Searching Recipe Files

Dear Elizabeth,

I am using an Acer with IE 8. Just got the computer last week, so I’m still making friends with it. I am 62 years young and disabled, so I spend a lot of time on my computer.

I am an avid collector of recipes. I save them to a stick. They are sorted into folders according to type of recipe, i.e. Mexican, Chicken, Side Dishes, Low Calorie, etc.

Is there a software available that would let me key in the main ingredient in a recipe and it would pull up that recipe? At this point I have so many recipes, I have a really hard time finding the one I’m looking for.

Reading your newsletter has taught me most of what I know about using a computer and I’m sure hoping you can help me again.

Thank you so much for being there for all of us, Pam

[ad#Registry Mechanic]

Dear Pam,

I am going to assume a couple of things about your recipe files. First, I am guessing that you have them saved in either a text file, or a Word Document. Second, since you have so many recipes, I’m guessing that you don’t want to copy and paste (or retype) them into another program.

Since your laptop is new, it is safe to guess that you are using Windows 7, which has a great search function. As long as your recipes are in text files, or some type of word processing document, it should be fairly easy to search through them using Windows 7.

Put your USB stick in the computer, and open a window to view the files.

look in the upper-right corner of the window, just below the minimize, maximize and close buttons and you will see a search box.

Type the ingredient you are looking for in the search box and wait a few seconds.

Windows will automatically search through the files in that folder, and show you a list of results. Not only will it display the file name, but also short snippets of the text inside the file that contains your search term.

I hope this helps you keep track of your recipes.


Previous Post

Should I upgrade Internet Explorer?

Next Post

Can’t Shut Down Computer


    • ron007
    • August 4, 2011

    For searching, Elizabeth’s suggestion is probably best.

    I also use another “trick”. I use very long file names. In the file names I include “key” or “Tag” information that I will search the file names for. For me these tags include things like:
    Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, Office 2003, Office 2010, Win7, WinVista, WinXP, Photo, Search, 411 (for people search tool,sites) etc. Although I also use a lot of specific folders, within the folders I use these tags as prefixes on the file names to that files on same subject sort together. For time sensitive information I also include the date in numeric format, 2011 08 01 (Aug 1, 2011), so they will sort in “correct” order. That way if I have 2 articles on same subject, I can read them in chronological order.

    Yes, in theory I could use the “Tag” attribute for these prefixes, but I have not found tools that make it easy to apply the tag(s) to the file types I use, and to search for them later. I’m sure that’ll come with time. Instead I use a file name search tool called Everything from VoidTools. I find that for file name searches it is MUCH faster than native windows file search due to fundamentally different designs.

    However, if I interpreted the way you are using your USB drive correctly, you are asking for trouble. It is a bad idea to edit files directly on the USB drive. Instead, you should copy existing files to your HD before opening them for editing. The problem is that when you write to a USB drive, it is not the same as writing to a HD. In Windows, files “written” to a USB drive are first written to a “cache” on the disk until there is enough data to fill a “cluster” or “block” on the USB drive, then the data is moved from the HD to the USB.

    If you do not follow proper procedure to close down the USB device before unplugging it, you stand to leave part of a file behind on the HD, corrupting the file.

    While it is a very good idea to keep a copy, A COPY!, of important files on more than one device, keeping the only copy on USB is a bad idea! They are too easy to lose. A better approach is to keep the original files on your HD, but to also copy them regularly to another medium, like USB, or DVD-RW (rewritable).

    There are tools, freeware and purchased that can help you do this. I have always just used a set of 2 batch files. One to copy files from a specific location to my USB, the other to copy them back (when necessary).

    • DiggerP
    • August 10, 2011


    As for free or low cost recipe organizers,
    have a look here: Free Free $1.95

    A lot more in this category (filtered to show Freeware only, but need to check first because sometimes free programs are updated to shareware.

    Have fun looking and cooking 🙂

Comments are closed.