am done with the arrogant attitude of an organization that knows the fatal issues with its migration process yet continues to force it customers into an unsupportable and fatally flawed migration process.
If you are considering migrating to the cloud software, take my advice: DON’T DO IT.

Matty - July 12, 2017 Reply

OK, here’s my solution. I have an older MAC 2010 Pro. I’m hooking it back up and running the old Desktop software. I hate that solution but the new Cloud service sucks and I really don’t want my stuff out there for any hacker to get to. AND I don’t trust Neat because they can’t even provide bug free software that works, and their technical support is awful. All they say is “I apologize for that”….. yeah right. Or the tell me they will give it to their programmers.

I’m through with them and if I didn’t have a fairly new Neat scanner I would switch to ScanSanp and use their software instead but it’s just too expensive to chuck my scanner and start again.

    ikomrad - July 23, 2017 Reply

    Define “expensive” – time or money? I use a Scansnap s1300i for documents including receipts without any problems. It was $250 when I bought it, but I’ve seen it for $100 on Craigslist.

    I use Evernote to store my PDF’s, it’s been a good choice since 2010, but you never know when I company will go out of business. On the bright side, documents are not usually useful after 7 years, so you can put new documents into the new system, and then keep the old system running until their usefulness expires.

      Matt - July 28, 2017 Reply

      I concur, expensive is a relative term. After pondering that for two weeks I bit the bullet and bought the iX500 ScanSnap on Amazon. Yes, it was about $450 but I’ll tell you what. This scanner absolutely rocks! I am amazed at how fast it is and look forward to getting a lot of stuff scanned. Unfortunately, I think the software has a lot to be desired. It is really hard to beat the legacy Neat desktop software. Having said that, I’m only using the ScanSnap software to OCR everything, then I export as PDFs to my file system. When I want to find something, I have another OPEN SOURCE app called DocFetcher. That program rocks and will find whatever you need on your system. I’m thinking about also importing scanned receipts into my Quicken but one step at a time.

Sandy - July 12, 2017 Reply

How do I like the Neat Cloud Service? SUCKS. The worst buggy software I have ever used.
I have been locked out of sign-in 4 times.

You cannot scan a large double sided document without the program going into la la land and you have to shut it down and it never works.

It scans something and then when I go to process the actual picture of the receipt is gone.

It gives an error and sends to Apple every time I correctly shut down the program.

It has locked up numerous times.

In short I have spent over 10 hours trying to get all my receipts into the program from the old NeatDesk and still can’t find them all.

Their Technical Support is less than stellar and they aren’t giving me the correct answers back when I ask questions or have problems.

The old software worked perfectly until I upgraded to Sierra and then it started giving error message but it still worked better than the new version on the Cloud.

It is terrible and I’m currently trying to find software that works with my Neat Scanner since it’s pretty new. I HATE IT – DON’T BUY THE SUBSCRIPTION.

Ernest rider - July 9, 2017 Reply

I am so not impressed with Neats direction and the over commercializations of paper sorting, I am thinking of doing an REST API to democratize document sorting and OCR.

POST /documents/tiff
POST /documents/pdf
POST /documents/jpg
GET /documents/sum
GET /documents/pages/20/1/2
GET /documents/pages/20/20170101/20170401/1
GET /documents/pages/20/electric/bill/1
GET /documents/links/pages/20/1
PUT /documents/backend/distributed/sort/enabled

Matt - July 8, 2017 Reply

I am in a quandary. My beloved Neat Receipts is giving me a C++ error and I have been unable to fix it. I’m with most people on this thread, I’m not a fan of the cloud based solution. I did attempt to use it last year, as I would like access to my receipts, and manuals I scanned, but I don’t like the $10/month price tag. In Neat’s defense, it’s customers like me who purchased a scanner back in 2005, got the software included, all updates have been free, all TS has been free, and I never, ever, had to update the scanner! I still have my single page, silver scanner. It’s slow but it’s great for small receipts. For larger, multi-page docs, I simply fed them through my Brother MFP and converted it’s PDF into the Neat system. Now I need to find an alternative. There is a free open source utility called DocFetcher I’ve been using for 2 years on my work system. It can be a CPU hog, but it’s really, really good at scanning documents (and Outlook email) and may work very well for exported PDFs from Neat. Thanks all for sharing your comments, suggestions and thoughts.

    Matt - July 8, 2017 Reply

    Sorry – just a clarification on my post as I don’t want to mislead anyone. DocFetcher is NOT a scanning utility. When I said scan in that context, what I really meant was that utility was good at finding search terms within documents on target folders, thus it can ‘scan’ for those search terms anywhere you designate on your hard drive for many, many different file formats, with great success, even PDF documents.

Claudia - July 3, 2017 Reply

Thanks to Brooks Duncan and Christopher Price for the great pointers and the constructive commiseration!

I’ve been a Neat user since 2008 owning both the portable and the full Scanners and going through several permutations of clients and formats. Neat has always been a little quirky but the best product I was ever able to find with good OCR, reporting, categorization for both Mac and Windows systems.
In April 2017 an attempted backup which failed due to insufficient disk space seemed to corrupt my Neat DB. I went through what many have gone through trying to get support. I purchased a support contract on June 12th and tried to open a case July 3rd and then saw the email sent June 30th that support was no longer available.

So 4 hours later I’ve been able to restore a Jan 1 2017 backup. That’s basically 6 months of scans lost but better than years lost so I’m busily exporting even as I write this.

I could go with Christopher’s Plan A as I have a MacMini that is perfect for the role but I’m just delaying the inevitable. I’m a big Evernote user so I’ve toyed with that as an option in the past because the Neat application is so temperamental but this type of information is not something I’m interested in putting in the cloud which is why I’ve never opted in to the Neat Cloud option.

So Option B is to look at Mariner Software’s Paperless which looks to be the “heir apparent”.

Option C – Something Else
Receipts also looks interesting but I really want to invest in something that supports both Mac, Windows, and IOS.
I use the ScannerPro app a lot so nothing says I could not use that and just PDF everything and establish some kind of folder structure myself. Talk about a step back! However, as Dave Bartholomew points out there is every reason to be skittish about “throwing in” with another proprietary solution.

Like Christopher Price, I wonder why Neat does not just charge for the desktop application and even the mobile app. They must know there will be resistance by many to using a cloud service and they must realize, as Brooks Duncan has pointed out here that they are forcing long time customers away.

After seeing some of the less than transparent (I’m being very generous here) actions taken by Neat I would not invest any more in that company and they can serve as a cautionary tale while I go on to another solution.

J C - June 30, 2017 Reply

Is there any way to covert my current Neat Software (Windows) files ? I am going to have to look for a NEAT replacement as well not only scanner wise but software wise as well. I put all my receipts and documents into the neat software. Several years worth

Recommendations would be great.



kathryn green - June 1, 2017 Reply

i liked the neat program and I was able to keep my paperwork straighten in ow need to keeping it up

Peter Clark - June 1, 2017 Reply

I’ve used NEAT with no problems for a long time without any major issues. Since they shoved this new software down our throats I’ve had nothing but trouble. I’ve been talking with their support group about the problems. Point in case 45minute’s this morning. Basically they don’t care about us customers at all. I’ve asked them a lot of questions and all they say, is I’lllet our programers know. They do not care about the customers at all. Actively looking for other options. .

Randy - May 17, 2017 Reply

I am so angry at the moment I do not appreciate having to subscribe to a cloud option or even a software subscription to operate something that I had purchased that did not have to have these features to operate! I am telling everyone that NEAT sucks! This is just one of those things that software and hardware companies think they can do and we let them get away with it!

    John - June 27, 2017 Reply

    I agree with you Randy. I called them today and they tried to push me to purchase their cloud subscription. I’m sorry but V5.4 was working fine for me before they pushed the upgrade to 5.7 which has unfixed bugs. I think a class action lawsuit in in order.

      Rick - July 22, 2017 Reply

      I would join dame problem years of scanning and no alternative

Jennifer - April 25, 2017 Reply

I will be completely getting away from Neat! I do not appreciate being forced to go to the cloud. I do not appreciate having to pay for a subscription. Windows and Office almost have me gone too for the same reason. With both, I am forced to pay for internet as well. I may not want to do that when I am traveling the world, running my business for anywhere.

Mahlon Stewart - April 12, 2017 Reply

I finally found my group of Neat Receipts jumpers. (1) I preferred the desktop version until it started to have bugs, and (2) completely despise the cloud-based version and I want to jump to something else. It seems Evernote might be the call, unless any of you have strong opinions otherwise. This year compiling receipts for taxes was BRUTAL with Neat. Never again.

Mike Monte - April 8, 2017 Reply

Neat is just plain getting greedy! They are pushing everything to the cloud for their subscription based software. They used to sell a really good scanner, now they are just scalping the long time users of their product. I would always recommend them, now I am looking for an alternative myself. Good luck you greedy white collar dim wits that think this a good idea! Your customers will leave and all of them when given a viable alternative will never, ever, ever, return. This ladies and gentlemen is how a once very successful company self destructs!

Georgr - March 21, 2017 Reply

I think it really sucks that they will no longer be supporting the scanner… I did not use it for receipts very often found a month-and-a-half ago I had to skin a 2468 page document…. I love tell fast that got through the nearly five reams of paper with that scanner…. it seemed as if it was getting one page per second it was just lightning fast…. I have both the portable and the desktop and ever since I got my first one I had been loyal to replacing them with a new one as needed…

As for the clown service I truly do not like it… it has been a couple of years since I last used it…. it kept wanting me to do scans with my cell phone and with poor lighting or small writing and other factors made skinny with my phone impractical and there is no way I would ever use my phone to scan a 2468 page document…. not having this scanner available is really going to affect my future in a very bad way….

Dave Bartholomew - December 9, 2016 Reply

This is a reply to John’s request for scripts used converting Neat to Eaglefiler on the Mac..

It’s been a while since I convert my Neat library and I needed to refresh my memory regarding how I eventually completed the migration of several GB of Neat data into a filesystem based archive.

I did discover a script that reads “Title” metadata inserted by Neat into the PDF and renames files according to the Title found inside the PDF. That script was packaged as a Droplet and I am including it inline below.

I’m not sure how best to include the actual droplet package file or the other Hazel scripts I created. I suppose I could upload them to my web server, but I’d rather find a way to upload them to this blog… Is this possible?

In the end I did not use the script copied below for the bulk of my migration. But since you asked, I’m providing it. Instead I created an identical folder and sub-folder structure on my Mac, mimicking the folders in my Neat repository.

Then I exported all the files from Neat, one folder at a time, into the new file system folder structure on the Mac. Neat has a feature that allows users to export an entire folder at a time. As it exports, it names the exported files (Receipts and Documents), preceding each file with either “Neat Document-Title Here.pdf” or “Neat Receipt-Title Here.pdf”.

I created a Hazel rule to rename the files exported by Neat, folder by folder, to a new name structure formated like this:
2016-12-08–Title Here.pdf

The Hazel rule also assigns a color tag and a label to each file as it is ingested, Red, @Receipt and Green, @Document for each document and receipt.

If anyone is interested in the details of the Hazel scripts I created for this migration process I’d be happy to provide the scripts and a more detailed description of how I automated the renaming of files coming out of Neat.


Here’s the script, copied from a droplet package, that can look inside a PDF and use the Title property to rename the file:

— author: Martin Michel
— eMail:
— created: 22.22.2008
— version: 1.0
— requires:
— • Mac OS X 10.5 (because of Spotlight)
— tested on:
— • Mac OS X 10.5.5
— • Intel & PowerPC based Macs

property mytitle : “PDFTitle -> PDFName”

— This handler is called when the user opens the script with a double click
on run
tell me
display dialog “This is an AppleScript droplet.” & return & return & “Drag and drop PDF files onto the script icon to process them.” buttons {“OK”} default button 1 with title mytitle with icon note giving up after 30
end tell
end run

— This handler is called when the user drops Finder items onto the script icon
on open finderitems
— searching for dropped PDF files (file name must end with ‘.pdf’)
set pdffiles to {}
repeat with finderitem in finderitems
set iteminfo to info for finderitem
if not (folder of iteminfo) and (name of iteminfo ends with “.pdf”) then
set pdffiles to pdffiles & finderitem
end if
end repeat
— no PDF files found 🙁
if pdffiles is {} then
set errmsg to “You did not drop any PDF files onto the script.” & return & return & “Please note that PDF files need to have the ‘.pdf’ suffix to be recognized by the script.”
my dsperrmsg(errmsg, “–“)
end if
— processing found PDF files
repeat with pdffile in pdffiles
set oldpdfname to (name of (info for pdffile))
— command for retrieving the PDF title on the command line
set command to “mdls -name kMDItemTitle ” & quoted form of POSIX path of pdffile
set output to (do shell script command)
— skipping PDF files which do not contain a PDF title
if output is not equal to “kMDItemTitle = (null)” then
— extracting the PDF title
set pdftitle to (characters 17 through -2 of output) as text
— asking the user to confirm the PDF title to be used as the new file name
set newpdfname to my getnewpdfname(oldpdfname, pdftitle)
— did the user hit the cancel button?
if newpdfname is not missing value then
if newpdfname does not end with “.pdf” then
set newpdfname to newpdfname & “.pdf”
end if
set parentfolderpath to my getparentfolderpath(pdffile as text)
— renaming the PDf file with the «mv» command
set command to “mv -n ” & quoted form of POSIX path of pdffile & space & quoted form of POSIX path of ((parentfolderpath & newpdfname) as text)
do shell script command
on error errmsg number errnum
my dsperrmsg(errmsg, errnum)
end try
end if
end if
end repeat
on error errmsg number errnum
— ignoring ‘User canceled’-error
if errnum is not equal to -128 then
my dsperrmsg(errmsg, errnum)
end if
end try
end open

— I am asking the user to confirm the PDF title used as the new file name
on getnewpdfname(oldpdfname, pdftitle)
tell me
display dialog “Please choose a new name for the PDF file: ” & return & return & oldpdfname default answer pdftitle buttons {“Cancel”, “Rename”} default button 2 with title mytitle
set dlgresult to result
end tell
set usrinput to text returned of dlgresult
if usrinput is “” then
my getnewpdfname(oldpdfname, pdftitle)
else if (usrinput contains “:”) or (usrinput contains “/”) then
set errmsg to “File names must not contain a colon ‘:’ or slash ‘/’ character.”
my dsperrmsg(errmsg, “–“)
my getnewpdfname(oldpdfname, pdftitle)
return usrinput
end if
on error errmsg number errnum
return missing value
end try
end getnewpdfname

— I am returning the parent folder path of a given item path
on getparentfolderpath(itempath)
set olddelims to AppleScript’s text item delimiters
set AppleScript’s text item delimiters to “:”
set itemcount to (count text items of itempath)
set lastitem to the last text item of itempath
if lastitem = “” then
set itemcount to itemcount – 2 — folder path
set itemcount to itemcount – 1 — file path
end if
set parentfolderpath to text 1 thru text item itemcount of itempath & “:”
set AppleScript’s text item delimiters to olddelims
return parentfolderpath
end getparentfolderpath

— I am displaying error messages to the user (hopefully only few)
on dsperrmsg(errmsg, errnum)
tell me
display dialog “Sorry, an error occured:” & return & return & errmsg & return & “(” & errnum & “)” buttons {“OK”} default button 1 with icon stop with title mytitle giving up after 30
end tell
end dsperrmsg

Colleen - December 7, 2016 Reply

I’ve been using NeatDesk since 2010 and have loved it. I file all scanned documents in searchable PDF format on my hard drive which is backed up outside by Carbonite.
I do not use the Neat file structure but use instead Copernic Desk Top Search to serach within my own file structure.

This has worked very well until Neat stopped support and Windows 10 was installed. Also Adobe reader is now not efficient since I was forced to install Adobe DC.

I’m looking at getting a Snapscan scanner.
What should I do about Adobe Reader?

Now I receive a lot of invoices as PDFs that are not searchable.
Can I transfer emailed PDFs to a Snapcan folder, convert them and have them named automatically? and saved to the hard drive?

Is as easy to scan/save a paper document as a searchable PDF to the hard drive as it was with Neat/


Struggling To Keep Up

Eleln - November 23, 2016 Reply

I have been really frustrated with Neat in the cloud. The migration of my desktop receipts was incomplete, and I have specific problems that I want to get addressed, but since their support is available only during the work day and work week, I never have time to sit down with it and call them. They will set up a call back, but the one time I booked a call I happened to step away from my desk and missed it, and then got busy again. I have been using the ScanSnap receipt program instead, and I don’t like it quite as much, but it came with the xi500 and it’s easy, so I think I’m going to stick with it. Some of the comments above are helpful with respect to migrating my Neat data, so thanks for that!

My use is simply for personal receipts – but after a recent theft of my son’s backpack with computer, etc., having copies of the purchase receipts was invaluable to recovering under insurance.”

Finally, I’d be interested to learn how others use Evernote to store receipts – the ability of the ScanSnap program to extract key data and put it in a spreadsheet format, together with an image of the receipt, seems hard to replicate in Evernote.

John - November 17, 2016 Reply

After a two year experiment with ShoeBoxed (and much frustration and forever lost receipts) I came upon the NeatWorks software. During the same time I started developing a Filemaker Pro Database to handle scans and documents. I decided to go with the NeatWorks option because it was giving me what I needed. I will likely continue to use it until it stops working.

I think Neat’s decision to stop development is twofold: 1st, it’s much harder to develop a cloud solution AND a Windows and Mac solution. 2nd, by converting users to a cloud solution they control they can put you on a monotized subscription model. I don’t want documents in the cloud period!

To answer the question as to why ShoeBoxed was such a disaster… It seemed really attractive to be able to put all my receipts in a prepaid mail envelope and let them do the scanning then later I could import images and reports into my financial programs. However after trying it I discovered some major deal breakers.

For starters, I’d send receipts to the them. They advertised a 24 hour turn around on processing for the executive plan I was at the time subscribed to. That never happened. Turn around times were often more than 3 days.

Some scans would be blank. I was probably the customer that got them to add a button to re-scan documents that were problematic. Problem is there is no audit trail as far as the specific scan was concerned so I never saw those receipts again and they never re-appeared. I *was* getting my receipts back. (They have an option where they dispose of them instead of sending them back), but imagine you send out a months worth of receipts in an envelope and the envelope gets returned weeks later and there you sit with several envelops with hundreds of receipts and no way to determine which receipt was the blank one. The only way to do that would be to check hundreds of receipts and then figure out which ones were missing.

Their GUI was extremely clunky to view, annotate, and download images. If you downloaded an excel report, you had all the payees and amounts but all the images were listed by URLs and your only choice was to download each image separately. There was no button on their site to “Download All Scanned Images”. So it meant that if you only wanted to let them do the scanning then remove all your stuff and store it locally – you had to do it record by record.

Their OCR had a 60 to 70 percent accuracy rate so often you needed to correct the details for each scan. Very tedious. I complained about this repeatedly and they would come back with “Hey! We said there’s about an 85% accuracy rate. Some scans will have problems” After voicing to them several times that since I was paying for an Executive plan I expected better accuracy and that I would assume since it was financial documents most people assume there’s a high level of accuracy they finally admitted that many had voiced the same complaints and they were working on it. This was after several emails where they said they were having problems with employees being accurate. To me there was a simple solution. Have a second team check the receipts.

So I started working on a Filemaker Pro Solution that would automate handling the scans and I have that worked out but the Neat Software was working well and since I had to do it myself and edit the records anyway it made more sense for me to use that know that there were options for reporting and exporting. I have still continued to work on the Filemaker Database because I see I will eventually have to move to it in order to get the kind of control I want over my Financial documents. There are some others also working on Filemaker Solutions for documents that are very nicely done. In the meantime I will continue working with the Neat software and mapping the database schema so I can do an import straight across to Filemaker when the time comes.

Someone else mentioned SQLite so I thought it might be helpful to mention that most IOS apps use SQLite as the database engine (not sure if all of them do but it’s likely), so if you are looking to develop your own solution you might want to brush up on your SQLite chops.

Brooks: Perhaps you should consider a file area where people can upload AppleScripts and other useful utilities they have created?

    Juliet - February 21, 2017 Reply

    John, I would pay for a copy of your FileMaker database template! I’m only fair-to-middling at FileMaker but am desperate for a Neat replacement.

Dave Bartholomew - November 9, 2016 Reply

You’ve struck a nerve with NeatWorks…

I’ve been using NeatWorks since about 2007. I started out on the PC and migrated to the MAC late in the last decade. But last year I began looking for an alternative. Neat stopped supporting the version that ran on my Mac several years ago because my Neat scanner was an older model. They didn’t include support for the older scanners with the newer software. So I was stuck using an old version. But for a long time, Neat was, well pretty neat.

Last year I scoured the inter webs looking for and evaluating alternatives to NeatWorks. I knew I wanted a Fujitsu Scansnap scanne. I’ve used Fujitsu scanners at work and they rock. I looked at Evernote and Mariner Paperless Office. I also looked at DevonThink. Each had some nice features, but each tied me to yet another proprietary document storage solution. Then I discovered EagleFiler. The advantage with EagleFiler is that is uses the native directory file structure and tagging already part of MAC OS. And it integrates well with Spotlight search. It does employ a SQLLite database for storing some metadata. But the files remain intact and independent on the filesystem.

It took me a few weeks of experimenting before I was convinced that EagleFiler was a better solution for me than Evernote. I gave them both high marks. Along about that time Evernote announced a change in their free plan, where multi-device support would no longer be offered for the free accounts. I had planned on purchasing an Evernote license, but this announcement raised my awareness, that at any time, the solutions that employ proprietary storage technologies would always be subject to changes that could rock my paperless world. So I became more focused on a solution without handcuffs, where the files would be stored in my file system.

My solution today consists of EagleFiler and Hazel. Routine files are scanned via ScanSnap and OCR’ed by ABBYY FineReader. The OCR and scan quality far surpass NeatWorks. I’ve refined my workflow so that it is really simple. Most files that I receive on a recurring basis like bank statements are scanned, automatically renamed, re-dated so the file creation date is changed to be the same as the date listed on the statement. Then the files are tagged, imported into EagleFiler, and EagleFiler is reindexed by a Hazel script so the newly imported file shows up in the New file listing. Finally, the original file is deleted from the holding folder. Separate Hazel rules are defined to detect unique character strings like account numbers, and then process a additional rules for each document source like PG&E, bank statements, credit card statements, cell phone statements etc.

This all works quite well. I’ve created a script that can be duplicated and modified for each new recurring document type. There really aren’t too many, just a dozen or so (so far). And for the one-of files that don’t justify a dedicated Hazel rule, I just import using the hot key for EagleFiler. (Fn Option F1). I select the document by clicking on it in the folder and hit the hot key. A dialog box pops up and I manually assign the file location, rename the file and add some tags. Then once in EagleFiler I use a menu tool to change the file creation date to a back-dated date read from the file. (I like to keep the file creation dates equal to the actual date the file was created, rather than the date I opened the mail, or downloaded an online statement.

Many NeatWorks users may be interested to know that MAC users can employ Hazel to migrate content from the NeatWork document storage en masse. It took me about a week of tinkering with Hazel rules, but I was able to export all my files, rename them automatically, and import them into a parallel file structure that mimicked the folders I had set up previously in NeatWorks.

Neat names files with GUID file names. But it stores meaningful filenames inside the files in the Acrobat meta properties. I was able to create a custom script that reads the meta properties in the PDF files, and renames and dates the files based on the intrinsic values found within each file.

Now I’m free and somewhat future proof… No more dependency on proprietary file storage technologies. I considered moving the entire corpus of documents to encrypted cloud storage. I looked at Dropbox and Transporter. But for now my documents are stored on my hard drive and backed up via TimeMachine and Crashbox. I’ve also since invested in a Drobo redundant disk array. Beware if you walk down the paperless road I’ve traveled, that if you someday decide to move your EagleFiler repository to another disk, all of your Hazel rules will need to be updated. (Ask me how I know this).
I don’t often have a need for remote file access. And If I did, I’d consider Evernote more strongly. But for me EagleFiler is a good, cheap and fast solution.

Hope this helps some Neat users looking for a way out.

-Dave Bartholomew
Silicon Valley

    Tom - November 9, 2016 Reply

    Really good write up Dave, thanks.

    David - November 13, 2016 Reply

    Hello….Great feedback and thank you for sharing your findings.

    Is there a Windows Solution to EagleFiler? I was also a Neat Desktop user, and really don’t want to use that anymore, or even use another proprietary software. I would love something like EagleFiler, that works on Windows 10.

    Thank you,


      John - November 17, 2016 Reply

      David; Yes there is a Windows solution. Filemaker Pro has a document database template. Free. You can download a demo of Filemaker Pro and then you can try the free templates they include.

    John - November 17, 2016 Reply

    Neat names files with GUID file names. But it stores meaningful filenames inside the files in the Acrobat meta properties. I was able to create a custom script that reads the meta properties in the PDF files, and renames and dates the files based on the intrinsic values found within each file.

    Dave – care to share that script? I have have several Keyboard Maestro Macros and AppleScripts I’d be happy to share with anyone. (Though they are customized to my financial institutions help is only a post away in the Keyboard Maestro Forum).

      Dave Bartholomew - December 7, 2016 Reply

      I haven’t revisited this thread for a while and just noticed your request. I’ll look up the scripts and reply in a day or so. These are hazel scripts and some of them use embedded JavaScript or shell scripts as I recall.

        Dave Sadler - June 7, 2017 Reply


        I just found this thread through a google search on Neat Deskworks vs….. I am also interested in your scripts, and am replying to hopefully float this back into your inbox 🙂

        Thank you for doing the heavy lifting and sharing.

          Dave Sadler - June 7, 2017 Reply

          Apparently I am not used to non-linear messaging. Please ignore my plea for scripts 🙂

    Jay - May 13, 2017 Reply

    Great writeup Dave. I’m with everyone else on the Neat debacle. I’ve been using a Scansnap S1500 with Neat desk on my Mac for many years with no troubles..until now. Its crazy. There are literally thousands of people who are literally begging to pay Neat to continue development and support of the Neat desk product. Unbelievable Neat would turn away from that. Anyway I implement an offsite cloud backup to Crashplan and local backup to my desktop vis Scansnaps 2nd file storing option, Time Machine, and Zip Drive of the Neat Library database file (I only have one Library).

    So now what? As this article and others state there’s very few options. I’m currently test driving Mariner Paperless and EagleFiler. Maybe its me but Paperless is a far cry from Neat desk. Maybe Paperless3 will get it where it needs to be for me to use it. And I so wanted it to be as good as Neat. After reading your article I tried EagleFiler. I absolutely LOVE the fact that this method is non-proprietary but I must admit I really like the GUI part of the Neat database. It was just cleaner to me. But I will keep test driving EagleFiler as there may be a lot more to it than I have found. Thanks again.

Irwin - November 9, 2016 Reply

I got rid of Neat several years ago because I thought it was “clunky”. I found many functions of Neat to be obtuse. I took your advice and bought a Fujitsu ix500 and have used it for receipts with no problems and have also used it for scanning monthly statements into Hazel which you helped me set up the rules. And I thank you again for your assistance. Could not have done it without your help!

    Tom - November 9, 2016 Reply

    Irwin, how do you manage your receipts after scanning? You should have a look at FileThis for Statements. I am working on getting Statements OCR’d after FileThis, then moved to a folder. Should have it figured out by 2018 or so. I should add that Paul Kim at Hazel is great and always responds to inquiries. I’m the problem!

    Also, Irwin: Neat, How can you be so obtuse? :

Tom - November 9, 2016 Reply

I was a NEAT user (with a iX500 ScanSnap) and, with a few exceptions, really liked it, and quite a bit more than ScanSnap Receipt. I did try the NEAT Cloud for 1 month and quickly decided to quit it. It was so long ago, I can’t remember the reasons (this is NOT a recent decision on Neat’s part), but super slow processing comes to mind. I think this is a colossal blunder on Neat’s part, but what do I know? I am in the midst of developing a new paperless workflow filing system, but I guess I am one of the 3 people on the planet that can’t seem to make Hazel do exactly what I want it to (dates are killing me, highlighting is just not working for me—I think Hazel is probably great and I am jinxed!). I also use File This and, thanks to Brooks, PDFPenPro. I am happy to use an old fashioned Desktop Folder based organizing system (with multiple back-ups). I use the newest version of Quicken which lets you attach PDFs to transactions and then use Reports in Quicken.

    Brooks Duncan - November 9, 2016 Reply

    Thanks, yeah you’re right it is not a recent decision. It’s just all of a sudden a flood of people are emailing me. Maybe because of the Windows 10/Sierra release?

Jessica - November 9, 2016 Reply

I have a Neat Recepits scanner, but was never a fan of the software. I use Evernote to store everything, and find it indispensable thanks largely to the great search functionality and integration with other apps and services. It is a staple in my paperless workflow.

    Brooks Duncan - November 9, 2016 Reply

    Good point – many people use the Neat scanners but don’t use the software.

Steven Buehler - November 2, 2016 Reply

Brother offers BR-Receipts for free with some of their scanners or for a nominal one-time cost ($9.99 or $19.99, can’t remember) without one of their scanners. Started using it with a DSMobile 920DW I bought that scans to SD card in the unit or to PC via USB cable.

    Brooks Duncan - November 9, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the tip!

    John - November 17, 2016 Reply

    Steven, what have your experiences been with BR-Receipts? Can you elaborate. It looks interesting.
    Others can check it out in a youtube video here:

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