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Importing Recipes into MasterCook

 

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(These directions apply to MasterCook version  5 and above.)

There are four ways to get your recipes into MasterCook:

  1. Hand type them in. This is explained very well in the program's Help. Select Help Contents from the Help menu in the program. In the SEARCH tab of that Help, type in this text string: new recipe. From the list of topics that appear below select Entering a New Recipe and read those instructions.

  2. Use the Import Assistant. (<-- Click on underlined link for example).

  3. Use the web import toolbar (found in the newer versions). The bar itself has a HELP section that explains how to use it.

  4. Select Import (from the File menu).

The choice depends on the format the recipe is in to begin with. It is either going to be in a format that MasterCook recognizes or in a format that it doesn't recognize.

IMPORTING RECIPES THAT ARE IN MASTERCOOK FORMAT

If the recipe is exported from MasterCook or Meal Master it will already be in a format that MasterCook recognizes. It will say something like * Exported from MasterCook * at the beginning of the recipe. Like this:

You can select Import from the File menu to import these types of recipes. You don't need to edit these recipes first. In fact you shouldn't because MasterCook expects there to be blank lines in certain spots and certain spaces between words, etc. This is how it tells where one section of a recipe ends and another begins.

If you receive a recipe like the one above in the Inbox of your e-mail program, you can use Simple MAPI to import it. MasterCook can read your Inbox (not any other mailboxes, however) and import one e-mail at a time (not several at once). This is great when you have a recipe that you want to import immediately into MasterCook. Here's how:

1. Select Import from the File menu in MasterCook.

2. Place a checkmark in the box for Use Simple MAPI and notice the Inbox icon that immediately appears just above it:

3. Click on this Inbox icon to get MasterCook to scan the Inbox of your default e-mail program. Then you can select an e-mail message from the upper right corner of the Import window. NOTE: You need to be using an e-mail program that supports MAPI though -- like Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape, etc. AOL does NOT support MAPI or SMTP, so it will not work.

You can also save the recipes as a plain text file *.txt (not a Word document, etc.) by selecting Save As from the File menu of your e-mail program or web browser and save it to your computer. Then choose Import from the File menu and direct it to the *.txt file on your computer by selecting the folder in the upper left corner of the Import window. Then the files in that folder will appear in the upper right corner of the Import window. You can select ONE of these files and MasterCook will list the recipe titles that are inside that one file in the lower right corner of the Import window. (It can only import one file at a time, but that one file can contain more than one recipe.) NOTE: With AOL you can NOT 'Save As' from e-mail. It saves as Rich Text Format, not plain text. You will need to copy the text of the e-mail and paste it into NOTEPAD to Save As a plain text file with AOL.

If you are having troubles with MasterCook not recognizing recipes inside the *.txt file, chances are the formatting has been messed with. Sometimes e-mail programs can add or remove the blank lines between recipe sections, etc. If this is the case, you will need to get the recipe back into a format that MasterCook recognizes before you can import it.

Sometimes you will come across web sites that have several recipes in a file that you can easily import into MasterCook. For example, if you visit Mad's Recipe Emporium you will find recipes that are already in MasterCook format. The files available here are in ZIP format. You will need a program like WinZip to extract the recipe file from the ZIP file. Once you get the recipe file out of the ZIP file then you can import it into MasterCook by selecting Import from the File menu and directing it to the recipe file. The reason why people use ZIP files is because ZIP files are smaller, compressed files and take less time to download. However, you will need to get the recipe file out of the ZIP file before you can use it.

IMPORTING RECIPES THAT ARE NOT IN MASTERCOOK FORMAT

If you get recipes in e-mail or find some on the Internet that are not in MasterCook format, you have several options:

  1. Hand type them in. This is explained very well in the program's Help. Select Help Contents from the Help menu in the program. In the SEARCH tab of that Help, type in this text string: new recipe. From the list of topics that appear below select Entering a New Recipe and read those instructions.

  2. Use the Import Assistant. (<-- Click on underlined link for example).

  3. Use the web import toolbar (found in the newer versions). The bar itself has a HELP section that explains how to use it.

  4. Set them up in a plain text file in a format that MasterCook can recognize. See KitPatH's example: <Click Here>

You can hand type them in or copy/paste and drag/drop text from an e-mail message or web page into an newly created recipe in MasterCook. TIP: Did you know you can highlight a set of ingredients and copy them to the Windows clipboard and then have MasterCook parse them out for you in the ingredient section? Here's an example:

1. Copy some ingredients from a web page:

2. Put your cursor in the ingredient section of a recipe in the Recipe Edit view:

3. Select Paste Text into Ingredient from the Edit menu:

4. And it will parse out the ingredients for you:

There are several programs available that can assist you in getting your recipes into a format that MasterCook recognizes. MC-TagIt is one that is works for MasterCook versions 5 and 6 only. With this program, you set up some recipes in a plain text file. You have MC-TagIt read the file and produce a file that you can then import into MasterCook. If you set up a recipe in a plain text file w/o using MC-TagIt and use File>Import, MasterCook can only import a few recipe parts/fields (title, notes, ingredients, directions). MC-TagIt helps you import more fields (source, category, time, copyright, etc.)

KitPatH has a list of other tutorials on her site, too! <Click Here>