Frequently Asked Questions

Where is my license key?

Immediately after ordering The Recipe System you should receive an email that says Thanks for Purchasing The Recipe System.  This email will include your license key in the Product section below the product name.  Look for a 12 digit code comprised of numbers and letters.  This key will expire within a couple of days, so use it as soon as you can.  The key is tied to the email address that was used to purchase the system and that email address must be entered correctly to unlock the system.

How easy is The Recipe System to use?

The Recipe System is a versatile recipe organizer designed for anyone who wants to store their own recipes digitally, edit them and then find them easily!

There is no requirement to enter your recipes in any particular way, unless you want to create standard cookbook style pdfs.  You can:

  • copy and paste the entire text of a recipe including ingredients into the directions field,
  • simply catalogue where a recipe is using the source field eg Madame Benoit World of Cooking page 162
  • store hyperlinks in the directions field or as attachments
  • connect images to the recipe as the main picture or as attachments – great for those recipes you find in magazines and getting your paper collection in the system fast!
  • store videos as hyperlinks in the directions field or as attachments
  • make a recipe part of an unlimited number of collections (categories) that you define
  • create menus, even years in advance, using your recipes complete with the full text and images as pdfs and send to your devices
  • add history (memories) or other information to a recipe
  • create beautifully formatted cookbook style pdfs in one of 3 fonts with options to include/exclude certain fields
  • send all of your recipes or just particular collections (categories), including hyperlinks as pdfs to your devices

Entering a recipe can be as casual as you want to make it, or you can enter as many details as you want.  And there is a great onboard help system that actually helps!

All recipe information is saved automatically unless you have checked the Confirm Changes checkbox.  This checkbox is for use only when you want to protect a finished recipe from unintended changes.



How do I get started with putting all of my recipes in the system?

The real value of The Recipe System comes when all of your recipes are in it.

First, take a quick look at the built in Help to familiarize yourself with it. It contains detailed information on getting started, FAQs for recipe entry and booklet creation, and form by form, field by field entry details.

Next, get your paper recipes in the fastest way that you can so that you can put away the paper copies. The easiest way to do this is to take JPEG images of the paper (try to stay under 8mg as the larger image sizes take longer to load) and then store all of these images in the Documents\The Recipe System Files folder that is automatically created for you when you install the software. You can use your phone to do this. Then it’s just a matter of creating a new recipe title and linking the picture(s) to the recipe. You will then be able to find and view every recipe.

As you use each recipe you can take a few minutes to add additional information to improve the search capability or print aesthetics.

Preserve the paper copies as backup until you can verify that you have all of your recipes in the system and that they are readable. Also, if it’s a sentimental handwritten recipe – you might want to keep it permanently, but safely stored away.

Digital recipes can be copied and pasted or simply linked to as per the instructions in Help.

You can add collection tags (categories) and chapters as you get a feel for how you want to organize your recipes.  And you can always change your mind and revise your recipe organization strategy whenever you want!

What The Recipe System does and doesn’t do

The Recipe System allows you to create recipes, one at a time from a variety of sources.

The only required field is the title, after that you can include just a reference to where the recipe is found, link to an image of the recipe, you can copy and paste the entire text including ingredients into the Directions tab, you can link an unlimited number additional files like more images, pdfs, videos, urls for shopping for tools or ingredients.

You can create an unlimited number of your own categories, called collections.

You can create an unlimited number of cuisines.  The system is preloaded with most of the common cuisines.

You can create an unlimited number of ingredients used for predictive text when entering recipe ingredient lines.  The system comes preloaded with most ingredients.

You can copy recipes and then modify the copies to experiment without affecting the original recipe.

You can create cookbook-style PDF booklets with or without chapters for your custom collections (categories), for cuisines or for every recipe you own.  These booklets are customizable for image on the cover, and whether to include a picture for the recipe, a list of the attachments, history (memories, if the recipe has the field filled in) and other information (if the recipe has the field filled in).  The booklets can be printed in a modern font, traditional or script style font or saved as PDFs to send via email or to be saved in the cloud.

You can create menus by selecting recipes and then placing them in a date on the menu calendar.  You can create recipe booklets for menu date ranges that show the menus by day followed by the individual recipe printouts for each recipe for each day.  As with the other booklets, the menu booklets can be printed or sent as PDFs to the location of your choice.

All information is saved automatically unless you have checked the Confirm Changes checkbox.  This checkbox is for use only when you want to protect a finished recipe from unintended changes.

The Recipe system is a simple, flexible recipe organizer that will enable you to save recipes from anywhere in a format that you have a great deal of control over..

The Recipe System does not analyze nutritional data.  You can store calorie information for individual ingredients along with the typical unit of measure.  You can store a large amount of nutritional data – about 24 pages worth – in a single field in the recipe called Other Recipe Information.  This field can be printed as an option when creating recipe booklets but not when in view/print for individual recipes





Does the system come with any recipes?

The Recipe System is for storage of your recipes, so it does not come pre-loaded with any. There are lists provided for ingredients, units of measure, cuisines, chapters and grocery types. All lists, except for grocery types used for shopping lists, can be edited to add, change or remove entries.

What are the system requirements for installing The Recipe System?

The Recipe System can be installed on PCs with Microsoft Windows 10 or higher.  The software can also be installed on tablets running the full version of Windows 10 (not Windows 10 RT).

The system uses Microsoft Access.  If you do not have Microsoft Access, the free runtime version will be automatically installed prior to installing The Recipe System software.  Whether you have the full version or the runtime version, there is no difference in functionality for users of The Recipe System.

The system is designed to be used with screen resolutions of 1280 x 720 or higher with the scale and layout set at 100%. While larger monitors may be able to handle a larger scale, the results can be unpredictable.  Scaling issues will not be supported.

Installations on operating systems prior to Windows 10 will not be supported.

How do I know if I need the 32 bit or 64 bit version of The Recipe System?

Your download email will contain a single zip file containing two .exe files, one of which will need to be extracted in order to run the install. One of the .exe files is compatible with 32 bit Office and the other is compatible with 64 bit Office.  If you don’t have any Office components installed and you have at least 4Gb of RAM, the Recipesx64 version should work for you.  This is because the first part of the download will be installing the free Microsoft Access Runtime and it is the Office part of the install that dictates which version of The Recipe System that needs to be used.  The Access install will let you know if your computer is unable to install the 64 bit version of Access, in which case you should restart your computer and choose the 32 bit install.

If you already have one or more Office components installed, you will need to choose the .exe file that is compatible with them.  To determine what is already installed, open one of the components, eg Word and choose Account on the selection bar to the left.  Then choose the box that says ‘About Word’.  The first line of the form that opens will tell you if you are running 32 bit or 64 bit.  Choose The Recipe System install .exe file that is compatible with what you are running.

If you decide to change versions of Office after you have recipes entered, contact [email protected] for help. You can uninstall Office but do not uninstall The Recipe System without getting guidance for saving and restoring your data.

How do I bring in digital recipes quickly?

You can bring in a digital recipe from a website in seconds.  Just create a new recipe title and copy and paste all the relevant text into the directions field.   If the recipe is from a website, you could just put the hyperlink in the directions field and when you double click on it it will take you to the original site.  It’s probably safer to bring the text over in case the link location changes.

You can bring in one or more pictures by saving them into your Recipe System Files folder and then linking them using the Pictures tab for the primary picture and the Other Pictures/Attachments tab for the rest.  You can also store links on the Other Pictures/Attachments tab.

Always ensure that you have permission to save recipes in any recipe organizer software.  Different websites have different rules for this.

How do I use a webp image in my recipes?

Webp images will need to be saved as either jpeg or png for use with The Recipe System. Use the ‘Save as’ feature on the website to download the image. Then you can use Paint to save the webp image as a jpeg or a png in your Recipe System Files folder.

How many recipes can I enter?

You are unlikely to ever reach the maximum number of recipes that you can enter in this recipe organizer, but it is probably safe to estimate that you can enter tens of thousands.  The Recipe System software is designed for you to enter your own recipes though and a typical collection is probably somewhere between 500 and 1000 recipes.

How do I install The Recipe System?

To purchase the Recipe System, click on Buy Now. Follow the purchase instructions. For US customers Paypal will convert the CAD value to USD.

When finished, an email will be sent to you with two download links and your unique license key. The license key is the 12 digit code found in the ‘Product’ box of the email.

One of the download links is compatible with 32 bit Office, and the other one is compatible with 64 bit Office. Read the following FAQ to determine which link to use.

How do I know if I need the 32 bit or 64 bit version of The Recipe System?

The download links are in zipped files which are simply compressed files to save space. You can choose to either open the appropriate download file or save it. Either way, when you want to run the install you will have to click on the zipped .exe file and press Extract to unzip it. Pay attention to the location that the file will be extracted to. You will probably want to ensure that the location is in your Downloads folder.

When you double click on the unzipped .exe file, the installation will begin. If you do not already have the required version of the free Microsoft Access Runtime, it will be automatically installed for you. This will take a few minutes. When done, the installation of The Recipe System will begin.

After the system has been installed a form will be displayed asking you to enter your license key and the email address used to receive the .exe file and key. The email address must be entered exactly as the email address sent with the key (eg [email protected] ) without any spaces before or after the address. Most key validation issues happen because of the email address part of the verification.

The license key will expire in 2 days, so it is important to enter it immediately after you receive it. Enter the License Key and the email address. Once the system is activated, you will not be asked to enter this information again.

How do I install a new release from the Software Updates page?

To install a new, updated version of The Recipe System, first determine which release you currently have by opening your splash page which is accessible from Recipe Search ribbon, and then clicking on Version.

The current Recipe System version will begin with either Recipes or Recipesx64.  Check the date that follows Recipes(or Recipesx64) and if the Product Update page’s current versions are newer than the version that you have, you can select the appropriate download button.  A zipped version of the file will be downloaded to your computer.  Unzip the file and then double click on the .exe file to start the download.

You will not lose your existing recipes.

If you receive a message saying that your version is already installed, stop the update.  Do not uninstall your old version and try to install this one or you might lose your data.

Why is my antivirus software preventing me from installing the system?

The Recipe System is digitally signed software.  Adding a digital signature is an extra step in preventing code from being embedded with unwanted malware.

Some antivirus software is hypervigilant about installing .exe files.  Avast users sometimes have to temporarily disable their antivirus in order to install The Recipe System.  Windows Defender also sometimes prevents users from installing the software depending upon the settings.  Windows Defender issues can usually be simply resolved by right clicking on the .exe file to bring up the Properties dialog and then checking Unblock.

If you continue to have installation problems, contact us at [email protected]

How long will I receive support and updates?

The system will be supported for a minimum of 1 year after purchase. Updates with fixes or minor enhancements will be available and downloadable for free from the website.

Click on the Updates tab to see the most recent version of the system and then check your version using your Splash form Version button. Only install an update version if your version has an older date.

You will not lose your existing recipe data when you install the update.

It is not necessary to install every update. The most current version of the software shown on the Support tab will include all previous updates.

Many recipe organizers display recipes by their picture. Why doesn’t this one do that?

It is nice to display pictures, but The Recipe System lets you store all of your own recipe information and sometimes that may include just links or catalogue entries of where the recipe might be found so there won’t necessarily be a picture to display.  Also, you can display more entries using a list format, up to 23 per page.  So this is a good approach for the data that you are storing in this system.

Once you are in the recipe and have linked a picture, the picture will display on the first page of the recipe add/edit form.  Double clicking on the image will open your photo viewer program, and if the image is a clip from a book or magazine you’ll be able to enlarge it to whatever size you need to in order to see it clearly.

Can I install the Recipe System on PCs with Windows 7?

The Recipe System will usually work on PCs with Windows 7 operating systems.  Since Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, however, it is difficult to say if this will remain to be the case.  The biggest challenge will be with the Access Runtime download.  The download might be slow but if implemented successfully, The Recipe System should install and perform well until Windows 10 can be installed.

Installations on operating systems prior to Windows 10 will not be supported.

The sample recipe booklet doesn’t display when I click View Sample?

Check your browser’s settings for how it handles PDFs.  Your PDF may have been downloaded instead of displayed.

How can I get help?

The Recipe System includes a detailed help structure that gives both an overview of the system as well as field-by-field details for the form that you are in.  You can access Recipe System Help using the ribbon at the top of every page.

If you have any problems with the system or with the installation of the software, send me a message using the Contact Me form and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Support hours are from 9-5 EST Monday to Friday.

Questions regarding how to use the system as well as feedback are always welcome.


What is your refund policy?

Refunds will not be issued after the license key has been sent unless it can be verified that the recipe software cannot be installed on your Windows 10 PC.