Am I Asking Too Much? Database need

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mic j, May 8, 2013.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #1
    I have about 2000 recipe pdf's. Currently I use Excel cell to house the links to these files, then in subsequent columns I have category descriptions (course, cuisine, style, ingredient, etc). So I use the Excel filter function to fine recipes that meet what I am looking for. Then I open the pdf of that recipe by clicking on the hyperlink. I've been doing it this way for years. I would like to dump Excel but have yet to find a Mac app that can come anywhere near to giving me this capability. Bento came close but you can't hyperlink to a file. Also to search you have enter your search criteria by remembering all of the possibility in a category (such as main, appetizer, first course, etc) for some categories the lists (like ingredients) can be really long. Excel show the entire list of possibilities so you don't have to remember what the list contains. And I do not want to type each recipe's ingredients, steps, description etc manually. That's why I use pdfs.

    Any ideas on an alternative to Excel for this?
     
  2. Giuly, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: May 8, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #2
    Try Evernote, it's on the Mac App Store. You can add appropriate tags to the recipe notes to make them easily discoverable, you can also paste your PDFs into them and they'll be full-text searchable.
     
  3. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #3
    I had read where Evernote was a pretty good app for this, but I was concerned about it not being cloud based. After spending a lot of time moving all those recipes to Evernote, it would be upsetting for it to go out of business in a few years and leave me with having to do it all over again. However, your suggestion makes me think, and I may try a few items to see how it works form. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Excel is remarkably inappropriate tool for your task at hand. Have you considered Bento from Apple subsidiary Filemaker?

    BTW, with your recipes in PDF format, it is unnecessary to retype them in order to enter text into a database. PDF files may be converted to text using a number of tools including Acrobat Pro.
     
  5. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    My father in law uses a program called Helix for database creation. He is a music minister and has his entire music collection put into a Helix Database. He can search in a variety of ways and has various links that can either play the song or pull up the sheet music. I don't know all the specific details, but I know he loves it.
     
  6. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #6
    I would suggest Evernote, Bento, or DevonNote/DevonThink.

    I don't think Evernote will shut down business anytime soon, they have millions of users.
     
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    Have you read the OP?
     
  8. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #8
    Sorry, I didn't read properly.

    If you don't want Bento or Evernote, you can hyperlink in DevonThink. DT also has tags, smart groups and very strong search functions, so there are lots of ways of organising your data.
     
  9. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #9
    I have been trying Evernote out today. I think it can actually fit my needs pretty well. Also, I am considering buying OCRkit to OCR the pdf's so that Evernote can search the pdf's for keywords. OCR is only available in Evernote for Premium users which is $45/year and OCRkit is $49 and no future costs. I've have it as a trial now and it seems to work really well.

    The other thing I like about Evernote is the ability use an iPad in the kitchen and see the recipes vs printing them out.

    All in all, this combination may just be what I need. Thanks for the suggesting an option I probably never would have considered! :)
     
  10. bumper314 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #10
    I'm positive Bento allows you to hyperlink files, as I use it all the time. Here's what it looks like:
    http://d.pr/i/FeWa/Wjk41DmY

    Steve
     
  11. Giuly, May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 9, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    You can search them fine without OCRing, but you can't edit them. Just drag-n-drop the PDF files into the notes and you're all set.
    I have complete ebooks as PDFs in Evernote, and it gives you a list of notes where PDFs contain the search term. Then you can cmd+f to search the individual occurrences of the term.
     
  12. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #12
    Yes, I think you are right, I was confused about the premium service. I guess premium users just get OCR priority. So far none of the files I have loaded are searchable. Guess it may take overnight, from what I have read. Thanks for the help.
     
  13. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    Bento file hyperlinks.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #14
    I did read that it could do hyperlinks to files and there is something about media field vs regular field capability, not sure what that is all about. I am really liking the concept of being able to see my recipe database whether on my MBP, iPad, iPhone and also having all of those attached pdf's searchable. I think one of the reasons I was looking at Bento earlier was that I could import my Excel spreadsheet into it, thats something I can't do with EN. That eliminates a lot of work. But the cells containing the hyperlink would not maintain the link on import. So everything would have to be manually re-linked.
     
  15. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #15
    Not exactly a solution to your problem but something I found useful is the app Paprika. It a recipe management app that runs on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone/iPod. I had all my recipes in Word documents and PDFs. It did take a little while to import them but not difficult.

    The app syncs between the devices so you always have the recipes with you. Need to check the ingredients at the grocery store? Pull out your iPhone and there it is. The app can also import recipes from many web sites. It will also export to HTML so you can put all the recipes online for your friends.

    It's not perfect but I've been very pleased with it. Downside is that it's a separate app for each type of device so I had to buy 3 versions for the devices.
     
  16. fivedots macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #16
    I can confirm that built-in OCR works perfectly in Evernote as a free user. I believe the caveat is that your documents may take longer to be OCR'd as a non-premium member, but that isn't a huge deal.

    Depending on how much you are uploading, you may have to go Premium for a month or two to remove the transfer cap. Then you can go back down to Free.
     
  17. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #17
    Interesting. If the pdf's are searchable, can it do that? When you talk about importing, how does it do that (one at a time, do you fill in a form with tags, etc)?
     
  18. kgs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #18
    Another option.

    http://reinventedsoftware.com/together/

    I'd probably use DevonThink. I use it for my tax and finance data
     
  19. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #19
    I did it by cut&paste into the Paprika form as well as typing in a bunch that I had on paper (mainly old family recipes). It has a built in browser for downloading on-line recipes that works well.

    It does not import PDF files. It will import from other recipes applications like MasterCook. Main reason I went with it was the ability to have recipes with me on an idevice. The iPad works very well in the kitchen.
     

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