WHY PURCHASE MASTERCOOK VERSION 11?
ValuSoft released MasterCook 11 in 2010. (There was no version
10.) It is a great improvement on many levels. It can be purchased at
It is the first version designed to run in the limited access environment of
Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Internet Explorer. No other prior version can do
this so easily. For the past several years it has been quite easy to compromise
the security of a Windows computer with its WIDE-OPEN, ADMINISTRATOR-LEVEL
access to the computer. It is like leaving the front door of your house wide open
inviting intruders. :) Microsoft has been trying to address that by making the
computer more secure, especially with the introduction of the UAC -- User
Account Control. (Find the command in the Windows Control Panel >
1. UAC (User Account Control)
Windows added the User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer
starting with Vista. It lets you know when major changes are about to happen
with your computer, and it blocks programs (viruses, etc.) from installing
without your consent. This is the screen you see when you try to install a
program on your computer asking you for permission to allow the program to
continue to install. Some people simply turn it OFF (disable it). If it is
disabled it no longer has a job and is no longer a bother to you. ;) However, in
doing so they prevent Windows from letting them know of potential threats. It's
not a good idea and one I do NOT recommend. (Windows once prevented a virus from installing on my computer
when I simply visited a website and NEVER even clicked on a link yet. The UAC
warned me a program was trying to install itself on my computer and wanted me to
verify or deny it access. I was able to prevent it from happening. The UAC is
awesome!) Because of this, each time you try to use MasterCook version 9 or less
you will get a prompt from the Windows UAC verifying you wish the run the
program. The older versions of MasterCook were never intended to be confronted
by the UAC, so they weren't designed to deal with it.
This no longer happens in version 11 even with the UAC enabled. Many people
complained of this in the older versions, and now it has been addressed.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 no longer support the older Help files. MasterCook
version 9 and less use the old system. You can get around this issue by
downloading and installing an update from Microsoft. However, that has not
always worked for everyone.
Version 11's Help system has been converted to the new Help format. It does
not require an update to work. Microsoft does NOT wish to continue to support
the older Help files. This is why Microsoft intentionally left it out of
3. Program Files Folder
Windows wants programs to store their files within the Program Files folder.
This is why a majority of programs default install to this location. This give
the program protection since Windows won't allow other programs (viruses, etc.)
access to folders and files within this folder to corrupt and insert viruses
within those EXE files. Because of this there is also a problem when older
programs (such as MasterCook versions 9 and less) also try to write changes to
files that users request while using the program -- such as when you edit a
cookbook to add recipes, etc. When an older program goes to save changes to its
user-edited files within the Program Files folder, Windows prevents that from
happening by moving those changed files to a HIDDEN folder called
VirtualStore. Since the VirtualStore folder is hidden by Windows by default it
appears your cookbooks/recipes have disappeared. Some will recommend you install
the program outside of this protected folder to resolve this particular problem.
You can simply adjust the security setting for the MasterCook folder within the
Program Files folder to allow Windows to save changes to files/folders within,
However, this problem has been addressed in version 11 since MasterCook is
designed to store user-edited files where Windows expects them to be. Many
people complained of this in the older versions. Many, many people have
complained of their recipes and cookbooks disappearing, etc. It is no longer an issue in
4. Limited User Environment
Because of the UAC mentioned above Windows prevents older programs from fully
functioning. For example, in versions 9 or less the Import command doesn't fully
work and neither does the Import Assistant. Yes, you can work around this issue
by adjusting the security setting to force Windows to allow the program to Run
However, this is not a problem with MasterCook 11. MasterCook 11 is
designed to fully function even within a limited user environment.
It is NOT necessary to run that program as an administrator. Many people
complained of this in the older versions, and now it has been addressed.
5. Web Import Toolbar
Microsoft has also limited how Internet Explorer functions. As a result the web
import toolbar doesn't function for many people with MasterCook 9 or less. You
can try (many are still unsuccessful) to force it to work by remembering to
ALWAYS start up Internet Explorer by right clicking on its shortcut and
selecting RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR first. This causes the web browser to be less
secure, but it will allow the tools of the browser to function more fully. This
is no longer an issue with version 11. Its web import toolbar functions a bit
The web import toolbar included with MasterCook 11 fully functions with the
default security settings of the web browser. It works a little bit differently.
The web import toolbar for version 11 is designed to function in the limited environment (no
longer requires to run as administrator) of Internet Explorer. I use Vista and
IE 8 and the web import toolbar is fully functional even with the default security
settings of the browser as intended by Microsoft. I didn't have to do ANYTHING
to get it to work other than install it.
NOTE: If you are using the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, you likely
have the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer installed as well. The web import
toolbar installs to the default browser. So, if you can't find the web import
toolbar, try looking in your other version of Internet Explorer.
RecipeFox is a MasterCook web import toolbar that functions with the Firefox
web browser. I'd highly recommend you give it a try. It's more powerful than the
6. New Features
MasterCook 11 not only has an updated web import toolbar but it includes a
new feature to export to the free Evernote
program so you can store/access recipes and shopping lists from your mobile
device or from your computer. The new feature is easy to use. Just select the Export to Evernote command. Evernote has excellent
instructions for using their program, too. I suggest you visit
their website to see what that freebie
can do! It's not just for mobile device users.
Another new feature is the Speak tool. It will read recipe directions to you
from the Recipe Display screen. To access the Speak tool open a cookbook. Select
a recipe and click on the 4th icon down along the right of the screen -- VIEW
RECIPE IN RECIPE DISPLAY. When the recipe opens find the tool's icon in the
lower left corner of the screen -- the person with a speech bubble.
There is an update/patch in the works for MasterCook 11. It will include new
recipes from On Cooking and Food for Fifty. It also includes
RecipeFox, a web import toolbar for Firefox. The update/patch should be released shortly!
As with most things in life there are a couple of downsides to version 11 from
the previous versions.
Version 11 does not allow you to choose where the MC Tools folder installs on
your computer. It installs it to a public/shared location on the computer --
usually the PUBLIC folder within the USERS folder. This folder holds user-edited
files such as shopping lists, the Ingredient List, print designs, etc. If you
generally do not do anything other than edit recipes/cookbooks, it probably will
not even affect you. Nonetheless, the PUBLIC folder is typically where your
music, pictures, and videos are stored by default with Windows. This is where
mine are stored, so that all users on my computer have access to them. I back up
that PUBLIC folder on a regular basis, so the MC TOOLS folder is also backed up
on a regular basis. It's a plus for me. Some users have requested that the
program allow us to choose where to install the MC TOOLS folder. Perhaps in a
future version it will be possible. In the meantime, I do not think it's really
that big of a deal. It absolutely does NOT affect the performance of the
program. In fact since these user-edited files are stored in a shared location
on the computer, Windows won't be moving them around and hiding them from you.
:) It is important to point out this does NOT apply to your cookbooks, menus,
and meal plan files. These files are stored within collection folders.
MasterCook does NOT care where you store collection folders on your computer.
Place the collection folder with your files inside anywhere you wish on your
computer. Use the MANAGE COLLECTIONS command from the Tools menu in MasterCook
to "add" that collection to MasterCook so that it will know where to find those
files. Furthermore, you are able to choose where to install the main program,
too. The MC Tools folder installation location is the only part of the entire program that can't be
The only other downside to version 11 is its Help file. The older versions of
the Help have Search and Index tabs. For the time being it hasn't been possible
to include those in the latest version of the Help. The MasterCook Team will
continue to work on this. You can still browse and read the articles though. In
the meantime there is a tech support article at MasterCook Support including all of the
text from the Help Contents
in MasterCook 11. You can use your web browser's SEARCH command to find
certain topics. Go here:
MasterCook 11 Help