Help and Frequently Asked Questions

It's easy to create custom cookbooks with My Cook Book. Choose from more than 10,000 recipes in the BHG.com Recipe Center, or upload your own. When you're done, you can save your cookbook on your computer for convenient viewing at any time. Or, use your home printer to create high-quality print-outs.

Topics:

Getting started
Creating an introduction
Adding and editing BHG.com recipes
Uploading and editing your own recipes
Viewing my cookbook
Printing and saving my cookbook
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting help with a problem


Getting started
Click Start your cookbook now! on the main page of My Cook Book to begin. You'll be asked to type in a title (this is required) and an author and publication date (both are optional). You'll also need to select a style for your cookbook. Don't worry: You can change your mind about all of these choices at any time. When you are done, click the "next" button at the bottom of the page.

If you have saved recipes to "My Recipe File" in the BHG.com Recipe Center, you'll be asked if you want to add those recipes to your cookbook. You can also add these recipes later, if you prefer. Either way, click the "next" button.

You are now at the Table of Contents page for your cookbook. This is the work center for your cookbook, and it includes a complete list of all the chapters and recipes in your cookbook.

Creating an introduction (optional)
If you wish, you may add up to three introduction pages to your cookbook. Each introduction page can have a heading (which is required), a photo (optional), and text (optional).

To add an introduction page, click the "Edit Introduction" link on the Table of Contents page, then click the "add a page" button at the top of the next screen.

To add a photo to an introduction page, click the "Find photo" button at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up a browsing window that shows the contents of your computer's hard drive. Locate the photo you wish to upload, then click the "Open" button in the browsing window. This will close the browsing window.

Note: Your photo must be in "jpg" format; check the help files that come with your image editing software, scanner, or digital camera for details. Some very tall photos may extend beyond one page and will not display correctly. Please crop these closer to a square shape.

When you are done, click the "Save" button to upload your introduction page.

Adding and editing BHG.com recipes
You may add any recipe that is available in the BHG.com Recipe Center, as well as your own recipes. (See "Uploading and editing my own recipes" for details on that topic.)

To add a BHG.com recipe:

1. Open your cookbook's Table of Contents page by clicking on the cookbook's title. If you haven't already started a cookbook, see Getting Started.

2. Click "Edit Chapter" in the chapter you want your recipe to appear in. (If the chapter you want doesn't exist, click on "Add a new chapter" at the top of the Table of Contents page.)

3. On the Edit Chapter page, click "add a bhg.com recipe" to open the Search page.

4. On the Search page, you can find recipes two ways. First, you can type a word or phrase into the text box, then click "search." Or, you can click the appropriate checkboxes, then click the "search" button at the bottom of the page.

Note: You cannot combine a text box search and a checkbox search.

5. The Search Results page lists recipes that match your criteria. You may click the "add to cookbook" button to add that recipe immediately. Or, click "preview recipe" to read the recipe. If you decide to add a recipe after reading it, be sure to check the box at the top of the recipe, then click "save."

6. When you are done adding recipes to a chapter, click the "Back to . . ." link at the top of the Search Results page.

Tip for adding batches of BHG.com Recipes
If you plan to add more than a couple of BHG.com recipes, you'll may find easier to work in the Recipe Center section of BHG.com's Food channel. Use the standard search tools in the Recipe Center, and save your selections to My Recipe File.

When you have collected the recipes you want to use, return to My Cook Book. Click Add "My Recipe File" recipes on the Table of Contents page for your cookbook. Note: You may need to rearrange the recipes imported in this method.

To edit a BHG.com recipe

Go to the Table of Contents page, then click "Edit Chapter." When you arrive at the Edit Chapter page, click the recipe name to open the recipe editor.

Note: You cannot change any portion of a BHG.com recipe. However, you can add a note that will appear at the bottom of the recipe.


Uploading and editing your own recipes
The built-in recipe editor makes it simple to upload your own personal recipes to your cookbook. Here's how:

1. Open your cookbook's Table of Contents page by clicking on the cookbook's title. If you haven't already started a cookbook, see Getting Started.

2. Click "Edit Chapter" in the chapter you want your recipe to appear in. (If the chapter you want doesn't exist, click on "Add a new chapter" at the top of the Table of Contents page.)

3. On the Edit Chapter page, click "upload my recipe" to open the recipe editor.

4. Enter your recipe's name, number of servings, introduction (optional), ingredients, instructions, and notes (optional). You must also select a category, which is used to store your recipe in the BHG.com Recipe Center. Recipes you upload through My Cook Book cannot be viewed by other BHG.com members, but will appear in your personal "My Recipe File" page in the Recipe Center.

5. If you would like to upload a photo with your recipe, follow the instructions at the bottom of the recipe editor page to select a photo from your hard drive. Your photo must be in jpg format; check the help file or manual that came with your image editing software or digital camera for details.

6. When you are done, click "save." Or, click "cancel" to return to the Edit Chapter page without uploading the recipe.

To edit your recipe:

Go to the Table of Contents page, then click "Edit Chapter." When you arrive at the Edit Chapter page, click the recipe name to open the recipe editor.

Viewing My Cookbook
To see how your cookbook will look when it is printed, click View this Cookbook at the top of most pages. This will take you to the preview launch page, where you can click the "View" button to download your cookbook. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Most computers already have this free program. If you get an error message when trying to preview your cookbook, click on the Adobe free download icon on the home page of My Cook Book.

Be patient! Due to the high quality needed for printing, your cookbook may take several minutes to download for viewing.

Saving and printing My Cookbook
We save your cookbooks on our computers at BHG.com. However, you may save a copy on your own computer if you like. To save your cookbook file to your computer's hard drive, first View your entire cookbook. This process starts a program called Adobe Reader within your browser window. Adobe Reader has it's own tool bar, which is located just above the window where your cookbook appears.

To save your cookbook to your hard drive, click the save icon (it looks like a little computer disk) on the Adobe Reader toolbar.

(Don't use the File/Save option at the very top of your browser.) You may want to rename your file, but don't change the ".pdf" part at the end of the filename.

To email your cookbook to a friend, you must save the cookbook file on your computer's hard drive first(see above), then attach that cookbook file to an email message. Important: Cookbook files can be very large. Some email providers limit the size of attached files they will deliver. If this happens to your cookbook, you will need to reduce the size of the cookbook file by delete recipes and/or delete some or all of the photos you have uploaded.

To print your cookbook, click the print icon (it looks like a printer) on the Adobe Reader toolbar.

(Don't use the File/Print option at the very top of your browswer.) Note: These files are very large, and will take a very long time to print on most home printers.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I print my cookbook on my home printer?
Yes. See Printing and saving my cookbook for details.

Can I sell my cookbook? No. Cookbooks created using "My Cookbook" are for personal use or free distribution only. They make great gifts.

Can I download my cookbook to my hard drive? Yes. View your cookbook, then click "save" in the File menu at the top of the screen. You may want to rename your file as you save it.

Why does View take so long? "My Cookbook" creates high quality files needed for printing. These files are very large, and may take several minutes to appear on your computer screen. Please be patient. To save time, you can preview a single recipe from the "Edit Chapter" page.

Can I upload my own photo for the cover?
No. You must select from the photos offered in the program.

Can I change the typeface or the layout of the pages? No. You may select a new style, which determines layout and typefaces, by clicking "Edit Title and Style" on the Table of Contents page.

 


Getting help with a problem

If you need assistance with your cookbook or with an order, please contact our Help staff via e-mail at support@bhg.com. Be sure to include the words "My Cookbook" (without the quotes) in the subject line.