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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


An introduction to the MARC record editing software MarcEdit

Translating Delimited Files

In addition to editing XML files, MarcEdit also has a delimited text translator that can map fields in a delimited text file into a MARCXML or MARC file. The mapping is flexible, which means there is a bit more setup time required. Once these mappings are created, they can be saved and loaded later when needed.

  1. To begin, select Delimited Text Translator from the main window as seen below: 


2. The first screen will ask you to find the file you are translating and designate the name and location of the translated file. Once that is finished, select the delimiter from the dropdown menu and, if the original file is encoded in UTF-8, check the box. Since Excel works with UTF-16, this is left unchecked because, if left blank, MarcEdit will make the necessary conversions from UTF-16 to UTF-8. You can also specify how fixed character fields will be read in the delimited file by selecting edit LDR/008.


3. Click next. Here you will set up the mapping itself. MarcEdit will pull the heading names from the file that you selected to convert on the previous screen into fields starting with A as field 1. In the Settings section select the field you would like to map into a MARC datafield, then enter the datafield and subfield you want the values in that column mapped to in the MARC record. Use the form of datafield$subfield. Enter the indicators in the text box by replacing the slashes and, if you would like to cut of the entries in the column at a specific punctuation mark you can enter it in the labeled text box. If you are mapping the same information into the datafield for each entry in the delimited text document you can also select “Constant Data.” For fields like subjects where you anticipate more than one entry, be sure to click repeatable subfield.  Click “Add Argument” to save the mapping.

4. Repeat this process for every field from the delimited text. You can see your mappings being added as you enter them. When you are finished setting up this mapping, you can save it as a template so you will not have to enter all the mappings by hand. When you are finished the field should look like this:


5. Click “Finish” to begin the mapping. If you elected to save the template you will be prompted to give it a name and specify the directory you would like it saved to. Access this template in the future by clicking “Load Template.”

6. A screen will appear telling you that the mapping is complete and giving you the full file path of the new MARC/MARCXML file.

7. You can only map from a delimited text to MARC or MARCXML, but once you have either you can map between schemas. 

Exporting MARC to Delimited File

This function allows users to create a delimited file from manually selected fields in a MARC or MARCXML document. While this also takes a while to set up at first, MarcEdit allows you to save the settings for future use.

  1. Open MarcEdit from Start Menu
  2. Select MARC Tools then select Tools►Export► Export Tab Delimited Records from the top of the dialog box.  
  3. You should see this dialog box:


  1. Select the file you would like MarcEdit to export as a delimited text file. MarcEdit can only export from .mrk files, so be sure the file you want to export is saved as a .mrk file. Then name the file delimited file that MarcEdit will create. The dropdown menu on the left allows you to select the delimiting character. On the right you can select what character will separate repeated fields should any exist in a record.
  2. Once you hit next, you will be prompted to select the fields you would like to export into the delimited file. Although each subfield will have to be entered manually, once you have selected the desired fields you can select the hyperlink for “Settings” on the bottom left to save the fields you have selected for use latest. The delimited data will be sorted according to the order in which the headings are entered. When Normalize Field Data is selected, MarcEdit will try to separate each delimited field more regularly so that records with the same field but different amounts of information in those fields will be easier to compare. When you are finished the dialog box should look like this:


To save this mapping, click the settings link in the bottom right hand corner and select “Save Settings.” Here you can create a .txt file with the fields you have chosen to export. You can also load previously created mappings from this menu by selecting “Load Settings.”


  1. Click “Export” and you will get a verification message notifying you that the delimited file is saved in the directory specified in step 4.