How to summary
Below I will explain how to use JConvert with windows XP. All versions of windows should be similar to this explanation. This is platform independent and should work on any os that has Java version 1.4 and higer.
Download and execute the jconvert jar file from sourceforge.net. Depending on your installation of Java on your OS, this can simply mean executing it on download or saving it somewhere and double clicking on the jar file.
If your operating system does not have this file associated, you can execute it using the command line. By pressing the start menu, and choosing run, type in "cmd" and press enter. As a quick check type in java -version and make sure that you have java version 1.4 or higher. Run jconvert by typing java -jar jconvert.jar - please note that your jar file name may vary depending on the release version.
Modifying or adding your own conversions
NOTE: In Jconvert releases 1.0.1 and higher, you can now create custom conversions from the file menu button. Click on
the menu File -> Add Custom Conversion. A dialog box will appear where you can fill in fields and update the conversion file
described below. If you do not have this file, it will be created for you. There is an editable preview of your file below
the form fields. You can modify the text here if you wish to delete rows or modify. When you close the dialog, your new conversions
will be added into the application.
Understanding and modifying the custom conversion file MANUALLY Very simply create a file named convert_custom.dat and place it in the same directory as the jconvert.jar download. Below is an example of this file.
Note the fist line that describes what value goes between each comma. This is a comma separated file. You must have exactly six commas per line. Please follow the format in the example. Abbreviations can be provided for each conversion unit. In the first conversion we are creating a conversion of centuries to double centuries. To convert to a double century, you must multiply by one half (one century times 1/2 equals .5 double centuries). The second conversion overwrites the built in conversion of centuries to years. Instead of it being 100, we made it 15 just for fun. This is just to show you that you can create more accurate (although not in this example) conversions to meet your needs. That way if you disagree, think they are wrong, or want more accuracy, you can override the conversions built into jconvert. The rest of the conversions in this example should speak for themselves. Please note that you can enter in a fraction or a decimal number for a conversion. Fractional conversions are always more accurate, so if you know the fraction (or it exists), please use it.
If you feel that there are some conversions in jconvert are inaccurate, please leave feedback. AND if you have a custom conversion file, you can submit it to us and we will evaluate it and incoporate if necessary. Also we will include additional conversions if they are not too off the wall (like some of my examples).
Changing the language
By default, JConvert uses the Locale of your computer. Based on the locale of your computer, it will look for a resource file on your computer that matches your language and region. For example you live in the US and speak english, then your computer's locale is set to english and US. So JConvert will look for the file jcMessages_en_US.properties. If this file is not found, it will choose the default, which is english since that is what is the default for JConvert. Currently JConvert only supports Spanish, French, and Russian. These translations were done by me using google and have not been reviewed by a native speaker. I am always looking for anyone to translate, verify , or update resources for me. If you find a file that supports your language or create your own, you can place the file in the same directory as the JConvert jar file and JConvert will find it.
Note: You can change the language that JConvert uses by opening the Settings screen located under the file menu. This enables you to change the language without changing the language of your computer. There are three values that makup your Locale. This is the country, language, and variant. Most of the time you do not use variant, but it can be used for dialects amoung other things.
Using JConvert to hold recipes
While tinkering with JConvert, I had the idea to use JConvert to hold recipes. This may not seem like the best solution, especially if you have hundreds of recipes (If you have some ideas, please post it on the forums). However, JConvert does provide some pretty useful conversions when working with recipes. For example, lets say that you have a recipe that you want to make 3 1/2 batches of and there are 1/3 cups of butter per batch. Well, if you have your recipe in JConvert you can find out that is 1 1/6 cups of butter. Or lets say that you only have 2 cups of butter. How many batches can you make? How many cups of sugar will you need? JConvert would tell you 6 batches and 3 cups of sugar.
Here is how to use JConvert to enter a recipe. First, you may want to clean out all the tabs you do not want to see.
Do File -> Settings and in the Hidden Tabs section, check all boxes except for volume (since that may be handy).
Now create a custom conversion using the File -> Add Custom Conversion menu. Paste the following information into
The box at the bottom (this is just to get my recipe)
Now press the Close button and play around to see what was talked about above. Enter your own recipes by filling
in the fields in the Add Custom Conversion screen, mimicking the same Batch to ingreedient style as above.
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,Cookies,,18,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup softened butter,,1/3,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup packed brn sugar,,1/2,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,egg,,1,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup white sugar,,3/4,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,teaspoon vanilla,,1,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup all-purp flower,,2,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,teaspoon baking soda,,1,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,teaspoon baking powder,,1/2,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,teaspoon salt,,1/2,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup buttermilk,,1/2,0
Mini Chip sugar cookies,Batch,,cup mini semi sweet choc chips,,3/2,0