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Old 05-23-2005, 10:12 AM   #1
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Recipe Software

I've been checking out new recipe software. I've had
Mastercook but it doesnt have ability to print category page or listings of recipes within a category. I've been trying Cookn but having trouble backing up. Did backup but then couldnt open file to see if everything is ok.
Does anyone have any ideas? Do you have any software that you really like to use to put your recipes in cookbook fashion?
Thanks.

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Old 05-23-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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I just put all mine on WORD. Not a very good system at all.

I have mastercook too but, have never liked it.
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:58 PM   #3
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How about Now Your Cooking(NYC)
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:05 PM   #4
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I just use Word too, which works ok, but you can't do any cross referencing of food types or ingredients. I do have the recipes broken down into separate folders (beef, chicken, veggies, etc.), but some things cross over category lines and can still get lost. I wish I was good enough with MS Access to set up recipe database, as that would be a great way to go. You could then set up tables for various ingredients, ethnic food types, cooking methods, etc and then query to get a list that fit your needs of the moment. Unfortunately, I don't know the program well enough, so I didn't pay for the full-blown MS Office suite that includes Access. It would be a very basic exercise for somebody who knows how to do it though. My wife could probably whip up a recipe database in about 10 minutes if I had the program.

NYC looks interesting
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:57 PM   #5
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I started looking at recipe software and something came up and I quit before I tried all that I could. Guess some day I'll have to start downloading and testing again.

For those who use MS Word or WordPerfect .... you CAN create an INDEX with Main, Sub-categories, and CROSS-REFERENCES. You can even create a master document with sub-documents to hold different types of recipes and index and cross-reference the whole mess! You end up with something like a cookbook with an index ... scroll thru the index - find what you want - and use the "goto page" function to jump there. It's way to complex to try to explain here - it's easier to do than to try to explain - but if you get a good book on your word processor software it will explain everything for you.

I keep mine in WordPerfect files ... but I'm looking for a good database program.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:50 PM   #6
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Okay, the IT guy to the rescue, or not.

I have MS Access, I know how to program it (for the most part), and I've been thinking about making myself a recipe database for some time. If several other people are interested in using such a project, it may persuade me to get off my rear end and get going.

As a start, what kind of features would you like?

Here's what I'm thinking:
  • Easily categorizable
  • Search by recipe name, ingredient, style, or category
  • Prepare formatted print-outs for book making (I like keeping recipes in a binder in the kitchen)
  • Menu preparation up to a week ahead, with shopping list generation
It would be some work, but it could be a lot of fun, too. I wouldn't mind gaining more experience with Access, either.

Also, if many of you don't have MS Access, there are other options I can use that are freely available (I'm an Open Source kind of guy).

Thoughts and opinions?
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:28 PM   #7
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I use Accuchef!

It does everything I want a recipe software to do, and it is quite easy to learn and master, but, most importantly, it is shareware, and I have no conscience!
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Old 05-23-2005, 06:48 PM   #8
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Well, Consul ... how much hair do you have to pull out playing with this idea? This is a relational database problem if I ever saw one!

You need fields for recipe name, category, sub-categories, and an index for each - not to mention if you want to search/index by ingredient.

Each ingredient needs 5 fields ... sequence number, quantity numeric, unit, ingredient, and method - as in [ingredient number] [8] [oz] [Chicken] [chopped, breasts, or etc.]. And an index ... for the ingredients. These will have to be expandable "on the fly" (transparent to the user) if there are more ingredients than fields currently in the database - that presents a problem unless the databases are relational - and have a key field pointing to the recipe. And - there is also the need to add an ingredient anywhere in the list .. and the abilty to rearrange ingredients, and delete ingredients.

Of course - the database should be relational ... with drop-down picks for the first 3 fields ... no need to type in "chicken" when a pick-list will insert a numeric (and just display the text) which will be quicker to locate than "text", and take less disk space - and space for text for the 4th field. So, for our 8 oz Chicken breast - the 4 data fields might be something like [8] [12] [27] [text field].

Now we have a search for recipe [#x] and listing ingredients in assending order from the database ..... plus the preparation text.

Oh yeah - increasing and decreaing recipe quantity ... ie the recipe serves 6 and you want to decrease it to serve 2 - or increase it to serve 24. A recipe that calls for [1] [cup] will be [1/3] [cup] for 2 - [4] [cups] for 24.

I've been thinking about something like this using Visual FoxPro ... but just haven't had the money to buy the software, or the spare time, to play around with it. MS Access seems too convoluted to be worth the time ... but, I might be wrong - maybe I need to buy a book?
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:36 AM   #9
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It is a more convoluted database than I've built in Access before, but I have built much more complicated databases than this using server-based engines.

My problem is, my experience with databases is DB-driven applications on the web. I'm not used to making local apps. I made a decent local app using Access recently, but it was a case of knowing the customer has Access installed on the needed machines already. If you want to take your Access app and roll it up into a spiffy executable, you need to pay something like $3000 for Microsoft Office Developer Edition.

I looked into using Perl with a GUI toolkit (I've done it before) to make something using an embedded database. With that, I could wrap it all up into a compiled Perl application, which would install and run like any other. The issue I run into there is document formatting for printing, which is pretty complicated to do within Perl.

Basically, in order for me to do it with Access, whoever wants to run the program would also need to have Access already, unless there is a workaround that I'm not familiar with.

Nevertheless, it's an interesting problem, and one I will continue to think about. I like finding solutions to problems. It keeps the world interesting.
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Old 05-26-2005, 10:01 AM   #10
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recipe software

When I asked the question about recipe software, I wasnt sure I was in the right place or if anyone would answer.
Thanks for all of your time and answers. Since I asked that question I have tried Cookn, Living Cookbook, Mealmaster, Accuchef.
Living Cookbook has the best support of any of them. Ask a question and within a few hours or sooner you have an answer. But the program itself is slower. And I cant seem
to find out how to change the font.
Accuchef has a lot of good features. I really like how to put in recipes, but if you want to print out a chapter with index and recipes it seems difficult. I love the way the recipe looks printed as an individual recipe. Emailing a recipe is not as attractive when its received as it should be. Columns are wrapped.
I saw the Accuchef has a group forum but it seems to be just recipe exchanges.
Does anyone have any info on Accuchef or living cookbook that would help?
Thanks
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