MARC Report 238: Filtering records

About Edit Session Filters

MARC Report's filters are designed to make it possible for you to more narrowly focus your work in an Edit Session. This page will provide an overview of how each filter works.

The 'Filters' option on the main menu provides an interface to all of the filters available in the program. However, each filter, including more detailed usage instructions, will also be available in a more contextually relevant part of the program.

It should be mentioned at the outset that the filters described below do not, in themselves, remove records from the file currently being edited in the session. The purpose of these filters is to allow you to focus on specific data elements within a file, and they do this, in most cases, by modifying the function of the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. Instead of navigating through each record, one at a time, until you reach the particular record(s) you want to work on, a filter modifies the 'Next record' button so that it jumps ahead through the file to the next record with a particular problem or condition (if in fact, that is your objective; many times we need to work on each record, in turn, and this OK too).

NOTE: If you want to remove records from a file, or split a file into pieces based on search criteria, we recommend that you use the MARC Review utility instead (although, theoretically, the same goal might be achieved with some of the edit session filters described below).

Brief Message filter

This filter is also accessible by right-clicking any error message in the 'Brief Messages' list on the top right panel.

The shortcut for setting a brief message filter is <Ctrl><Alt><B>; to clear it, press <Ctrl><Alt><C>

This filter makes it easy to quickly process errors pertaining to a particular tag (or tags). When you set a Brief message filter, you are asked to enter a list of tags. Once this is done, the program will then display only those error messages that begin with the tags in your list. For example, if you enter '260' in the Brief Message filter, only error messages that begin with '260' will be shown in the Brief messages list.

The Brief message filter becomes very powerful because it can be combined with the red arrow in the navigation panel at the bottom of the screen (the red arrow is used to jump ahead to the next record in the file that has an error message). When a Brief message filter is active and you press the red arrow, the program scans through the records in the file and does not stop until it finds one that meets the filter criteria. This makes it possible to very quickly identify and edit all records with a problem in a particular field.

More than one tag can be entered in the Brief message filter; if multiple tags are entered they should be separated by a comma (with no intervening spaces). For instance, we could enter:


to remove all error messages except those pertaining to a Subject Added Entry. The same thing can be achieved by entering


–as the Brief message filter also understands 'XX' tags.

Also, if you are looking for error messages about, for example, dates in the fixed field, instead of entering '008'–which will find all error messages for the 008–you can restrict the filter to just the date elements with:


–as the Brief message filter also understands this notation.

When a Brief message filter is active, an indicator will be displayed in the top status bar listing the tag(s) being filtered.

In addition to this indicator, the first error message displayed for each record will be one that says:

Some/All messages (n) removed by filter

where 'n' is the number of messages that have been removed due to the current filter. For this reason, setting a Brief message filter that discards all error messages will not result in a 'Perfection' image.

You can view a list of discarded error messages for a record by right-clicking on any brief message and then selecting the 'Brief message filter' option. A sub-menu containing all filtered messages will display to the right, and if you click on a filtered message the program will select the applicable tag in the MARC record. Notes, however, are not available for these filtered messages.

A Brief message filter can be cleared from the 'Filters' menu at the top of the screen, or by right-clicking on any brief message and then selecting the 'Clear Brief message filter' option. The program will apply the last Brief message filter defined the next time it starts.

MARC Review filter

The shortcut for setting a MARC Review filter is <Ctrl><Alt><M>; to clear it, press <Ctrl><Alt><R>

This filter is also accessible via two buttons at the bottom right-corner of the navigation bar: 'MR Filter' and 'Clear MR'. Depending on your screen resolution, and how you have sized the program windows, these buttons may not be (completely) visible–in this case, use the menu option or shorcut instead.

The MARC Review filter makes it possible to run MARC Review on the file currently being edited. You can then apply a filter to all of the hits from the MARC Review search, so that the 'Next record' and 'Previous record' navigation buttons will skip any record that was not matched by your MARC Review pattern.

In brief, with MARC Review, we first specify the data we want to search for, which we call a pattern, and then specify the output options. It is similar to a catalog search, but searches a file at the MARC level instead of at the more conceptual level used in the OPAC.

The primary difference between the MARC Review as an utility and as an edit session filter is that with the filter there are no output options. The output of using MARC Review in an edit session is simply a list of the records that matched, which the program can then apply as a filter.

For example, if we want to identify all records in a file that were contributed by a particular library, we might create a pattern like:

Tag=949 Subf=l Data=TMQ Rule=And

This pattern will match all records in the file where 949 $l has the code 'TMQ'. If there are any hits on this search, the MARC Review filter will tell us and prompt us to select the 'Apply' option if we want to work with these records.

When we apply a MARC Review filter, navigation in the edit session is restricted to only those records that matched our pattern. For example, if we apply the filter in the example above and then press the 'Last' record navigation button, the program will jump to the last record in the file that contains a 949 $l with 'TMQ' in it–this may in fact not be the last record in the file.

As with the utility, we can combine many different patterns in a single search. For example, if we want to identify all CIP records in the file that were contributed by the TMQ library, we would first enter the pattern from the example above, then press the 'Next pattern' button, and then add the following as Pattern #2:

Tag=300 Subf=a Data=p. cm. Rule=And

Now, when we press 'Create', the search will match only those records in the file where the 300 $a contains 'p. cm.' _and_ the 949 $l contains the code 'TMQ'.

MARC Review, of course, supports regular expressions, so it would be easy to find all one-word titles in uppercase by entering a pattern like:

It is not appropriate to describe MARC Review in more detail here1). However, there is very detailed help available for using this utility (select 'MARC Review' from the Utilities menu), and its likely that once you become familiar with it, it will become an important tool in your data manipulation arsenal.

Title List filter

The Title List is a list of the title fields from each record in the file being edited. This list makes it possible to get a quick overview of all the records in the file.

A Title List can also be used to set a filter by individually picking and choosing titles from the list.

The shortcut for setting a Title list filter is <Ctrl><Alt><T>; to clear it, press <Ctrl><Alt><L>

In a Title List, the titles are displayed in a table, with one row for each record in the file. The first column in each row is always the 'RSN'–the record sequence number. Fields other than the title can also be displayed, and these field definitions are customized by pressing the 'Define' button.

To create a title list, switch to the 'Title List' view and press 'Create'.

The rows in the Title List can be quickly sorted by clicking on the column headers at the top. If you have too many fields defined in your title list, and cannot see them all easily in your display, you can resize the columns, or even remove a column completely by dragging and dropping its column header outside of the table (To redraw any columns removed in this way simply press 'Create' again).

Double-click on any row in the Title List to navigate to that record.

To use the Title List to create a filter, click on the records from the list that you want to be included, and then press 'Filter: Apply'. To select multiple records use the same keystrokes as you would in any Windows list (hold down <Ctrl> and click to select individual rows; hold down <Shift> and click to select consecutive rows; click on the list and press <Ctrl>+A to select all rows, etc.).

Once you have made a selection, press 'Apply'; the program will prompt you to 'switch to a record view' and navigate through the selected records. Just as with the MARC Review filter, above, navigation in the edit session will then be restricted to only those records that we selected on the Title list page.

Note: The table used in the Title List has its own built-in 'custom filtering' functions, but these are not described here.


Bookmarks represent a quick method of marking any record you come across that: 1) you may want to return to later, and/or 2) you may want to output to a separate file.

Any record in an edit session can be bookmarked by pressing <F4>; this bookmark can be removed from a previously bookmarked record by pressing <F4> again. Whenever you are viewing a bookmarked record, a green checkbox will appear in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Bookmarks have no effect on navigation unless you use the 'Filters|Bookmarked records' option from the main menu to select the option 'Apply bookmarks to navigation'. When this is done, navigation in the edit session will be restricted to only those records that you hae bookmarked.

If you want to write all bookmarked records to a file, select the 'File|Save bookmarked records' option from the main menu and enter a filename. Note that doing this does not remove the bookmarked records from the file currently being edited.

To clear all bookmarks, select 'Filters|Bookmarked records|Clear all bookmarks' from the main menu.

Filter Interoperability

The Brief message filter can co-exist with any of the three other filters described on this page. This filter does not affect navigation–it affects only the error messages that are displayed as you navigate from one record to another.

Only one of the MARC Review filter, or the Title List filter, can be active at a given time. The reason for this is that each of these filters creates a subset of records in the file, and navigation through different subsets of the same file would become cumbersome (and problematic).

Bookmarks, on the other hand, can, at least initially, co-exist with either a MARC Review filter or a Title List filter. Thus, you could, for example, use a MARC Review filter to pick out all of the records in a file with a certain pattern, and then, as you are navigating through this subset of records, bookmark some of them for later reference.

The bookmarking activity in itself will not affect the MARC Review filter.

However, if you then use the 'Apply bookmarks to navigation' option, the existing filter will first have to be cleared before the new 'bookmark' filter can be applied.

MARC Review is an application in itself
238/filters.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/29 16:21 (external edit)
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