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The two most important questions to ask when reviewing recipe software are how difficult is it to enter recipes and how useful are the recipes once they are entered. The software you choose should allow for easy and pleasant data entry from a variety of sources and it should make it very easy for you to organize and retrieve recipes when you want to use them.
Review Recipe Software before Purchase
If you are like most cooks, you take more pleasure in cooking than computing. Carefully consider the interface. Is it intuitive and fun? If you are organizing your recipe collection and the interface is confusing you will quickly become frustrated. The interface is often a clue as to whether the recipe software publisher can find their way around the kitchen or not. Recipe software free trials let you familiarize yourself with basic features before purchase. What about a money-back guarantee? Lastly, how long has the software been around? Don’t be fooled by sales claims of copies sold or lowest price. The only real indication of a high quality product and satisfied customers is a long history of repeat sales and word of mouth recommendations.
Organize Recipes with Recipe Software
All recipe software programs require data entry to enter recipes. The benefits of managing recipes within a database program far outweigh the data entry effort. Most of the better programs have feature like “type ahead” for look-ups and duplication for like ingredients and recipes. These type features will make recipe entry faster and more fun. Retrieving recipes should be easy. If you want to find a recipe that contains beef, takes less than 15 minutes to cook and also uses broccoli you should be able to find it instantly. Then you can print it, put it on the counter to cook with and throw it away when you are done. Once your recipes are stored there are endless ways to edit, sort, print, email and publish recipes - and most importantly - you have preserved your collection permanently and made it easily accessible.
Once you have your collection entered, how easy is it to use it? Can you easily create cookbooks from your collection? Are decorative printing templates included? Can you automatically scale recipes and calculate nutrition? How easy is it to share recipes via email or file sharing? Optional features may include automated shopping lists, meal planning and menus. Advanced features may include the ability to export cookbooks to word processors for fully customized page layouts and digital photo editing. Most trials will let you test all of these features before you buy.
Whatever recipe software you decide to buy, make sure it lets you express your culinary palate!