How to Edit Your Family Cookbook

How to Edit Your Family Cookbook

So your recipes are all entered, your cookbook cover is selected and you have a great recipe layout. So what else do you need to do before sending your cookbook to print?

Edit it of course! That’s why you are the Editor! Once thee cookbook has been sent to print, you can not make any changes what appears in the PDF file is what gets printed. So you need to review the cookbook page by page to make sure you are happy with everything you see.

Here are some specific things to look for:

The first thing to do is checking for typos and missing info. Start at the from of the front of your cookbook is click on the intro pages, if used, and read them out loud to make sure they sound correct. If you see any red lines under the text, it means the spellchecker thinks a word may be misspelled. Next move on to any custom pages you may have created and do the same thing.

Next it is time to review the recipes. Go to view recipes by table of contents and select the first category. Check you recipes for:

  • Misspelled words underlined in red
  • Consistent use of measurement abbreviations
  • Ingredients used in the recipe but not listed
  • Ingredients listed but not used
  • Are the directions complete and understandable?
  • Does the recipe fit on one page?

Save any changes you made.

View the recipe in your selected layout by clicking on the “See your recipe” button above the recipe title. This will show you how the recipe will look in your cookbook. If only a few words appear on the second page, consider shortening the directions or personal notes to make it fit on a single page.

Be sure to save any changes before moving to the next recipe. Use the dark green buttons on the top of the recipe to move forward and back without having to go to the table of contents each time.

Next, it is time to look at the overall layout of your cookbook. Start by generating a proof by clicking on the link to “Preview cookbook” in the black navigation bar in your editor account. You can review it online in your browser and the pages will be laid out just like a printed cookbook.

  • Check for text that creates extra pages and consider rewriting to shorten.
  • Look at the placement of the photos
  • Look for blank pages. Most will be be necessary for the layout so that key pages, like category dividers, always appear on the right facing page.
  • Make sure the contributor list does not contain duplicate names. If so, go to the view recipes by contributor and correct the names so they match exactly.

Once you have completed your edits and saved everything, you are ready to place your print order!


Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!