About the MARC Text Editor

Although this editor can perform many useful tasks, we do not recommend using this editor as a default environment.

There are many things that can go wrong while converting your MARC data to text AND back again. And this editor may also be quite difficult to use (for most people).

However, this editor was added to MARC Report to address a few limitations.

First, the MARC Report editor does not make it easy to edit: 1) huge fields (eg. any field that will not display completely on the screen), or 2) fields that contain a long string of data without any intervening blank space (such as in a string of holdings codes that extends beyond the edge of the screen).

Also not supported by the MARC Report editor is simple copy and pasting of large chunks of text that include both MARC tags and field data (the MARC Report editor expects copy and paste to begin and end within the selected MARC field).

So, keeping in mind these limitations, and the above caveat, here is how it works.

Each tag must be entered as three digits: '008' and not '8'

There must be one blank space (and not a TAB) after each tag: '008 '

There cannot be any blank lines between the tags (see example for control tags below). A blank line is the signal to the text-to-MARC conversion program that it has reached the end of the record.

For control fields (tags 000 to 009), the field data starts immediately after the blank space:

000 01533cas 2200397 4500 001 ocm00811859 003 OCoLC 005 20010403093435.0 008 740222d1970-197ne cr1 0 a0eng

WARNING: If you edit a fixed-length field like the leader or 008, and either enter an extra blank space, or delete a required blank space, the conversion program will reject the whole record, and you will have to start again. Therefore, as there are no easy-to-use forms for editing the leader and 008, you should not edit these fields at all with the text editor.

For variable fields, the indicators start immediately after the blank space that follows the tag. There is no spacing between the indicators, and the first subfield of the data follows immediately after the second indicator. To enter a subfield, use the dollar sign ('$') instead of <Ctrl>D.

Examples of variable fields

Both indicators blank: 260 $aAmsterdam :$bMoody's Investors Service.

First indicator blank: 650 0$aCorporations$zUnited States.

Second indicator blank: 245 0 $aMoody's OTC reports.

Both indicators coded: 246 30$aOTC industrial news reports


No changes are made to the actual MARC record in your file until you press the Save button. When you press SAVE, the program copies the data from the text window, converts it back to MARC, reloads the MARC record in the MARC Report editor, and re-runs the validation routines.


If you mess up a record using the text editor, simply press the 'Undo' button when you return to the MARC Report editor. This will restore the record.

WRAP (Word-Wrap)

By default word-wrap is turned off in the text editor. If you are dealing with a very long field, we recommend that you first maximize the text editor window. If that still doesn't help, try pressing the WRAP button.

WARNING: Watch out for embedded carriage returns in the data of a field. MARC Report will indicate this problem with a message like '520: Cannot display (x0D)', where 'x0D' is the ASCII code for a carriage return. If you edit such a record in this editor without also fixing the problem, the field in which the carriage return occurs will be truncated at the position of the carriage return. This truncation may be difficult to notice if the record in question has a long 505 or 520 field. One way to check for this problem is to toggle the Wrap option on and then off again. When Wrap is off, the first three characters of each line should be a MARC tag. If this is not the case, then there is a problem.


Press this button to display the current record as an XML document. This may improve the display of some diacritic characters.

If the record is coded 'a' in leader byte 09, no UTF-8 conversion will take place; if the leader is not coded 'a', the XML loader first converts the record to Unicode. This behavior works well unless the record is already in Unicode and the leader 09 is not coded 'a'. In this case, you may get an error message in the XML display window. To correct this, close the text editor window, correct the leader 09 code in MARC Report, return to the text editor, and try to re-display the XML document.

phelp/helpmarctexteditor.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/29 16:21 (external edit)
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