Scanners

Bugs & Fixes: Get NeatWorks and ScanSnap to play together

When a product from one vendor offers to work with a product from another vendor, things don’t always go smoothly. Case in point: NeatWorks and Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners.

NeatWorks is the software component of NeatReceipts for Mac, a combination of the NeatWorks software and a document scanner.

When I saw NeatWorks at Macworld Expo, I was impressed by its ability to convert data from scanned receipts, business cards and other documents into a database. Once completed, I could search, view and even edit the scanned data. I wanted to try it out, but I didn’t need the Neat scanner as I already owned a ScanSnap S510M.

No problem. According to the NeatWorks folks, I could purchase NeatWorks as a stand-alone item and simply pair it with the SnapScan.

Unfortunately, when I attempted this pairing, I ran into a problem right off the bat: The Choose Scanner pop-up menu in NeatWork’s Preferences did not list the ScanSnap. After hunting around a bit, I discovered a second command, titled Fujitsu ScanSnap Settings. This looked promising but ultimately failed as well. This command did locate the scanner, but claimed that a problem with the ScanSnap Manager software was preventing a pairing.

As it turned out, to get things working, I had to select NeatWorks from ScanSnap Manager’s Application pop-up menu rather than go the other direction (selecting ScanSnap from NeatWorks, as I had been trying to do thus far). I now know this because, after contacting NeatWorks technical support, they directed me to a PDF document that explains it all in detail. After doing this, the pairing worked!

The Neat Company has since gone a step further. The latest version of NeatWorks (released a day or so after I dealt with this problem) fixes the apparent bug and makes the necessary adjustments in ScanSnap Manager automatically. Still, NeatWorks occasionally fails here and reverts to its old behavior. If and when this happens, I can get things rolling again by quitting both applications, launching ScanSnap Manager (with the scanner on!) followed by NeatWorks.

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