Copy & Paste a Recipe

Knowing how to copy and paste a block of text is integral to the ease of using the Recipe Box, yet for people who are new to their iPad, it may not be so easy to figure out. That’s okay! We’ve put together this illustrated tutorial that will not only help you use the Recipe Box, it will help you get better use out of your iPad. We’ve included other pointers as well, like inserting a photo, so once you get through this tutorial, you’ll be a pro at building a recipe from start to finish.


Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps! It’s actually really easy and only takes a few minutes. And once you get the hang of it, it’s kinda’ fun.


The first thing you’ll need is a recipe. For this tutorial, we emailed a recipe to ourselves and opened it in our iPad. You could use this tutorial for any text source — a web site, a .pdf, or even another app.


We recommend Basic Importing for capturing a recipe from any website, and Instant Importing to collect recipes from any of our supported sites.

  • 1. Here’s the source recipe in an email. Hold your finger on the word you want to start with. A blue box with little round “handles” will appear, and above it, a Copy button. Don’t tap that button yet.

  • 2. Tap the lower handle and drag downwards, enlarging the blue box to cover all of the text you want to include. Now you can go ahead and tap the Copy button. The recipe will be copied to the iPad’s clipboard.

  • 3. While you’re in the email, you might want to save any image that goes with the recipe. You can do that by holding your finger on the image you want, then tapping Save to Camera Roll when it pops up. The photo will be saved to the iPad’s Saved Photos photo album.

  • 4. Now you’ll want to exit Safari and open the Recipe Box. To do this with the multitasking feature, double click the little indented round Home button just outside the viewing area of your iPad screen. The row of icons that appear are your most recently used apps. If you’ve used the Recipe Box recently, you’ll find it there.

  • 5. Now you can tap the Add icon on the lower right to open a blank entry screen.

  • 6. When you double tap inside the Ingredients box, a blue cursor will appear, and above it, a Paste button. Tapping Paste will add the entire recipe to the Ingredients box.

  • 7. You’re ready to start cutting and pasting things where they belong. Here we started with the title. Hold your finger on the word you want to start with, like you did in the email. The blue cursor will appear, plus three buttons - Select, Select All, and Paste. Tap Select. This will create the blue-handled selection box.

  • 8. Select the text for the recipe title by dragging the box’s arms, like you did in Safari. The buttons will then change to Cut, Copy, and Paste. Tap on Cut.

  • 9. Double tapping inside the Title box will activate the blue cursor and the Paste button. Tap Paste. Now your recipe has a title.

  • 10. Going back to the Ingredients box, bring up the Selection cursor at the point where the recipe directions start.

  • 11. Is this starting to sound familiar yet? Drag the box handle to stretch the selection around all the text you want to include in the directions. Select Cut.

  • 12. Double tap inside the Directions box to bring up the cursor. Select Paste. All the directions will now be pasted in the Directions box.

  • 13. Now you can add your photo. Tap the default photo to bring up the Photo Album menu.

  • 14. The photo we wanted was in the Saved Photos album. If you don't have a photo saved, you can take one with your iPad's camera (iPad 2 and up). Or you could select Search and get image search results from Google using the recipe title as the search term. Double tap on a web image to add it to your recipe.

    Once it’s selected you can use two fingers to enlarge, shrink or reposition the photo within the selection boundary box. When you’re happy with it, tap Use. The photo will be cropped and in place.

  • 15. At this point you can fill in any other field you wish. Adding a URL to the source field will create an active link in the About tab. Bookmarking works well for keeping track of recipes you haven’t tried yet. Add a rating if it’s one you’ve already tried.

  • 16. Don’t forget to tag with categories to make the recipe super easy to find later. Tap Save in the upper right corner to save the recipe and format it.

  • 17. Voilà! Gorgeous. Ready to cook?