Using the Import Assistant

One way to enter recipes into MasterCook is to use the Import Assistant. This works great for recipes that are not in a format that MasterCook recognizes. Below is an example on how I do it.

1. First I find a recipe that I want to import from the Internet, e-mail and/or text file.

Oatmeal Jumbo Cookies


2. Next, I highlight the recipe and right click and choose Copy from the pop-up menu.


3. Then I open up a cookbook in MasterCook and right click on the Mail icon MailIcon.jpg along the right side of the MasterCook screen and select the Import Assistant from that menu. I put my cursor inside the Import Assistant and right click and choose Paste from that menu. The recipe is then pasted into the Import Assistant.


4. I then clean up the recipe a bit by aligning everything on the left side of the Import Assistant window and putting blank lines in between the different recipe sections (between the recipe title and ingredients, between the ingredients and directions, etc.) The blank lines tell MasterCook that a new section of the recipe is beginning.


5. Next I highlight the recipe by right clicking in the Import Assistant window and choosing Select All.


6. Now I press the Auto-Fill button and everything gets placed into the Recipe Editor where it belongs. (I also do further editing from here. I paste in the URL into the Source field, paste in the recipe picture, etc.)


7. Be sure in your preferences you have generic selected for your assumed format:

  Select Preferences from the Edit Menu.
  Select the Cookbook/Recipe tab.
  Near the bottom choose "Generic" from the drop-down menu under "Assumed Format When Auto-filling Recipes."



The recipe should be in this format below in the Import Assistant if you are going to be using the Auto-Fill button:

Recipe Title
<insert a blank line here>
list of ingredients
<insert a blank line here>
directions follow

You could also have your recipe in this format as well:

Recipe Title
<insert a blank line here>
Recipe Notes (these will auto-fill to the notes section)
<insert a blank line here>
list of ingredients
<insert a blank line here>
directions follow

*I make sure there are no hidden characters between the recipe sections by putting my cursor in front of the first ingredient and then using the Backspace key up to the end of the recipe title and then use the Enter key. This way I know there is a true blank line inserted between the recipe title and ingredients. I do the same thing in between the ingredients and directions as well as between the recipe title and the notes.


If you use Auto-Fill to put all the directions into one cell, but you later change your mind and want them spread across several cells, you can open the Import Assistant window again and press the back arrow button (down in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen) to redisplay the recipe you were working on. Cut the paragraphs you want to parse from cell #1 and paste them into the Import Assistant window. Highlight one paragraph and select Directions from the drop-down menu in the Import Assistant and press the Move to Recipe button, and it will place it in the second cell. You can then highlight the next paragraph (I triple click somewhere inside the paragraph to select the whole paragraph.) and select the Move to Recipe button, and it will place it in the third cell, etc. The directions will remain selected in the drop-down menu. You can do this to parse ingredients as well.

You can also copy/paste or drag/drop parts of a recipe from a web page or another Windows application to MasterCook. Try copying a list of ingredients on a web page, put your cursor into a cell in the ingredient section of a newly created recipe in MasterCook and then use the command 'Paste Text into Ingredients' from the Edit Menu. It will parse the ingredients out.

Versions 6.0 and above include new, right-click functionality: Clean Up Paragraph. When you select some text and then use this command it will remove unwanted carriage returns. This is useful if you are importing recipes from e-mail messages and there are word-wrapped lines. However, don't use this with a list of ingredients, or it will combine them all into one big paragraph.

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