HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Download recipes in Word format

Hank Hanover Jul 28, 2010 04:37 PM

Does anyone know where I can download recipes in Microsoft Word format?

Failing that, does anyone else transcribe their recipes into Word format? Would you like to swap recipes?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    small h RE: Hank Hanover Jul 28, 2010 04:48 PM

    I usually just select the text I'm interested in and copy/paste it into an MSWord document. Does this not work for you?

    5 Replies
    1. re: small h
      bushwickgirl RE: small h Jul 28, 2010 05:32 PM

      Me too. I don't know how else to do it. As to where to do it, for me it's where ever I find a recipe I like, copy and paste.

      1. re: small h
        Hank Hanover RE: small h Jul 28, 2010 05:42 PM

        Yeah me too.... I'm just being lazy. I do have hundreds of recipes, though.

        1. re: Hank Hanover
          bushwickgirl RE: Hank Hanover Jul 28, 2010 05:47 PM

          Copy and paste, no easier way to do it. I have thousands of recipes, somewhat organized in files, but I really need to divide my files into subsets at this point, a big task.

          1. re: bushwickgirl
            Hank Hanover RE: bushwickgirl Jul 28, 2010 06:01 PM

            When I get energetic, I want to organize mine in a database so I can search by ingredient, cooking method and type of dish.

            I have made copying and pasting a little more difficult because I prefer a specific format, specific fonts. I like the ingredients to be in a double column.

            Whenever possible, I like the recipe to only take up 1 page in case I want to print it for use.

            "All recipes" drive me crazy with their format. All the orange letters and everything in a table. It takes me a lot of time to convert their recipes.

            What I really want is when I go through the trouble of buying a cookbook, I want them to give me a way to download the recipes either with an enclosed disk or a website and a password.

            1. re: Hank Hanover
              epabella RE: Hank Hanover Jul 30, 2010 09:21 AM

              depending on what browser you use, you can save actual recipe webpages and view them offline and use the search/find function of your operating system to locate a specific recipe or ingredient. if you want a recipe database, microsoft word is not the proper program. and by database, you mean an organized structure of data that allows you to extract information easily? that's possible and there are programs like mysql or access - but do you really want to spend time programming or cooking? because customizing an "e-cookbook" will take-up alot of your time. i do systems and databases for a living and away from work, i'd rather cook than tinker with how pretty my recipes are.

              please don't get me wrong - am just trying to point out how much effort it will take to put together like something you have in mind.

      2. f
        Fahzz RE: Hank Hanover Jul 28, 2010 06:38 PM

        One handy tool for downloading just text without advertising etc. is called Readability:


        Then you can copy and paste to another format.

        1. h
          hummingbird RE: Hank Hanover Jul 28, 2010 07:22 PM

          Are you all using Word2010? If so how are you getting around the GD "header" and "footer"?

          I've been using word for years with no problem doing the copy paste, until using the 2010Beta version.

          I try and get around the whole recipe sitting in the header, then only a portion of it shows, when I try and hitting enter to give me more room to fit the whole recipe in there it won't let me do it the way I had been using for all this time.

          I'm getting so aggravated I've started to just print from the source which of course won't allow me to change anything.

          I was getting ready to actually buy the 2010, but won't until they either change that part of the document, or I find a way to make it work.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hummingbird
            morwen RE: hummingbird Jul 29, 2010 07:50 AM

            I haven't seen the 2010 Beta V but what I do is:
            Select All
            On the bottom left of the tool bar you'll see a drop down box with AA to the left of it. Click on that and select "remove formatting". This will clear out funky fonts, bulleting, tabs, etc. and put most everything into your default. While everything is selected, go up to the toolbar and click on the A on the lower right side to put everything in black text. Now go to the underline button and hit that twice to get rid of any underlining. After that it usually only takes a few small tweaks to finish up the page in the format that I prefer.

            1. re: morwen
              JoanN RE: morwen Jul 30, 2010 08:39 AM

              More or less same thing but faster: After you've Ctrl >C the text you want to paste, go to Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text. Once the text is pasted you can use Edit > Replace (Ctrl H) to clear extraneous ellipses, tabs, paragraph marks, etc.

              I also use Style Sheets to set up my recipes the way I want them. E.g., title and yield in bold, ingredients flush left, instructions in numbered paragraphs with a hang indent and space between paragraphs. Once you've set up your style sheets, it's quick and easy to style copy at the same time you paste it.

          2. Bryan Pepperseed RE: Hank Hanover Jul 29, 2010 06:03 AM

            Doesn't really solve the OP's MS Word question, but for those who use Firefox as their browser, this is what I do for online recipes and places like Allrecipes that have a lot of "clutter". -

            First, I use the Firefox extension called Aardvark to "cleanup" the webpage to the way I want my "document" to look. (Usually involves removing ads and photos and making the screen all black & white.) Then I use a "pdf printer" to create a pdf document of what I'm seeing on the screen instead of printing to paper.
            There are quite a few free pdf printers online. I use Bullzip, but there's also CutePDF and PrimoPDF.
            For me, the only downside of my "system" is that I can't edit the resulting pdf with any of the software currently on my computer. For now, with any recipes that actually merit getting printed to paper, I resolve that problem by just writing by hand any "comments" or changes I might have.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
              Mistral RE: Bryan Pepperseed Jul 29, 2010 08:50 AM

              Bryan this is an excellent tip - Thanks very much. I will find this most useful.

              1. re: Mistral
                Bryan Pepperseed RE: Mistral Jul 30, 2010 04:35 AM

                You're welcome Mistral
                Just a tip .... after you've removed all the garbage on the screen, don't forget to quit aardvark by hitting the "Q" key before you "print" your pdf - otherwise the red border that aardvark uses to select items will also be in your pdf.

                1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                  Mistral RE: Bryan Pepperseed Jul 30, 2010 05:32 AM

                  Re: Your "I can't edit the resulting pdf with any of the software currently on my computer."

                  I see the new version of Cute PDF (v 3.6) seems to allow you to write on PDF docs.
                  "Use the Typewriter tool to type text anywhere on a PDF page". This may be of help to you.??

                  1. re: Mistral
                    Bryan Pepperseed RE: Mistral Jul 31, 2010 04:32 AM

                    Thanks Mistral, I'll check it out.

            2. jfood RE: Hank Hanover Jul 30, 2010 05:53 AM

              The one item jfood uses all the time when he is copying recipes is the "Paste Special" versus "Paste" command. He "Copy" then he "Paste Special"; "Unformatted Text" in stead of the regular "Paste". Then it comes into the word document better ans takes much less time than downloading all of the formatting, boxes, etc. Jfood just wants the words.

              7 Replies
              1. re: jfood
                Hank Hanover RE: jfood Jul 30, 2010 07:48 AM

                Now that is interesting. Hank likes that idea.

                1. re: Hank Hanover
                  Mistral RE: Hank Hanover Jul 30, 2010 08:45 AM

                  Another good tip jfood!

                  1. re: Mistral
                    jfood RE: Mistral Jul 30, 2010 10:27 AM

                    jfood then keeps them in multiple word docs, like meat has it's own doc, chicken another, pasta, etc. For fish he keeps them separated by species so all the salmon recipes are sequential in the doc. He then uses the Table of Contents feature in word and by making the title of every recipe a "heading", it will appear on the first page. then when you are looking for a recipe you look at all of the titles on the first page and then by clicking on that recipe heading it goes straight to the page with the recipe. it's a lot of work to initially set up but well worth it once it is done.

                    1. re: jfood
                      Hank Hanover RE: jfood Jul 31, 2010 07:00 PM

                      Darn; I have spent a lot of time removing the headings because they took so much space like heading 1 is a 24 font.

                      1. re: Hank Hanover
                        jfood RE: Hank Hanover Jul 31, 2010 07:36 PM

                        Oh yeah...the first time is a lot of work to get the headings to a 12 pointer. But once your doen, adding one at a time is not that bad. Sorry jfood did not mention this. But there are some formats that for some reason have heading1 as a 12 point font. jfood has no idea why.

                      2. re: jfood
                        iluvtennis RE: jfood Jul 31, 2010 07:51 PM

                        This is a great idea. I have many recipes saved in their own separate document. They end up being ignored because they are so unorganized, but i love the idea of the table of contents with clickable headings. Thanks for the infomation!

                  2. re: jfood
                    Paulustrious RE: jfood Jul 31, 2010 01:30 PM

                    Another alternative is to open notepad and paste into that. Then copy that and paste into word.

                    So after opening notepad....
                    Go to word document...

                    Notepad is still open and empty and ready to be re-used for the next recipe. Only four keystrokes.

                    The next bit is really boring...

                    When you copy-paste or drag-drop you have a program (in this case your browser) deciding what to place on the clipboard. It puts it there in a number of different formats. The receiving program (word) decides which of these variants it wants and whether it has to 'massage' the contents before adding it to the document.

                  3. dave_c RE: Hank Hanover Jul 30, 2010 08:54 AM

                    For a website, I usually click the "Print" icon... which will reformat the recipe in a printer friendly manner.

                    Next I use a Copy (copy the text portion of the recipe). If recipe doesn't have a printer friendly version, I just copy from the webpage. Trying to avoid copying ads and other bs.

                    In MS Word (paste special as "unformatted text"). By pasting over as text, you lose all the fancy formats which is fine by me.

                    [Note: I actually like using WordPad to paste into... For me, it's easier to see and edit . Also, I usually save recipes as txt files so any word processor can read the file. However, you can do a final cut and paste into MS Word or skip the WordPad step completely.]

                    One final thing I do is copy the html location... so I know where the recipe came from. This is great memory jogger for going back and looking for more.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dave_c
                      cackalackie RE: dave_c Jul 31, 2010 07:31 PM

                      This is what I do. Copy and paste from the printer-friendly version. I just paste it though. Sometimes I might delete a few things - but that's OK.

                    Show Hidden Posts