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Seeking advice

RBLake's picture

Seeking advice (post #57206)

Greetings:  I love the magazine but have not seen an article on recipe software.  An internet search yields lots of lovely stuff but I would like some advice before purchasing.  The following are the parameters that I hope would be useful to someone out there who might like to answer:  I'm not a food professional; I use Microsoft and its related Word and have access to Excel though I'm not skilled in its use; I have a printer and scanner; I would like to be able to scan in recipes and then be able to edit them;  I would like to be able to format my results for a variety of paper sizes; I would like a very flexible indexing and search mechanism; and I think I need a "notes" space along with a "history" tracker.  A few nice extras that aren't completely necessary would be: scaling for servings; metric conversion; and nutrition analysis.  A reasonable price would be wonderful.  I have a feeling I am asking for the moon, but sometimes one can get the moon!  All answers would be appreciated.  As this is the very first time I have participated in a "chat room", I'm excited to see what happens.  Thanks!



MadMom's picture

(post #57206, reply #1 of 4)

Hi, RBLake, and welcome to CT.  I think quite a few people here use Master Cook and like it.  There are others who use another brand, which I cannot remember right now.  I'm sure the adherents of both will be along to tell you which is best.

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Gretchen's picture

(post #57206, reply #2 of 4)

Welcome. I don't use any but in addition to Mastercook I think some use Living Cookbook.


ashleyd's picture

(post #57206, reply #3 of 4)

MasterCook is fine for recording and cataloging your recipes but, like quite a few people, I find its output "clunky" and inflexible. If that doesn't bother you then you can normally find it at a good price. The major alternatives are Living Cookbook which matches MasterCook facilities and gives much better "professional looking" output, also BigOven which is similar. Both of these last two you can download evaluation copies to test them out before you buy, and both are less than $30.

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

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CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #57206, reply #4 of 4)

I use Mastercook and love it. It generates menus and shopping lists and keeps me organized for each client I cook for. I have cookbooks set up for each so I know what I've made for them in the past.

It's easy to import recipes from the internet and email and wp programs. I did try scanning into Word and then importing but I'm not as proficient at scanning as I should be and some of the info was lost or garbled in Word. So I found that I could type them in faster than futzing around with scanning, editing in Word then importing to MC. But that's me. There are freeware programs that will help with the conversion though I haven't used them as yet.

I'm not worried about fancy printing, though there are controllable parameters you can manipulate, as I print menus for clients in Publisher on my logo designed menus pages.

The best part is Mastercook is about $20! It also has that smart typing feature that when you're inputting ingredients it guesses at what you intend and a window opens so you can choose the right ingredient or keep typing your own. And you can get nutrition info from a recipe and/or input your own info for specific ingredients you use.