Cooking-up a Recipe Book with MagCloud

It’s that time of the year, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts…

I used to spend 3 days making dozens of batches of home-made biscotti to give to the neighbors and friends who unexpectedly drop by during the holiday season.

But this year? Well, let’s face it–I’m too busy to spend 3 days baking, packaging and crafting these little masterpieces.

Instead, I have decided (Sorry friends, your surprise is ruined!) to give my loved ones and neighbors a custom cookbook, filled with our family favorites, printed by MagCloud.

Today I will share with you a template that I have made in InDesign and a few tricks for customizing it for your own use.


You can start with my custom-designed template that is already formatted for MagCloud settings, or create one of your own. MagCloud’s InDesign document settings and a blank template are available at

Download my InDesign Template.
Preview my cookbook on MagCloud.

Transforming this template into something of your own is pretty simple using style sheets. Before you start entering your own information, I suggest your go through the template and adjust the colors and fonts to your choosing.

Change your Spot Color
1. Open the Swatches Panel
In CS6 or higher click Window > Color > Swatches
2. Double Click on the color named “sweet red”
3. Adjusting the C,M,Y and K values will change the “pop of color” on all of the pages where it is used in the template.

Adjusting Paragraph Style Sheets
Open the Paragraph Style Panel.
In CS6 or higher click Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles.

Once you have the Paragraph Styles Panel open, you can then go through the document and change your fonts and colors. You will notice that the style sheets are divided into subcategories based on where they are in the document.  (Tip: by opening up all of these sub-tabs you can easily see what style affects each block of text you select on the page)

To adjust the settings of your paragraph styles:
1. Select the text you want to change
2. Identify which Paragraph Style you are selecting within the Paragraph Styles Panel
3. “Right Click” or “Ctrl + Click” on the highlighted style in the Paragraph Styles Panel
4. Using the Paragraph Style Options Dialog box, adjust the font details

Add Your Own Photos and Personal Touches
Change the title, insert photos, recipes and update the intro letter to reflect your own personal style. You can even include a photo of the person who gave you the recipe or a special quote from them.

(Tip: to include more recipes select a “spread”–2 side-by-side pages–within the Pages Panel, and [ctrl + “click”] or [“Right Click”] on the highlighted pages within the panel. Select “Duplicate Spread,” this will insert a set of identical pages in your document.)

**Note that you will want to have a page count that is an increment of 4 pages to print with MagCloud… such as 16… 20… 24… 28… You get the idea!

Want a quick easy way to be sure your export settings are correct?

DOWNLOAD the MagCloud PDF Export Job Options file

*If you are on a Mac: double click on the file, it will open in an Adobe application and add it to your presets. You can then close that application and return to InDesign.

*If you are on a PC, within InDesign go to File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define > Load
Find and Select the file you downloaded called “MagCloud_PDF_Export” > Click Done

To use these imported settings, with your file open in InDesign,
Select File > PDF Presets > “Adobe PDF Preset for MagCloud”

Name and Save your PDF and you are ready to publish!

Other Fun Ideas for Your Cookbook:
– make your cookbook themed with all family classics or recipes from a particular family member like “Granny’s Favorite Recipes”
– make a genre themed cookbook, like “Sweets,” “Holiday Dishes,” or “Brunch”
– make a cookbook for a school fundraiser and call it “Bake Sale”
– Ask friends to contribute recipes and do a collaborative cookbook

13 thoughts on “Cooking-up a Recipe Book with MagCloud

  1. Alan Hall 19 Nov 2010 / 4:38 PM

    Great job on describing the creation, now how do I publish and how much does it cost?

    • Lauren 21 Nov 2010 / 10:07 PM

      Hi Alan,

      Once you’ve designed your document, you simply export a PDF and upload it to MagCloud for publishing and ordering printed copies. Be sure to check out our “How it Works” section to get more details and document requirements.

      Pricing is 20¢/page, so the length of your recipe book will determine the price. But for an example a 28-page recipe book will cost you $5.60 + shipping.

      Thanks for using MagCloud!

  2. Naany 25 Apr 2012 / 3:52 PM

    How can I change the footer? The part that says “It’s an Old Family Recipe…” and “If I told you I’d have to kill you” It seems it’s pulling it from somewhere automatically, I want to change it! Any pointers? Thanks

    • Lauren 27 Apr 2012 / 2:48 PM

      Hi Naany,

      I believe that content is on the master page so that it stays in the same place consistently. If you go to the pages panel, it’s the A Master that has the page numbers and tag line. You can edit it there.
      I hope that helps!

  3. Ann-Mi 21 Jul 2012 / 12:50 PM

    Hi! It looks beautiful, judging by the preview pictures, but unfortunately the download link no longer works. Any chance you could re-upload it somewhere accessible?
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Lauren 23 Jul 2012 / 6:04 PM

      Hi Ann,
      Sorry about that! You should be able to access it now.

  4. RONALD 16 Oct 2018 / 6:57 PM

    Thanks for sharing this quality information with us. I really enjoyed reading. Will surely going to share this URL with my friends.

  5. singaporeprimerealestate 25 May 2020 / 7:16 PM

    Wow. cool tip! Thanks for sharing so generously.. Kopar At Newton

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