Making it as easy as possible for you to digitize and organize your recipe collection is a key part of what we offer at BigOven. As you probably know, once you get your recipes on BigOven, they’re in the cloud forever, easily searchable and taggable, and as close as your nearest web browser, smartphone, or tablet via our free recipe apps. And they’re ready for creating grocery lists, menu plans and more.
After lots of feedback to our support desk after shipping our last set of improvements to the type-it-in process, we’ve just released a few important refinements. I wanted to bring them to your attention.
1. We’ve improved the “auto-fill” suggestions: they load faster and no longer “steal” keystrokes
On the “Add a Recipe” form, the auto-suggest code has been improved and tested on multiple browsers, so that it loads faster and won’t “steal keystrokes” from you. Some users reported (and we verified independently) that the old code was stealing tabs, making it a bit frustrating when entering values. Now, you get an auto-suggest for key fields that makes it go much more quickly.
TIP: After typing a few letters, use the up/down arrows on your keyboard or the mouse to select the right option. If the option isn’t listed the way you want, don’t worry, just keep typing; you’re not limited to the options in the list.
2. We’ve made the role of “Headings” in ingredients much clearer
We notice there’s been confusion about what those checkboxes are in the ingredients section.
Answer: They’re there to indicate that the line is a “heading” – a separator line – for the ingredient lines that follow (until the end of the ingredients section or the next “heading”).
In a typical recipe for a cake, you’ll have a FROSTING section and a CAKE section, and recipes are made more clear by separating out the frosting ingredients from the cake ingredients, as follows:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter
[ etc. ]
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
When you create a grocery list from the recipe, you do not generally want a spurious line on your grocery list saying “CAKE” or “FROSTING”. Thus, one type of ingredient line is a special separator — we call it a “heading”. The headings in the ingredients above are “FROSTING” and “CAKE”. They are treated by BigOven as simple text – not nutrient-linkable, and not part of the grocery creation process.
Previously, we simply tried to explain that in text. Now, there’s a tooltip that explains it, plus toggling that checkbox on and off will disable/enable certain fields, hopefully making it even clearer what it’s about.
Now, when you check the heading checkbox ON, BigOven will disable the other fields.
For instance, this Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Salad recipe will have a final section called “Optional Garnishes”.
With the “heading” box checked, notice how the “Quantity”, “Measure” and “Prep notes” boxes are disabled – slightly more grey and not available for input – and only the “Item” box is white and available for input:
I’ll create a heading line called “OPTIONAL GARNISHES” line, then add the actual garnishes, with the heading line unchecked.
There, that’s it.
Now, if you choose add this recipe to your grocery list or menu plan (which I recommend you do – it’s delicious!), the phrase “OPTIONAL GARNISHES” will not be added, but you’ll be prompted whether or not you’d want to add the three ingredients that follow.
TIP: Do not worry if the item you would like to type in does not appear in the list. The items there are simply to help speed your typing and reduce spelling errors.
3. You can now [Tab] through the ingredient lines you add much more smoothly
Previously, when you pressed the [Tab] key in the list of ingredient lines above, it would move field to field, but also stop on both the heading checkbox and “remove” items, which generally slowed the process down.
Now, when you press [Tab] (or [shift]+[Tab] to go back), it only moves through the text input boxes — quantity, measure, item, and prep notes.
This should speed your typing if you use this form a lot.
4. Related new feature: Customize any recipe (PRO members only)!
We just announced that PRO members can customize any recipe.
It’s a terrific new feature to save you time in data entry.
You can now take any of the 200,000+ recipes in the archive, and with two clicks, make your own copy, and change-away. Adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes and dietary preferences.
So, if you’re going to type in your own recipe for a quiche (let’s say, from memory), why not start with a basic quiche recipe that’s close to what you want, and customize it?
(One catch – note that customized copies of recipes are currently made private, and you’ll need to make a specific request of our support team if you want to make it public. Why? Because we don’t want general searches to be flooded with near-duplicates. Our blog post on customizations explains more.)
5. Another way to enter data: RecipeScan
And, as we’ve mentioned before, a great way to enter recipes from handwritten recipes, newspaper clippings and more is with our revolutionary new RecipeScan service. We’ve gotten great feedback on that service too, and will be doing our 11,000th RecipeScan for customers this week.
RecipeScan lets you snap photos (or upload JPG images) and we’ll do the work for you. It’s a $0.99-per-recipe service ($0.59 per recipe if you buy in packs of 100) – meaning you can organize an entire kitchen drawer full of recipes fairly affordably, and get those recipes on your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android phone or Windows Phone.
Thank you for your feedback
Our developers read every single suggestion that comes in via our feedback form. We like to hear from you, and your voice matters a great deal in our design and development process. Thank you for your ideas!