Edit options go into effect when the program is started with the 'Edit Session' option under the File|Run menu. In the documentation that follows, the term 'source file' refers to the MARC file that you are editing, and the term 'result file' refers to the source file after any record in it has been changed.


MARC Report is a MARC file editor, as opposed to a MARC record editor.

Other MARC editing programs typically open a new window for each MARC record that you want to view or edit. You will usually have to perform some sort of database search first to locate these records. There are certainly advantages to this approach.

MARC Report, on the other hand, works on a raw MARC file. This file can be an export of your complete database, or just a floppy disk with a few vendor records. The only requirement is that the file be in MARC21 format. Apart from the creation of a simple index which the program uses for navigation, no loading, importing, or translating is done. The file is edited exactly as it appears on your disk or diskette. You can move from one record to another by using the arrow keys at the bottom of the screen.

When either of the following conditions are met, MARC Report starts an Edit Session by making a backup of the MARC source file: 1) the MARC source file is on a floppy disk, or 2) the name of the result file (as determined by the program options) will be the same as the MARC source file. Therefore, if you are editing floppy disks, you have the added peace of mind that, until you close the Edit session, all changes that you make are saved on your hard drive.

When editing a record, pressing the Save button saves the current record to a temporary workspace on your hard disk; your original MARC source file is not changed. When the Edit Session is closed, the program creates the result file by combining all of the records that were changed (from the temporary workspace) with all of the records that were not changed (from the original source file). The order of the records is not changed (unless, of course, you deleted or added records to the file). This unique approach makes it possible to completely recover any Edit Session that may be lost due to a system crash or other anomaly.

MARC Report never makes assumptions about the file you are editing. For example, if you are editing a file of 10,000 records, and close MARC Report to take a break, when you come back, and re-open the file in MARC Report, a new Edit Session is begun; the MARC source file may be backed up again to a new session folder that does not overwrite the backup of your previous session. Although this methodology uses more disk space, it guarantees the maximum safety for your data, and the greatest chance of data recovery in the event of a system problem or malfunction.

NOTE: See the 'Record Limit' option below for more information on editing large files of MARC records; and see the 'Clean Up Edit Work Files' option below for information on how to conserve disk space.


Some software programs that export MARC data to a floppy disk fill each diskette to capacity. If you edit a file on a floppy is that is nearly full, and you have selected the option 'Always Rename to Name of Source File', you could easily create edit results that are too big to fit back onto the floppy disk.

MARC Report protects you against this situation in two ways. First, when the edit session begins, MARC Report checks the amount of free space on the floppy, and if it is less than 10% of the disk's capacity, it will advise you of this problem and cancel the session. Second, the source file on the floppy disk is always copied to your hard disk at the start of the edit session–so you will always have a backup. And finally, if after a long Edit Session the edit results will not fit back onto the floppy, MARC Report will save the results to your hard drive, and advise you of the new name of the file.

Another issue is what would happen if you change the floppy disk in the middle of an edit session, since, as we said above, all changes are saved to the hard disk, not to the floppy. MARC Report creates an internal identifier whenever a floppy is loaded, and if it detects that the floppy is changed at the end of the Edit Session, it will prompt you to put in the correct diskette.

Despite these safeguards, we recommend that you not use the 'Always Rename to Name of Source File' or save your edit results 'To the Same Directory as the Source' options when editing floppy disks. Instead, always save your results to the hard drive, and if you need to copy them to a floppy disk, do that as a separate step in Windows.


This section determines how the results of an Edit session will be saved. There are three options available.

Save Changed and Unchanged to Same File

ALL records, whether changed or not, will be saved to the result file in the same order as they appear in the source file. This is the default.

Split Changed and Unchanged (Make two files)

This option will create TWO result files for each Edit Session. One file (named 'Changed.mrc' by default) will include only those records which were changed, and the other file (named Unchanged.mrc' by default) will include all the records that were not changed during the Edit Session.

Save Changed Records Only

This option saves only those records that were changed during the Edit Session. This option is the most efficient way to edit large files, such as MARC databases that have been exported or copied to a CDROM. Since only the records that you edit will be saved, the program does not backup every record in the file, and thus certain operations run much faster.

NOTE: If you do not use the default option 'Save changed and unchanged to same file', please be aware that the results of your Edit session will not contain the same records as the source file that you started with. This may seem obvious to some, but it is worth emphasising for those users who may not be familiar with working with files of MARC records outside of their local system.


This section determines how the result files of an Edit session will be named. There are three options available.

Always Rename to Name of Source File

This option means that the result file will, in effect, be copied over the source file. If this option is checked, MARC Report will make a copy of your source file at the beginning of each Edit Session. Then, at the end of the Edit Session, MARC Report will copy the results to the source file. For example, if this option is checked and you are editing a file called 'A:\MICROLIF.001', then the results of your Edit Session will also be copied to 'A:\MICROLIF.001'.

NOTE: The 'Always rename to name of source file' option is only available if 'Save changed and unchanged records to same file' is also selected.

Use the Default Filenames

This option means that result file names will be taken from the boxes that appear in the 'Default Filenames for Edit Results' section below. This is the default.


In these edit boxes you can enter filenames that the program will always use to name your edit results files. Note that these options are not consulted unless you have also selected the option 'Use the Default Filenames for Edit Results'.

Changed Records: Changed records are saved by default to a file named 'Changed.mrc'. You may change this to any valid filename.

Unchanged Records: Unchanged records are saved by default to a file named 'Unchanged.mrc'. You may change this to any valid filename.

Note: This option only applies if the 'Split changed and unchanged records (two files)' option is selected.

Deleted Records: Deleted records will be saved by default to a file named 'Deletes.mrc'. You may change this to any valid filename.

Note: This option requires that the 'Save deleted records' option is also selected.


Select this option to have the program generate a unique string, using the Session ID, that it will append to each of the three default filenames above. This will guarantee that the results of every Edit Session are saved to a unique filename. This option is not selected by default.


This section defines where (i.e. in which directory) the results are saved on your system. There are two options available:

Same Directory As Source

This option will save the results to the same directory as the file you are editing is in. This is the default option and is recommended for the average user.

Always Save to Directory [my directory]

This option will save your edit results into the directory that you set in the accompanying edit box. The default directory is 'C:\PROGRAM FILES\TMQ\MARC REPORT\EDIT', but you can set this directory to any directory on your system (except the 'Work' directory used by MARC Report).

NOTE: This option is not consulted if you have selected the 'Always Rename To Name of Source File' option.


If checked, and you delete a record in an Edit Session, a copy of the deleted record will be written to a file named 'Deletes.Mrc' (or whatever filename you enter in the Default Filename for Deleted Records box). This option is selected by default.

You could use this option to manually split one file into two files: any record deleted will be saved to one file, and all of the remaining (undeleted) records will be saved to another file.


The 005 field is mandatory in all MARC records and in all MARC formats. This field contains a 16 byte date/time stamp (in the format YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.Z) and is used by library systems to determine different versions of the same record.


The default behavior of MARC Report is to add a newly-created 005 field to template records whenever they are added to a file during an Edit Session. This behavior will occur even if you previously had manually deleted the 005 from the template using the 'Edit Templates' option. If for some reason you do not want an 005 to be added in these circumstances, uncheck this option.


If selected, the 005 will be updated in every record that is changed in the edit session. If a changed record lacks an 005, a new one will be created.

The 005 date/time stamp is not constant throughout the session; a new date/time stamp is recalculated for each changed record.

IMPORTANT: Selecting this option also selects the option to sort tags in a record. If you do not want your tags sorted, do not use this option.


This options specifies the maximum number of records that can be edited by an Edit Session, and it defaults to 10,000. If you want to edit a file that is larger than this, simply increase this limit.


These options allow you to define a control number prefix and a starting control number. These options are only applied if and when you add a record to an Edit Session using a template, and the template itself does not contain an 001 tag.

If these options are defined, the program will automatically generate an 001 tag for you when you add a template to an Edit Session. Leave either of these options blank if you do not want this to happen. Another way to disable this automatic adding of an 001 is to add an 001 tag to your templates–the program will not add another 001.

WARNING! Managing control numbers outside of your system software is a tricky business, and not recommended. If you are not careful, you might overlay existing records with the same control number when you load the records from your Edit Session.

Always use an unique prefix. A prefix will keep the numbers that you assign from running into numbers assigned by other agencies. Every library should have a unique prefix, either assigned by OCLC or LC. If you do not have one, go to LC and request one (http://www.loc.gov/marc/organizations); its free and you can do it online. Also, make sure the starting control number that you use cannot conflict with any number used on your system.

You can enter up to 8 alphanumeric characters (the maximum currently allowed by the MARC Codelist for Organizations) in the control number Prefix box. A prefix of at least three characters is required for this feature to work–if you do not enter a prefix, this feature will be disabled. (We do this to protect you from yourself!)

In the control number 'Start At' box, enter the starting control number for your template records. You can only enter numeric characters in this box, up to a maximum of 10. The starting number must be formatted exactly as you want it to appear. Therefore, if your starting control number is 1234, and you want your number to be 8 digits long, you must enter '00001234'.

The program will internally track which control numbers have been used, beginning with the number AFTER the starting control number. So, if you enter '1' in the Start At box, the first time you add a Template to a session, the control number will be set to '2'.

When the control number is added to the record, the program will add 1 to the last number used, format the number to match the format of your starting control number, and add the prefix. For example, if your prefix is 'tmq', and your Start At number is '00000001', and the last number used was 101, the next control number assigned will be: 'tmq00000102'. On the other hand, if your Start At number was '1', and the last number used was 101, the next control number assigned would be: 'tmq102'.

Also, once a number is used, whether the record is saved or not, that number cannot be used again. So, if you add a Template to a session, and it is assigned a Control number of '1004', and you change your mind and do not save the record to the Session, the next control number that will be assigned will be '1005'.

Finally, if at some point you decide to change your 'Start At' number, a warning will appear. The purpose of this warning is to make you think twice about what you are doing. We recommend that you keep a written log of the control numbers that you have used and the dates that they were assigned.


By default, MARC Report saves a copy of every record that is modified or deleted; and in most cases, MARC Report makes a copy of every MARC file that is being edited. Although this backup procedure offers you the maximum protection for your data, it may also, over time, use up a lot of disk space. The 'Clean Up' option tells the program to automatically delete these backups at specified time intervals so that you can recover this disk space.

NOTE: The Cleanup routine is run whenever you exit MARC Report. The first time it runs, it may take a few seconds; from then on, it should not cause any significant delays.


In MARC Report we define a very large file as one that contains more than 100 MB (100,000,000 bytes). When working with very large files of MARC records in MARC Report, you should understand the following options.

'How to Name the Edit Results'. If this option is set to 'Always rename to name of source' (the default), then the first thing MARC Report does when editing a file–once the file indexing completes–is to copy the source file to a backup folder. This operation can take a bit of time–depending on your system and the size of the file–and also use significant disk space. For example, if editing a 300MB MARC file (a library database of several hundred thousand records), then close MARC Report to take a break, when re-opening the file in MARC Report, a new Edit Session is begun–and the 300 MB file is backed up again to a new session folder. It does not overwrite the backup of the previous session. So there are now three copies of the file, using up about 1 GB of disk space: the file you started with (which we call the Source), the backup from the first session, and now a backup for the new session.

'How to Save Records'. If this option is set to 'Save changed and unchanged to the same file' (the default), then all records in the file are saved whether they are changed or not. This means that if you are editing a file of 300,000 records and just make two or three changes, all 300,000 records will still be saved to the Edit Results. Again, this uses up disk space and takes time.

'Clean Up Edit Work Files'. This option was designed to to automatically delete these backups at specified time intervals so that you can recover the disk space used during previous Edit Sessions. By default, the Clean-Up option is set to 'Weekly'–i.e. MARC Report will preserve (at most) one calendar week of backup sessions. Again, if you are working with a very large file for a few days, with the default options, the 'Weekly' setting is not going to be of much help. On the other hand, if you set the Clean-Up option to 'Daily', it means that any backup files will be deleted the next day that the program is started, which effectively negates the purpose of having a backup.

The default settings for the options above are the optimum settings for the average MARC editing situation. You may also need to use these setting when editing very large files, depending on your objectives. If possible, however, we recommend the following settings when working with very large files:

1) How to Save Records: "Changed records only".
2) How to Name the Edit Results: "Prompt for a filename".
3) Clean Up Edit Work files: "Weekly".
phelp/helpeditoptions.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/29 16:21 (external edit)
Back to top
CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Driven by DokuWiki