How to Access Cookbooks and Menus from a Network or Online Drive

In 1999 with MasterCook 5's release, the program was designed to allow customers to access their cookbooks through a network or online drive. This remains a top favorite feature of MasterCook that is used by many people.

Many MasterCook customers have several computers: a computer at work (restaurant, hospital cafeteria, senior center, etc.), one at home, one at a vacation home in another state or country, etc. It is very easy to access your cookbooks from any of those computers.

It's just a few simple steps.

  1. Install MasterCook onto each one of your computers.
  2. Create a folder on your network or online drive.
  3. Place your .mc2 and .mcx cookbook files into that folder. You can also place your menu and meal plan files into that folder.
  4. Start up MasterCook on one of your computers and go to the Cookbooks screen. Select Manage Collections from the Tools menu.
  5. In the Manage Collections screen, select the folder that contains your cookbook, menu, and meal plan files and then press the Add button. See the screenshot below.
  6. Press the Done button in the Manage Collections window to return to the Cookbooks screen where you will see your cookbooks that you just added.
  7. If you add a new cookbook to that collection folder from one of the computers, on the other computers go to the Cookbooks screen and select Refresh File List from the Tools menu, so that computer refreshes and will see the files you added to its collection folder. (Anytime you add or remove files from MasterCook's folders, you use the refresh command so the program can update its index files. For example, if you delete print design files from the MC Tools folder on the computer or cookbook or menu files, you will need to refresh MasterCook, so it can update itself.)



It is very important to make sure you backup your files on a regular basis, so you can restore those backup files if your current working files become corrupted.

Never rename the cookbook files on the computer, or you can corrupt them. Rename them in MasterCook instead. Open a cookbook. Select Customize Cookbook from the Tools menu and rename it there.

Do not have the same cookbook in one or more collection folders. The program does not handle duplicate cookbook files.


When using online drives note that changes to the files are stored on your computer and then synced into the cloud by OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive, etc. Therefore, you might want to be cautious about two or more computers trying to access and edit the same cookbook file at the same time. The same would apply if more than one computer was trying to access and save changes to the same Word document file. It's best if just one computer works on the file at a time and then the online drive app syncs those changes to the cloud so they can be pulled down into another computer, etc.



Otherwise, if you want to access your recipes from a device that doesn't have MasterCook you can either (1) upload your recipes to so you can access them from your account there or (2) export your recipes as text and place that text file in your Dropbox folder or (3) print your cookbook to a PDF and upload that to your Dropbox folder.

To export your recipes as a text file use the Export and Mail command from the File menu in MasterCoook. Use the Text Only export setting and save it as a single file.

To print your cookbook as a PDF file, use the Microsoft Print to PDF printer that installs with Windows or download a free PDF creating program such as doPDF, Bullzip, CutePDF Writer, etc. from the internet. They install themselves as a printer on your computer. When you use them as a printer, they create a PDF file instead.

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