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Favorite method of scanning cookbook recipes

Does anybody have a favorite method for scanning cookbook recipes?

I would like to find the best way to scan a recipe into word and save it to my hard drive.

Do you use a hand wand type scanner or what? I'm sure you would need character recognition.

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  1. Hank-
    I have to say, I have never scanned a recipe. I have shelves of cookbooks, boxes of cookbooks, and stacks of cookbooks not opened yet. I have more magazines that I've saved for one recipe than I know what to do with. When I actually need a recipe, or am looking for inspiration, I take one look at my collection and just go online!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Whinerdiner

      Off topic, but I used to do the same thing! My collection was too large and scattered all over the house. Then I read a thread about Eat Your Books. Not all of my books have been indexed, but enough have to make it very useful for me. I tried the free trial and then joined. I am using my cookbooks again!

      1. re: meatn3

        Another huge fan of EYB here! It has re-introduced me to my cookbook collection. Found a recipe that I used for dinner tonight (Thai Fish Cakes -- 75th Anniversary edition of JoC).

        1. re: meatn3

          I got totally excited when i looked at Eat Your Books. Most of my cookbooks are in danish though, so it wouldn't help me much, since they aren't in the registry :c

      2. In the past I work in a place which had a copier that would scan a document and a full version of Adobe which would allow you to convert the scanned document into a word document. That is the easiest way I have found to do it. Let me know what you end up doing. I am very interested in converting piles of magazines into digital format and it seems to me that a format which would allow for editing the digital format would be the best option.

        1. Another option which wouldn't require you to have the full Adobe application would be to scan and save as a PDF file, then select the text you want from the PDF, copy it and paste it into a Word document. Not ideal, but if Word is what you want to use this will work.

          1. Most of the recipes that I have on my hard drive are from online. I just cut and paste and then edit to my hearts content.

            Unfortunately, I have a lot of cookbooks that I would like to transcribe. I'm too lazy to type all the recipes. A flat scanner doesn't work very well with a book. There is a high tech contraption, I could make or buy that involves 2 digital cameras and a frame---- a little more hassle than I want to deal with... maybe later.

            I will probably end up with a hand "wand type" scanner. I'm not sure which one but I will report back when I choose one.

            1. Typing. I'm a fast typist and have been typing from before the days of personal computers. Of course I do a lot of cut-and-paste from the web too, but I certainly copy print magazine and book recipes simply by re-typing them.

              Nowadays you needn't use white-out!

              1. You can get specialized book scanners for a couple of hundred dollars that make this easy to do.

                1. Evernote. Free, device friendly and super easy to capture & store text/photos of any type.

                  1. I got "Dragon Naturally Speaking" software for Christmas. I have started dictating my recipes from books into Microsoft Word. There have been a few problems but, all in all, it is working better than typing.

                    Has anyone else tried this?

                    1. Hi folks, I was wondering if anyone has solved this dilemma (sorry, I see it is an old thread but the question is still totally relevant for me).
                      My MIL asked me for a recipe this weekend, and I have the basic one I had cut out years ago, but of course since then I adapted it. I have SO many of these that I would like to somehow zoom them into a file that I could then adapt. Nothing too expensive please. Any ideas??

                      1. Just do what I saw a couple of young ladies do at Munroes books in Victoria once. They would take a cook book off the self and scan it for any recipes they liked. When they found one one of them would hold the book open on a table and the other would take a photo of it on her cell phone. No worries. They did this for at least an hour and none of the store employees had the balls to tell them to get out.

                        1. Me and my wife use to collect snap shots of recpies we liked, we had about 600MB that I manged to index but could never really find anything. Then a freind told us about Scanmarker, which we tried and it really took the pain out of scanning recepies as text.Now we are as happy as AGM was, only better as we can swipe the recpie directly off of the magazine.

                          1. My SO uses the Genius Scan app to do his receipts for his travel expenses. You take a photo and it converts to a PDF. I don't see why that wouldn't work for cookbook recipes, you would just need to label them properly. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geniu...

                            1. I transcribe them if I have to. But first, I Google the exact title or a phrase from the recipe, in quotes--and more often than not, I find that somebody has already typed it in and put it online for me! Then I just cut and paste their text and save it as a Word file.

                              1. I type recipes from the books into Living Cookbook, which has indeed become my personal cookbook. Scanning would work too but for me, typing is quicker than proofreading the character recognition and I can make my own adjustments to the recipe as I type. Also, as MsMaryMo says, sometimes the same recipe is online if you Google for it.

                                As for recipes copied from online sources, Living Cookbook's "Capture" module quickly converts them into its format.