About Edit Session Filters

MARC Report's filters are designed to help you 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. Filters 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, use the MARC Review utility instead (although, theoretically, the same goal might be achieved with some of the edit session filters described below).


This filter makes it easy to quickly process errors pertaining to a particular tag (or tags).

This filter is accessible both from the main Filters menu, and by right-clicking any error message in the 'Brief Messages' list and selecting 'Create/Edit Brief message filter'. The shortcut for setting a brief message filter is <Ctrl><Alt><B>; to clear it, press <Ctrl><Alt><C>

In its simplest form, the Brief message filter consists of a comma-separated list of MARC tags. The program will display error messages that begin with the specified tags, and suppress the rest.

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.

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 show only those error messages that pertain to a Subject Added Entry. The same objective might be achieved by entering




–as the Brief message filter also understands 'XX' tags, as well as Tag ranges.

The sense of a Brief Message Filter can be reversed by entering a '-' (minus sign) in front of the first tag. For example, the filter:

  1. 600,610,611,630,650,651

will list all error messages in the record EXCEPT those that pertain to a Subject Added Entry. The minus sign is applied to all tags in the list, but it should only be entered once, before the first tag, with no following spaces.

To show only error messages about a fixed field element, enter a slash followed by the element offset after the tag. For example, to filter on the first date in the fixed field, enter:


To find errors in multiple fixed field elements, string them together separated by commas, as above:


The Brief message filter (beginning with version 245) will also accept strings (i.e. partial brief messages). For example, if you enter

value is not RDA

into the filter, the program will only return errors that contain matching text:

100: Subfield $e value is not RDA 
700: Subfield $e value is not RDA
700: Subfield $i value is not RDA
710: Subfield $e value is not RDA

This makes it easy to find all messages with the same problem, even though they are in different tags and/or subfields (something which isn't possible with more granular filters, like the Find Next–'green arrow'–function, which matches on an entire brief message).

The Brief message filter 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 generates 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 a record with a message that meets the filter criteria.

When a Brief message filter is active, the first error message displayed for each record will be colored green, and contain the message:

Some/All messages (n) removed by filter

where 'n' is the number of messages that have been removed due to the current filter.

To view a list of filtered out error messages, right-click on the 'green' message and select 'Brief message filter'. A sub-menu containing each filtered message will display to the right. Click on a filtered message in the sub-menu to focus on the applicable tag/subfield in the MARC record. A list of filtered out messages is also available by clicking on the Brief message filter caption in the top status bar, but this list is not actionable.

A Brief message filter can be cleared by using the 'Filters' menu at the top of the screen, or by right-clicking on any brief message and selecting the 'Clear Brief message filter' option.

The program will apply whatever Brief message filter is defined the next time it starts. To disable this behavior, select 'Filters|Brief message Filter|Clear on exit' from the main menu. This option is sticky and will remain set until you change it.

Notes specific to Strings

Do not mix tags and strings in the same filter.

Strings are not case-sensitive, but blank spaces and punctuation marks are observed.

The minimum length of a string is 4 bytes.

Multiple strings cannot be combined (as with tags) by commas.

Strings should not begin with a tag–instead, use 'Find next' to identify records containing a specific brief message.

Notes about the Brief Message filter

This filter cannot be used to generate 'Perfection' because non-matching messages will always generate a brief message themselves (the 'green' message that contains the list of filtered out messages).

The long Notes which appear beneath the brief messages panel are not available for suppressed messages.

The functionality of this filter is also available in Batch mode–for more information, see the Tag Filter option on the Batch Reports page.


This filter is also accessible by clicking on the 'Set MR Filter' at the bottom right of the screen.

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

Note: Depending on your screen resolution, and how you have sized the program windows, the 'Set Mr Filter' button may not be (completely) visibble–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.

There is an important limitation to this filter, however. It searches the record using the file that started the edit session–thus, it will not find any changes made to records during the session itself. (This limitation may be removed in a future version.)

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 record offsets that matched, which the program will 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, and then press the 'Next pattern' button and add the following pattern to our search:

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'.

It is not appropriate to describe MARC Review in more detail here. 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.


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 '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>; a 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.


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 data element, and then, as you are navigating through this subset of records, bookmark some of them for later reference. The bookmarking in itself will not affect the MARC Review filter.

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

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