Make your own free website on Tripod.com

MasterCook 5+ Cookbooks
Home Up MasterCook 5+ Cookbooks MasterCook 5+ Error Messages MasterCook 5+ Exchange MasterCook 5+ Import MasterCook 5+ Import Assistant MasterCook 5+ Ingredient List MasterCook 5+ Installation MasterCook 5+ MasterList MasterCook 5+ Meal Plans MasterCook 5+ Miscellaneous MasterCook 5+ Nutrition MasterCook 5+ Pantry MasterCook 5+ Printing MasterCook 5+ Recipe Browser MasterCook 5+ Recipe Editor MasterCook 5+ Search

 

  1. Adding a Cookbook to Your Collection
  2. Backing up Cookbooks on CD
  3. Check the Health of your Cookbooks
  4. Creating a Cookbook to Use as a Template
  5. Importing Categories, Ratings and Cuisines
  6. Limiting Cookbooks to View/Search
  7. Managing Collections
  8. Naming Cookbooks
  9. Picture Compression Tool (Version 7 and above)
  10. Purchasing More Cooking Light Recipes
  11. Saving on Another Drive
  12. Viewing Cookbooks on Other MasterCook CDs w/o Installing Them

 

1. Adding a Cookbook to Your Collection

Q: Does anyone have a trick on how best to include a friend's cookbook so that it appears on the cookbook list (Cookbook Browser screen)?

A: When I get a cookbook and picture file from someone, I use Windows Explorer and copy the files to the 'My Collection' folder. While in the Cookbook Browser screen (where my list of cookbooks are shown), I press the F5 key on my keyboard. It will refresh the list of cookbooks showing the cookbook I just copied to the 'My Collection' folder.

[ Top of Page ]

2. Backing up Cookbooks on CD

CD-R's and CD-RW's are kind of tricky. They are not as straightforward as a ZIP drive, etc. Usually these files become read-only when they are on the CD. This makes it impossible to make any changes to the cookbook. If you don't plan on editing the cookbooks then it won't be a problem.

If you are going to be accessing a cookbook from the CD, create a collection folder on the CD and then copy your cookbooks into that collection folder, instead of the My Collection folder on your hard drive. Then all you need to do is register that collection with MasterCook. Do this by choosing Manage Collections from the Tools menu. Direct it to your collection folder on your CD and select the Add button.

Beware though, if you refresh your files (select Refresh File List from the Tools menu) when the CD isn't in the drive, the cookbooks will disappear from the Cookbook Browser. See the Sierra README.TXT file for more info on this.

When I bought our CD-RW, I was a little surprised to find out that I could not use it as easily and as completely as I could the ZIP drive. The ZIP drive is just like other media (like a micro disk or hard disk) that lets us read, write, open, edit, etc. file contents.

When we copy a file to a ZIP disk the file's attributes are not changed. When we copy a file to a CD, the attribute can be changed to read only -- protecting it as a back-up that needs special handling when we want to overwrite the file with an updated version. Remember to reset the file to "archive" when copying it back to the hard drive for MasterCook to read/edit.

As with any software you use, be sure your CD-writing software has been patched up to the latest version. You don't want to find that buggy software has messed up your backup copies.

Important Note: Several people have reported trouble restoring cookbooks after using packet-writing software to save their cookbook files on CD. The instructions for packet-writing software describe it as allowing you to use your CD-RW like "a giant floppy" to copy files using drag and drop, rewrite saved files, etc. Frequently, you'll have a link to it from your right-click Send To menu. Some common names of packet-writing software are: InCD, ABCD, DirectCD

Because of these problems, we recommend that, at a minimum, you test any backup copies of MasterCook files you make with this type of software to be sure it is working properly. Make sure that the cookbook files open and are readable within MasterCook. Check several cookbooks, and/or test several different "burns" to be sure.

Safer still would be to use regular burning software, rather than the packet-writing. Ordinarily, you receive this software with your purchase of a CD-RW drive as well as the packet-writing software, but it will have a different name and be a separate stand-alone program. You'll need to start it up just as you would any program from your Start > Programs menu. Some common names are: Nero, Easy CD Creator, CDExtreme. Check your own documentation.

For detailed info and answers to lots of common questions on CD recording, see http://www.cdrfaq.org/

[ Top of Page ]

3. Check the Health of your Cookbooks

One quick and easy way to determine whether or not you have a corrupt cookbook is by performing a general, keyword search. Perform the search on ALL your cookbooks (i.e. search for "asparagus" in all your books). If the program hangs on a cookbook during the search, chances are that book is corrupt. Note the name of the book the search screen says it is currently searching through. (Hopefully you have a back-up copy of this book, but it is in good health!)

1. After the program closes and while using Windows Explorer, remove that book from the collection folder. Move it to another location on your computer, out of a collection folder.

2. Deleted the MC World.mcw file which is found inside the MC Tools folder. (MasterCook will rebuild this file on the next launch. This makes MasterCook reinventory its collection folders and note any changes that happened behind its back (see step #1 above).

3. Relaunch the program.

4. Perform another search. If all goes well, your cookbooks are all in good health. Now would be an excellent time to back up your files.

When things go wrong....

Some of you are aware of the preferences setting inside the GENERAL tab labeled: RESTORE PREVIOUS VIEW UPON START-UP. This is great because it makes MasterCook remember where you were the previous time you used the program. When you restart the program, it will take you to the screen you were last viewing. I really like this setting; it's one of my favorites!

However, this is a problem if that last screen was on a cookbook that is now corrupt. The program will launch and will have problems recreating that screen. You may see error messages and the program will fail to launch. *UGH* Fear not! There's an easy way to get around this issue. Hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard while you launch the program. This makes MasterCook IGNORE that 'restore previous view' and it will instead load the CONTENTS screen. Now you are ready to go to Search and find the problem child cookbook and get rid of it -- see the first paragraph above.

Do you have a cookbook that won't open or crashes the program when you try to open it? Is it a favorite, irreplaceable cookbook (NOT one that you could easily recreate -- recipes collected from e-mail lists, etc.)?

Send your cookbook file (*.mc2) as an attachment to an email message to MasterCook Help (mastercook_help@yahoo.com). If you could, it would help to ZIP the file first. However, if you are unsure how to do that then don't worry about it; just send the *.mc2 file.

It would also be helpful if you could give an estimated number of recipes that are inside the cookbook and the size of the cookbook file. The only things that will be recovered from the cookbook are just the recipes. Categories, cuisines, and other classifications will be lost. It is very important to keep your files backed up regularly!

[ Top of Page ]

4. Creating a Cookbook to Use as a Template

Creating a template cookbook is a great way to ensure that your preferred settings and the categories you use most often are transferred to each new cookbook you create.

1. Create a new cookbook by selecting “New Cookbook’ from the File menu. Name it “My Template,’ or whatever title will make sense to you.

2. Add your preferred categories, ratings and cuisines. You can add categories by copying recipes from other cookbooks into your template. (Click on the recipe and select “Copy Selected Recipes’ from the Edit menu. Return to your template cookbook and select “Paste Recipes’ from the Edit menu.) Delete the recipes you have copied. The categories will remain assigned to your template cookbook. Be sure to click “No’ when prompted to delete the empty categories.

3. Set your preferred font colors and sizes, etc. by selecting “Customize Cookbook’ from the Tools menu. You've now set how recipes will appear in the Recipe Display view.

4. Do not add any recipes to your template cookbook. When you want to create a new cookbook, simply highlight the template cookbook and select “Save Cookbook As’ from the File menu. (Do not choose “New Cookbook’ from the File menu as you may have done in the past.) The settings you specified in your template cookbook will now be copied to each new cookbook you create.

[ Top of Page ]

5. Importing Categories, Ratings and Cuisines

Q: Is it possible to import a set of categories, ratings and cuisines from one of the packaged cookbooks into "My Cookbook?"

A: Here is what I do:

1. Pick a recipe from a cookbook that has the categories, ratings and cuisines that I want.
2. While in the Recipe Edit view and using the Categories tab I put checkmarks in the categories I want to bring over.
3. Give the recipe a new name ('categories' or whatever you prefer) and save it.
4. Copy the 'categories' recipe and paste it into your cookbook.
5. Now you can delete the recipe but don't let it delete the empty categories when prompted.

This will give you all the ratings, categories and cuisines from the cookbook the recipe came from.

[ Top of Page ]

6. Limiting Cookbooks to View/Search

Q: I'm trying to limit the number of cookbooks I see when I open MasterCook. My goal is to see only the cookbooks in the "my collection" folder. This way, I need not scroll through all the Betty Crocker cookbooks that came with the software. (I don't want to give up the B.C. cookbooks though!) My work around solution has been to put letter "A" and "AA" in front of my most frequently used books so they are at the top of the list.

Is there a way to accomplish this without banishing the B.C. books to some far away corner of my hard disk? I want to be able to view them without a lot of trouble. Also, when I search for a recipe, I want to search only within "my collection" unless I tell it otherwise.

A: The easiest way to hide cookbooks would be to keep them in a particular collection and 'Remove' the collection (see Manage Collections). This makes MasterCook 'forget' about the collection and its contents. Of course, it does NOT delete the folder or its contents. It has the added benefit over moving files around of decreasing the likelihood of accidentally stomping on a newer book with an older version or breaking embedded recipe links.

[ Top of Page ]

7. Managing Collections

Q: I've been trying to rename the "My Collection" folder. When I am in the Manage Collections window and highlight the "My Collection" folder the "Rename" button stays subdued. Is it possible to change the name of this collection?

A: "My Collection" is reserved by the program and cannot be edited. You could create a new collection and move your cookbooks to it.

Q: When in the Manage Collections window, where/how do I add the new Collection that I want to create? I've tried highlighting the various folders but the Add button remains subdued. I did manage to add one under the MC Tools folder but it doesn't show up on the cookbooks screen list and now I can't get it to delete back out of that folder. Please help!

A: To remove your existing folder from the MC Tools folder, you will need to use Windows Explorer or My Computer while MasterCook is not operating. Just click on the folders until the contents of the MC Tools folder are in the right-hand side of the screen (If you are using the most current version of MasterCook (ValuSoft v6.2) you would click on C:\Program Files, then MasterCook, then MC Tools). Select the collection folder name you want to remove, right click it, and choose Delete from the right-click menu. When you start MasterCook again, from the cookbook browser window hit the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh your file list.

Now to add your new collection! From the cookbook browser window (where the names of your cookbook are listed), click on Tools>Manage Collections. A window will open that looks much like the Windows Explorer window. You will see the folder "Program Files" and under it will be the folder "MasterCook." Click on the plus sign to open up the MasterCook folder, and highlight it ("MasterCook"), if it is not already highlighted.

Now look at the box at the bottom of that window. It should say "C:\Program Files\MasterCook" (the "C" may be a different letter for you if you have installed in a different drive). Click in the box and add the name of your new collection directly after the pre-typed info. Then click "Add." Another window should open stating that the specified folder does not exist and asking if you want to create it -- click "Yes." You should see the name of your folder added to the list of folders. Then click "Done."

You must add or transfer some cookbooks to your new collection before it will show up in the cookbook browser window when you choose to sort by collection. You can transfer existing cookbooks to your new collection by highlighting a cookbook name and using the Tools>Change Collection menu.

Another option would be to create a collection folder using Windows Explorer or My Computer. Then use the Manage Collections window to select and Add the collection you created outside the program.

[ Top of Page ]

8. Naming Cookbooks

If you want certain cookbooks to appear at the beginning of your Cookbook Browser, here is something you can do.

I start it with 1 - I have "1 Temp," "2 Temp," etc. Also if I want a book to be at the end of the list, I start it with Z. A file name can contain up to 255 characters, including spaces. It cannot contain the following characters: \ / : * ? " < > |

Your filenames can be made up of letters, numbers, dashes (-), underscores (_), and dots (.). Any other character may cause problems.

In general, file and directory names should be composed only of letters of the alphabet, digits, dots and underscores. Be aware that Unix prohibits the use of special characters, such as a dot, to begin the filename.

[ Top of Page ]

9. Picture Compression Tool (Version 7 and above)

The Picture Compression Tool is a new addition to MasterCook functionality. Using it, we can dramatically reduce the size of the picture files (*.mcx) of our own cookbooks.

The default settings are:

"LEAD CMP" compression type
"Quality and Size equally important" compression factor

The best way to test different settings is to use the same compression option (such as JPG) but change the QFactor from one extreme to the other to notice the difference in quality.

I find that changing the QFactor to 10 decreases the MCX file by quite a bit without sacrificing quality.

You could compare the results for settings you think might work for you by making identical test cookbooks, but use different compression settings on each. Then open another window of MC and view the same recipe pictures side by side.

[ Top of Page ]

10. Purchasing More Cooking Light Recipes

Q: Where can I purchase more Cooking Light recipes/cookbooks?

A: Recently Cooking Light has started offering MasterCook EXported cookbooks at their web site. See their page here: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/magazine/recipeindex/index.html

[ Top of Page ]

11. Saving on Another Drive

Q: How do I save my cookbooks on another drive?

A: The way I have been using alternate drives is to add a new collection name using MS Explorer then go to Tools>Manage Collections and add it. You can then add cookbooks to the new collection and it can reside on any valid drive.

You can also use the Manage Collections to add a collection to any valid drive.

If a registered collection is located on a CD and that CD is not in the CD-ROM drive. MasterCook will treat items in this collection as if they were deleted (see the following paragraph). However, if the CD is inserted into the CD-ROM drive, selecting "Refresh File List" from the "Tools" menu (or hitting F5 on the keyboard) will restore the display of the items in the collection.

If, outside of MasterCook, a cookbook, menu, etc. (or an entire collection folder) was deleted. Normally, MasterCook will remove externally deleted items from display as they are activated (e.g., double click), however, selecting "Refresh File List" from the "Tools" menu (or hitting F5 on the keyboard) will remove all deleted items from display at once.

[ Top of Page ]

12. Viewing Cookbooks on Other MasterCook CDs w/o Installing Them

Q: I have MasterCook Cooking Light 5.01 installed. I also have a CD with MasterCook Deluxe 5.0. While in MasterCook Cooking Light 5.01, I inserted the MasterCook Deluxe CD to see where I can find the cookbook collection on it, but did not recognize any of the folders. I want to SEE what the recipes are, if they are all high calorie and fat, I won't want to download them even if I find them. I would just like to view them, without having to install MasterCook Deluxe as well. Any suggestions?

A: When you are in MasterCook and in the Cookbook Browser screen select Open from the File Menu and select your CD-ROM drive. After that, look for a folder called SYSTEM and double click on that. After this there will be a folder called COOKBOOKS and just double click on this. You should then see all the cookbooks available in the Deluxe edition and then be able to evaluate them for what you describe.

[ Top of Page ]