To my surprise, it appears that Neat Company has made the latest version of NeatWorks, Neat 4.0, free software.
NeatWorks (now apparently renamed just Neat for Mac) is great software that I rely on daily. It is designed to work with a select few scanners, but can provide Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for any TIFF with 300 dpi or higher resolution.
Moreover, it provides a digital/paperless document filing system that allows you to manage (and search in-text) through all your receipts, documents, and records. It’s, for lack of a better word, Neat.
When upgrading to Neat 4.0, I was prompted for a serial number that didn’t match my records. It wanted a serial number that started with NM5, not NM2 that I had from the purchase of my NeatDesk scanner (which included NeatWorks for free, obviously). No documentation either, thanks guys…
After digging through the Neat support site (no help), Neat blog (no mention of Neat 4.0 even being out for Mac), I finally stumble on the Downloads + Product Keys section, which has a link to a vending machine, which hands out product keys like candy.
Now… thinking for a minute. I didn’t log in to Neat.com. What if I didn’t have a Neat product key already?
That’s when it hit me, Neat for Mac is now free! I don’t know how long, but here’s how to get in while the getting is good:
1) Go to Neatco.com’s Mac Product Key page. Copy the product key that is automagically generated for you.
2) Download Neat for Mac 4.0 (I didn’t intercept this download URL or anything else nefarious, it’s right on NeatCo’s site).
3) Install Neat for Mac and skip the Neat Cloud offers. You will have to sign up for a free account, and activate it with a confirmation email. But, you don’t need to sign up for Neat Cloud. Near the end, you’ll be asked for that product key from Step 1.
4) There is no Step 4. Enjoy your Neat for Mac.
Keep in mind that Neat’s OCR is powerful, but demands specific settings (which is why so few scanners are natively supported). You must scan in TIFF format with 300 dpi, and of course, higher resolutions work better. You can always drag and drop such documents, and analyze them for in-text searching from inside of Neat for Mac.