Frequently Asked Questions About
Now You're Cooking!

Recipe Handling


Are NYC cookbooks linked to the image files used for the recipes in the cookbooks? Is there a default directory for photographs?


Once you add a picture to an NYC cookbook, that picture is stored in the cookbook – it is not linked to the original image file.  We suggest you keep NYC cookbooks in the official NYC user folder (see Tools… Options… User Folder tab).

Keep your photos wherever you want, as they are no longer used by NYC nor linked to NYC after you add the photo to your cookbook.


I have NYC on three computers and I create recipes on all three.  How do I keep the cookbooks the same on each computer?


If your 3 computers are networked, you can designate the NYC user folder on one of them as the “official” repository.  This designation is made in your mind – you don’t need to do anything special.  Note that NYC already stores the user folder in the Public folder, which is already shared to other computers on the network.  So just make sure your other computers have read and write access to that official drive and user folder.  Then on your non-official computers, map the official drive, and then run NYC and use File… Open Cookbooks… to browse to the mapped drive, and open an official cookbook there.  Then you can make changes from any of the 3 computers to the official cookbooks in the official folder.  Note that for this to work, the official computer needs to be on and awake while other computers access it.


If the computers are not networked, you could email your official cookbook to/from the non-official computers after you make changes, but there is more chance for forgetting to make the transfer with this method.


I want to keep a record of what family members like. I know how to analyze ratings by criteria, but not by rater.  How best to do this?


The recipe list and analysis are by composite rating in NYC, not by individual ratings. You would have to edit each recipe to see the individual ratings.

However, if you were to create multiple copies of your cookbooks, with the individual's name in the cookbook name, like


etc, then you could clear all ratings in each cookbook except for those of the individual in the cookbook name. Then your composite rating for each recipe in the relevant cookbook would be the individual's rating.  Then use the radio button “rated recipes” on the recipe list to see the recipe ratings, sorted high to low.


Will NYC’s cookbook publishing work with Word Starter edition?


NYC’s publishing will NOT work with Word “Starter” or “Home and Student” edition, because these do not support OLE automation from another software.


How do I change the background color on the recipe edit window?


On the recipe edit window, press the Background… button, select a color, and press OK on the color dialog.


What is the best way to organize cookbooks and categories?


The answer will depend on how many recipes you have. 


If you have 5,000 recipes, you could just keep them in 1 cookbook and the 500 categories per cookbook should cover it.  Just use default categories like meats, desserts, salads, etc.


If you have 50,000 recipes, you might want separate cookbooks for MEATS, DESSERTS, and SALADS with categories in the DESSERTS cookbook for pies, cakes, cookies, etc.


If you have 500,000 recipes, you might want a separate cookbook for PIES, CAKES, and COOKIES with PIES categories like apple, peach, lemon creme, etc.


How do I attach a picture/image/photo to a recipe?


Attach an image to a recipe like this:


1.  Open the recipe (Recipes... Recipes...) dbl-click a recipe.

2.  Click the Image tab in the recipe edit window.

3.  Click the Browse... button and browse to the image file.

4.  Save the recipe.


You can also attach a image to a recipe from the recipe selection window by clicking the Image toolbar button.

Is there a quick way to display the total count of all recipes in the User Folder?

Total recipe count for all cookbooks in user folder is at the bottom of the cookbook list displayed when you select File… Open Cookbook… (Make sure you have Tools… Options… NYC-type with cookbook annotation checked).

Can I delete the original image files that I used for my NYC recipes?

Yes.  Once you attach an image to a recipe in NYC, a copy of the image is stored in your cookbook’s image archive (*.ima).  You may want to keep the original image files for backup, but they are not needed for NYC operation.

I keep cookbooks in subfolders under my user folder, but they do not seem to get backed up during File… Backup… and they do not seem to get brought over during File… Upgrade….  What is happening?


NYC only backs up or upgrades files directly under your user folder.  We may modify this in the future, but for now that is what happens.  It is best to keep all your user files directly under the user folder, not in any other folder and not in subfolders of the user folder.


Suppose I import some recipes that had ratings attached to them.  I'm not interested in their ratings, so is there a way to clear out these raters and their ratings globally without doing it recipe by recipe?

Raters and rating criteria are global across a cookbook and can be modified in the rating window.  Open the recipe selection window and open a recipe, then press the Rate button.  In the rating window you will see a Raters… button. Click that and you will see that you can selectively add and delete raters.  Then save these changes, open a different recipe, press Rate button, and you will see that the raters list is changed globally (for all recipes in a cookbook).  Removing a rater also removes that rater’s ratings.  You can also globally add and remove rating criteria in the same fashion using the “Criteria…” button on the rating window.


The cookbook indexes *.rdx (ratings) and *.rli (raters, criteria) contain the rating info for each cookbook, but you should only attempt to modify these via NYC (not manually).


How do I duplicate a recipe?  I can’t find a “Save As…” or “Save Recipe As…” anywhere.


Press the R toolbar button on the main interface (or use Recipes…. Recipes…), select a recipe, then press the Copy toolbar button on the recipe selection window.


How do I delete “venison” recipes (for example) across all my cookbooks without having to open each cookbook?


There is no way with NYC to delete recipes across cookbooks from a search across cookbooks.  You can only delete recipes in the cookbook that is currently open. We may add a delete button on the search window someday so you could do this


The best you can do for now is to search across cookbooks, tag the resulting recipes, then open each cookbook and delete the tagged recipes.  Obviously you should always untag all recipes across cookbooks before starting.  You can do this easily using Tools… Data Mgt… Cookbooks… Untag Recipes (across cookbooks).


How can I delete a recipe while editing the recipe?  It is too much trouble to close the recipe, look for it on the recipe list in the cookbook, delete it, and then try to find the spot you were last at in the recipe order.


There is already a very efficient way to do what you want to do.  The tagging feature lets you tag recipes for later operations such as Delete, Export, etc.  When you have a recipe open that you want to delete, just tag it (hit the Tag button on the recipe edit window).  Then, when you are ready to delete the tagged recipes, select the tagged recipes radio button on the recipe selection list to display tagged recipes, press Select All, then press the Delete toolbar button.


You may want to remove the tagging from all recipes in the cookbook before you do this.  To do this, use Tools... Data Management... Cookbooks... Untag Recipes button.


Is there any disadvantage to having cookbooks saved to a directory outside of NYC?


NYC works fine with cookbooks in any folder.  Depending on your situation, however, there are 3 minor disadvantages to keeping cookbooks outside the NYC \user folder:


  1. Search “across cookbooks” only includes cookbooks in the current cookbook's folder - i.e., if you had cookbooks in both places, NYC would find only those in the folder with the open cookbook.


  1. File... Upgrade feature for bringing over cookbooks from previous installations only looks for user files in your old \user folder, so this automatic upgrade process would not work for cookbooks outside the \user folder next time you installed a new version and did a File… Upgrade….


  1. File... Backup... feature only backs up files in NYC \user folder. 

I cannot find any Help on how to customize the spell-checker.  Where is it?

The spell-checker has its own help.  Do a spell check on a recipe, then use the Help buttons on the spell checker window.

What is the best way to email NYC recipe(s)?

If you have NYC v5.62+ and a MAPI-compliant email program, use the Email/Edit toolbar button on the recipe selection window.

For previous versions, or if you don’t have a MAPI-compliant email program, here is the easiest way to email an NYC recipe in a common format.  Select recipe(s) in the recipe selection window (Recipes… Recipes…) and press the To Editor toolbar button.  Press “NYC generic” and this will bring up the recipes in your editor (if not, check your editor specification in Tools… Options… External Applications tab… Text Editor…).  It is then an easy matter to copy-paste them into an email.

If the email recipient is an NYC user, they can copy-paste the recipe(s) from the email you sent into NYC’s Screen Import window (Recipes… Screen Import…) and press the Import button.  There is no need for them to identify recipe components because the recipe was pasted in NYC’s generic text format.

What is the best way to email an NYC cookbook?

If you have NYC v5.62+ and a MAPI-compliant email program, use the File… Email Cookbook(s)… menu selection.

For previous versions, or if you don’t have a MAPI-compliant email program, use File… Zip Cookbook… to zip up a cookbook.  Find the .zip file in your NYC \user folder using Windows Explorer.  Right click the file, and select Send To> Mail Recipient.


Is there a way to just click on a letter and get all recipes that start with “L”, for example?  Your recipe selection list is alphabetized, but in a cookbook with hundreds of recipes, it's a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom.


Click on a recipe in the selection list, then hit L.  NYC will take you to the top of the Ls.


I selected Swedish for the spelling checker language, but I cannot see it affecting the result in any way. How does the spelling checker work? How should I check that it works?


When you spell-check a recipe, and a misspelled word is found (according to the Swedish wordlist), the candidate words for changing the misspelled word are in Swedish.  These show in the list on the spell check window when a misspelled word is found.


How can I clear all tagged recipes across all cookbooks?


To clear all tagged recipes from all cookbooks:


1.      Select Tools… Data Management… Cookbooks…

2.      Click on “all cookbooks” and press Untag Recipes…


How can I make a global change to all my recipes?  For example: I want to change every occurrence of  "all-purpose flour" to "flour, all-purpose".  Can this be done without editing each recipe?


You can export your recipes to a text file using NYC generic text format, then edit the file with a text editor to make global changes, then import the text file back into a new cookbook (File… New Cookbook…) using File… Import Recipes…


Once a cookbook exceeds 1,000 recipes, it begins a second listing of the next 1,000 recipes and so on.  Each 1,000 recipe list is in alphabetical order, but I would like to know if there is any way to see all recipes in one list, or to reorder the entire cookbook to alphabetize across these 1,000 recipe boundaries.


Yes, in NYC 5.46 and higher (see latest version ), there is an option in Tools... Options... Cookbooks... where you can increase the size of the recipe list sort buffer to display all recipes alphabetized together.  If you have a fast machine, set it high (5,000-30,000); if you have a slow computer, set it low (1,000-5,000).  The lowest setting of 1000 recipes is the default.


I would like to scan the "index" of each of my numerous hardcopy cookbooks and store each recipe of the index in NYC so that I could do a search to, for example, find all of the chicken recipes.  The only information I need would be the recipe name, the hard copy book it is in, category (chicken), and the page on which it is located.  I have the knowledge about how to scan and convert using OCR.  Where do I go from here?  Should each recipe be a line in what kind of file (.txt)?


My suggestion is that you edit your scanned index using a text editor and put it in NYC's generic text import format (see generic.txt for examples), where your recipe’s name would be the recipe "Name", its category would be "Categories", the hard copy cookbook name would be the "Contributor" and the page number as a single "Ingredient" in each recipe.  Any other notes you wanted to add about the recipe could be in the “Directions”.   Here is an example:



Chicken Salad




p. 34


Contributor:  Mama’s Ancient Cookbook



Chicken Soup


chicken, soups


p. 118


Contributor:  Betty Crocker Cookbook


and so forth for all your indexed recipes.  Then use NYC's File... Import Recipes... feature to import the generic text "recipes" into an NYC cookbook, which can then serve as a master index of all your hard copy cookbooks.   To test this out, create a new cookbook in NYC (File… New Cookbook…) and copy paste the two recipes above into NYC’s Screen Import feature (Recipes… Screen Import…) then press the Import button. 


Is there a way to FIND duplicates, not KILL them? Then I could tag them and look at them to kill the ones that I wanted to and re-name the "keepers".


You can turn off the dupe kill during import/export (see Tools... Options... Import/Export... "duplicate checking").  The duplicate recipes will then appear in the recipe list, and you can eliminate or rename them manually as you see fit.


Suppose I have a category Candy.  I use the Assign Categories dialog to Search and Assign all recipes in the book that have Fudge, Truffles, Brittle, etc... to Candy.  Then I realize that recipes like Fudge Frosting, Fudge Cake, Fudge Cheesecake have been assigned to Candy, so I go and Search within the Candy category for frosting, cake, etc and I can find them and tag them, but how can I unassign the tagged recipes from Candy?


Instead of search and tag, use the Assign Categories window, click on Candy category, multi-select the recipes in the Candy category that you don't want there, then press the Unassign From Category button just above the list.  This is the easiest way to unassign multiple recipes with NYC.


The font size on the recipe edit window is too small for me to read.  Is there a way to make it larger?


Try these things:

1.      In NYC Tools… Options… Interface tab…, set global screen font to the highest possible setting.

2.      Reduce your monitor’s video resolution to improve readability of the edit window on your monitor.  If you are using 1024x768 or higher, try using 800x600.  Set the video resolution using Control Panel… Display… Settings…

3.      Increase the Windows display font size (Control Panel… Appearance… Display)


How do I use Paint Shop Pro to grab an image on an internet site like and transfer it to NYC?


Rt-click the image in your browser, select Copy from the popup menu, open PSP and use Edit... Paste As New Image...  to get the image into PSP.  Then resample the image (not resize) to 320x200, and save it as a .jpg file.  Then open NYC, select a recipe and press the Image toolbar button, and use the file dialog to locate the .jpg file you just created.  This will attach the image to the recipe.


How can I indent lines in recipe directions?  NYC seems to take it back to original.  Is there something I am missing or am being to picky?


Lines of text in the directions textbox are word-wrapped, so that if you enlarge or reduce the directions window, the lines change accordingly.  Thus, if you add spaces to try to make it line up the way you want it, when you resize the window you will have big spaces in your sentences and it will look goofy.  So you cannot really do what you are trying to do and have it look the same for any resized window.  In short, you may be getting too picky.


You can use the Format button on the directions edit pane to remove any ugly leftover formatting from the import or other alteration. You can nicely delimit paragraphs by adding a blank line between them, rather than trying to indent them.  Such “double carriage returns” are not removed by NYC with the Format button, so they will remain to delimit your paragraphs.


How do I dupe check the new recipes I imported without removing recipes from the other large databases?”.


Here is the way to do that.  Always import into a new cookbook, then use Tools... Data Mgt... Cookbooks..., select "across all cookbooks", and press Kill Duplicates...  In the window that pops up, see the "Find dupes between open cookbook and other cookbooks” area, and select the option to “kill dupes in the open cookbook”.  Then press the Kill Dupes… button.


How do I enter the degree symbol into my recipe directions?  I used to do it with Alt-0176, but that does not work anymore.  How about other symbols, like ñ in jalapeño, etc.?

NYC has a button you can press to put the degree symbol into recipe directions.  In Windows programs like NYC, you can alway copy-paste any special characters such as ñ from the Character Map (Start... Programs... Accessories... Character Map).

How do I use NYC to handle multi-part recipes (e.g., icing for cakes, sauce for main dishes, etc.)?

NYC allows you to use an ingredient header in your recipe ingredients to separate parts of a recipe.  The ingredient header is an ingredient description that has no qty or unit, and its description begins and ends with 5 dashes, like "-----ICING-----" or "-----SAUCE-----".

Can I use NYC to create a pretty, publishable cookbook?

While NYC has numerous printing options for recipes and cookbooks, NYC is no replacement for a modern word processor like MS-WordTM or WordPerfectTM.  These word-processors have sophisticated desktop publishing features like table of contents, index, page and section numbering, and multi-layered text and graphics capabilities.  We recommend that you use NYC to find, sort, categorize, and otherwise organize the recipes for your publishable cookbook, then export the recipes to a text file “with no line breaks” that can be opened with your word-processor to add cool indexes, table of contents, etc.

NYC v5.75 and higher includes a File… Publish Cookbook… option that will publish your NYC cookbook to a Microsoft Word document using formatted templates (*.dot).  This is the best and easiest way to create a publishable cookbook.

How do I scale a recipe up from 4 servings to 10 servings?

NYC lets you specify number of servings (v5.10 and higher) or a multiplier by which NYC can rescale any recipe, regardless of whether or not the recipe lists a number of servings.  Use the Resize... button on the recipe edit window to specify the new number of servings (or a multiplier).  You can print a resized recipe, but you cannot save it with resized ingredients unless you have checked “allow resized recipe to be saved” in Tools… Options… Editing.

Meal-Master adjusts the quantities of the recipe according to the desired number of servings. The analogous function in NYC is the scale function, however, your scale function requires inputting a multiplier.  So if I want to cook, for example, 7 portions of a recipe that lists 6 portions, I have to work out the correct multiplier. This is easy enough when using fractions (7/6), but for anyone who prefers decimals, this could be quite challenging. I would like to have the option to scale the ingredients by simply typing in the desired number of servings.

With NYC v5.10 and higher, you can scale by servings OR with a multiplier.  The reason we favor the multiplier approach is because the servings approach forces the user to enter a number of servings for EVERY recipe, and many users prefer not to have to do this on recipes that they are not sure of.  Also, for some recipes, a number of "servings" makes no sense because a recipe yields "2 loaves" of bread or a "dozen" cookies.  Also, the number of servings depends on the size of the brutes sharing the recipe.  Six servings for one family is only 3 servings for another.  We could probably force every recipe to have a number of servings, or use a default to 4 whenever the user fails to specify one, but this is all unnecessary in our opinion.  We prefer a simple multiplier, which applies to ingredient quantities and makes no presumption about, nor forces input of, a number of servings.

And by the way, you can enter your "number of servings" fraction as a multiplier, so a multiplier is just as easy.  For example, to scale a 6 serving recipe up for 19 people, enter "19/6" as the multiplier.  With this capability, NYC is actually more flexible because it removes the potential ambiguity associated with a "number of servings" and the pain of having to input this for each recipe, and is just as easy.  Thus, the multiplier method is actually more accurate, more flexible, and more universal than using a number of servings on every recipe. But both approaches are available in the latest NYC versions.

How do I find and list all tagged recipes in all cookbooks?

There is no direct way to do this but here is a workaround.  From the recipe selection window (Recipes... Recipes...), select the "tagged" radio button, then press the Search... button.  In the search dialog, click the "all recipes" radio button.  In the search keyword text box, enter all vowels (v5.14 and earlier)

a e i o u

or simply leave it blank (v5.15 and higher) and press the Search button.

This will find all recipes having any of these letters in the recipe name.  Since every word has a vowel, this will find all recipes in each cookbook's tag list (v5.14 and earlier).  Tagged recipes from all cookbooks will be listed in the Search Results window.

Should I use multiple cookbooks or keep all my recipes in one cookbook?

We suggest multiple cookbooks if you plan have more than about 5,000 to 10,000 recipes, even though NYC cookbooks can have 32,000 recipes. With NYC capabilities across cookbooks (dupe kill, menu planning, recipe searches, recipe printing), there is really no reason to keep all recipes in one cookbook, and smaller cookbooks yield faster NYC performance. Besides that, multiple cookbooks give you another layer of categorization hierarchy, and you probably need it with that many recipes. See all the NYC limits.

How do I get the cost of a recipe?

NYC costs out shopping lists, so you need to get just that one recipe into a menu and save the menu to create its shopping list.  So open the menu editor (Menu… Plan…), create a new menu (File… New Menu…) with that one recipe, Save the menu, and close the menu window.  Then press the toolbar button for Shopping List Cost.   Select the shopping list you just created (its name will match the menu you saved), then press OK.

How many recipes can I keep in one cookbook?

Theoretically, about 32,000. But you will encounter RAM, disk space, or performance speed problems before then, unless you have a really supercharged PC. The main issue is that NYC stores indexes for the open cookbook in RAM for quick access to recipes, and even the indexes get large with 30,000 recipes in a cookbook.  Accordingly, NYC performance will slow with large cookbooks.

For most Pentiums with 16MB RAM and plenty of hard drive space, we recommend limiting cookbook size to 5,000 to 10,000 recipes for best performance. With searches, meal planning, and duplicate deletion across cookbooks, there is really no need for one large cookbook. More cookbooks allow better hierarchy in organization as well, since each cookbook can have its own 200 categories.   See all the NYC limits.

How do I tag (i.e., flag, mark) a group of recipes for later export, printing, or deleting?

In the recipe selection screen (Recipes... Recipes...), select a group of recipes and press the Tag button. To view the tagged list, press the "Tagged recipes" radio button. Untag recipes at this time by selecting a group and pressing Untag.

How do I cut and paste a recipe from NYC into a newsgroup submittal?

The quickest way to do this is to select recipes in the recipe selection window and press To Editor toolbar button on that window, then press either NYC generic or Meal-Master, depending on the text format you want to use for the newsgroup post.  Copy-paste from this editor window into your newsgroup article. You need not exit NYC to do this.

Is there a way to print an index (i.e., recipe names in each category)?

Use File... Print... to print categories. When you are asked whether to include the recipe names in each category, answer "yes". This will print all categories and the recipe names in each category.   Or use File… Print… Recipe Names… to print just an alphabetized list of recipe names in the cookbook.

How do I print just one recipe?

Use the File... Print... menu selection or the Print toolbar button. Select Recipes... and then select which recipe or recipes from the cookbook list to print. Then press Print.

When I delete a category, does NYC delete the recipes from my cookbook?

No.  When you delete a category, recipes are no longer assigned to that category, and the category is removed from that cookbook's category list. 

Recipes are never deleted from your cookbook unless you select them and press the delete button in the recipe selection window, or you perform a dupe kill operation.  And when you delete a recipe from the recipe select window, you are always prompted to confirm your desire to delete.

How do I consolidate my Fish category and Lobster category into a single Seafood category?

Use Recipes... Cookbook Categories..., add the Seafood category if you don’t already have one, then map the Fish and Lobster categories to the Seafood category.  To do this, select the Fish category, press the Map... button, select the Seafood category in the "Map to:" window, and press OK. Repeat this process for the Lobster category, then press Save to save the new category assignments.

How do I remove a recipe from a category (i.e., remove a category from a recipe)? I only see the option to unassign all recipes.

You need to "unassign" the recipe using the Recipes... Assign Recipes... screen. When you open this window, you will see the categories on the left, the recipes in the selected category in the middle column, and any unassigned recipes in the right column. Click on a recipe in the middle column to unassign it from the selected category. When you press Save, it will appear in the right column as an "unassigned" recipe.

You can also edit the recipe, and press Categories... button from the edit window.  Then click on categories in the Categories window to unassign the recipe from them.

I just imported a thousand recipes into NYC, but some of them are not categorized.  Do I have to individually categorize several dozen recipes now?

No, this is where you can take advantage of a unique, time-saving feature in NYCNYC can automatically assign the new recipes to multiple categories for you. To activate this feature, select Recipes... Assign Recipes... from NYC's main menu, and then press the "Auto-Assign Recipes" button.  In most cases, the auto-assign feature will dramatically reduce your list of unassigned recipes. You can customize the auto-assign feature using your own keywords in case the defaults don't suit you (see Tools… Data Management… Categories…).  The more you “train” NYC with your category keyword preferences the better it performs the auto-assign function.

Should I be concerned about backing up the NYC recipe database? If so, how do I do it?

Yes, you should back up your recipe database once a week or more often if you are adding lots of recipes.  The best way to backup a cookbook is to compress a copy of it using File... Zip Cookbook... – this will not affect your cookbook; it simply makes a zipped copy of your cookbook. 

The best way to back up all your user files is to use File… Backup… (use File… Restore… to restore selected files from the backup).  In versions prior to v5.54, you can back up all your user files by copying the \user subdirectory to your backup medium. 

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Last Updated:  4/3/2015

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