icon MARCView™ 3.12 Help

Welcome to MARCView!

MARCView is a viewer for MARC21, UNIMARC, and MARCXML records, both bibliographic and authority. If MARCView will not read such a file, send us the file and we will add the capability at no obligation.

No changes are made to your original files by the program.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Many recent features have been added as a result of suggestions from users.


Viewing a File

Begin by clicking the View button and choosing a file of MARC records to view. Or click the File menu to see recently viewed files.

If a file is already open, it is closed and the new one you select is opened.

If the file contains MARC records, the first record is shown. The viewing area of MARCView is divided into two panes. On the left is a scrollable Navigation Grid. Click on a record to make it display in the right pane, or use the keyboard arrow keys to move up or down the Grid and display each record as it is selected.

The right pane shows the MARC record in an easy-to-read format. The record is color-coded to make it easier to read: subfield delimiters and subfield codes are blue and escape sequences (indicating a shift to another character set) are green. Characters that are not in the Latin-1 character set are displayed as green squares. (Although MARCView can read the entire MARC-8 and UTF-8 character sets, it can display only those characters with a Latin-1 equivalent. Use the Hexview feature to see the record in its original character set.)

Besides the Navigation Grid, you can also navigate with the First, Prev, Next, and Last buttons. Or use Goto to go to a specific record. Or use Find to find a word or phrase in the records.

(Because of the delay and memory needed, the maximum number of records per file and the maximum number for which to build a Navigation Grid are user Settings.)

Changing the display

You may change the size of the two panes to suit your needs. Move the mouse pointer to the vertical bar between the two header lines at the top of the panes. When the cursor changes to two vertical bars with arrows pointing right and left, click and drag the cursor to the right or left. You may drag the cursor all the way to one side if you just want to see a single pane. To see both panes again, move the cursor to the edge of the header line and drag back to the center.

Likewise you can change the width of the columns in the Navigation Grid by dragging the vertical dividers in its header bar.

Note: It is possible to drag a column wider than the Navigation Grid, so that you can no longer see the right-hand divider in the header bar to make it narrower. If this happens, either widen the whole Navigation Grid until the wide column is fully displayed, or close and restart MARCView.

All these positions are stored when you exit, and used the next time you start MARCView.

If you move, resize, or maximize MARCView, the new size and position are saved and used the next time you start MARCView.

Other preferences are set using the Settings menu item.

Opening multiple files

Although MARCView cannot open more than one file at once, you can run MARCView several times at once and view multiple files that way.

Closing a file

There is no need to close a file. Files are automatically closed when you open a new one, or when you exit MARCView.


Copying Data

MARCView allows you to copy part or all of a displayed MARC record into another application. What is copied is exactly what you see, not the underlying MARC record.

You cannot paste text into a MARCView display, because the displayed records are read-only. In other words, MARCView cannot be used to edit records.

  1. Depress the left mouse button and drag the mouse over the data to be copied. The selected text will be highlighted.
  2. Use one of the following to copy the selected text:
    • Click the Edit/Copy menu item
    • Press Ctrl-Insert on the keyboard
    • Press Ctrl-C on the keyboard
  3. Move to the application where you want to paste the text, and put the cursor where the text is to go.
  4. Use one of the following to paste the selected text into the other application:
    • Click the Edit/Paste menu item
    • Press Shift-Insert on the keyboard
    • Press Ctrl-V on the keyboard

Quick Access to MARCView Using Send-To

Sorry, not available in MARConvert.

You may right-click on any MARC file and open it with MARCView. To use this function in Windows 98, open Windows Explorer to the folder \Windows\SendTo. Then right-click in a blank area of the right pane, and choose New/Shortcut. When the Create Shortcut dialog opens, click the Browse button, then navigate to \Program Files\MARCView. Double-click the filename MARCView.EXE, then click the Next button. You will probably want to change the name of the shortcut to "MARCView".

With Windows 2000, you need to find the SendTo folder under your user name in C:\Documents and Settings. Since the SendTo folder is normally hidden, you first have to click on the Tools/Folder Options/ in Windows Explorer. Then click the View tab and click "Show hidden files and folders" about six lines down. Close this, then click on the SendTo folder for your user name. Then right-click in a blank area of the right pane, and choose New/Shortcut. When the Create Shortcut dialog opens, click the Browse button, then navigate to \Program Files\MARCView. Double-click the filename MARCView.EXE, then click the Next button. You will probably want to change the name of the shortcut to "MARCView".

From now on, you can right-click on any file, move the cursor to SendTo, then choose MARCView. MARCView will attempt to open any file sent this way, whether a MARC file or not.


Display of Diacritics and Special Characters

There are several reasons why characters may appear to be missing or display incorrectly.

If characters are not displaying, try using the Hexview feature to see the record's raw data.

This discussion refers to display only; the input file is not changed in any way.

(For searching records with diacritics and non-latin characters, see Find.)


User Support

Please see the MARCView Support Page for information.


Technical Details

File format

MARCView can read some files that do not adhere strictly to the MARC standard. Because we assume you want to see the data rather than messages, MARCView does not inform you of such discrepancies.

Format integration

MARCView has been tested with the Library of Congress' format integration test file (FORMAT_I.TES) and had no difficulties with this file. Of course, the older file formats can be read also.

Highlighting terms found in searches

MARCView's default is to show terms found in searches in red. However, this is possible only if the term as displayed is identical to the term as searched for. Because a search is done without diacritics, the word René cannot be highlighted after a search for Rene. Likewise, search terms that include tags cannot be highlighted because the tag is not displayed adjacent to the term. If this discrepancy bothers you, turn off highlighting using the Settings menu item.


Uninstalling MARCView

To uninstall MARCView use the Add/Remove Programs icon in Windows Control Panel. Click on "MARCView" or "Systems Planning MARCView", then click the Add/Remove button.



To open a file for viewing, use either the View button or the File/View menu item. If a file is already open, it is closed and the new one you select is opened. In other words, you may open a new file without restarting MARCView. There is no need to close a file; files are closed when you open another file, or when you exit MARCView.

Using either the button or the menu, the last-used directory is shown. In addition, the File menu displays the nine most recently used files; select a recently used file to open it.

When you open a file, the filename is centered below the buttons. On the right below the buttons is a record counter that shows what record you are viewing and how many there are in the file.

MARCView can handle any number of records in a file. The default is 100,000. Use the Settings menu item to change this setting. MARCView has been tested with files of 1 million records. MARCView may require a minute or more tovalidate and analyze a large file. However, this means that navigating to any record in the file is instantaneous.

By default, when the Open dialog appears, you see all files in the directory. To see a subset, enter a mask in the "File name" box (NOT the "Files of type" box). For example, to see files with an extension of MRC, enter *.MRC in the "File name" box.

After the file is open, you will see the first record on the right. On the left is a scrollable Navigation Grid. Click on a record to make it display in the right pane. Note that because of the delay and memory needed, the maximum number of records for which to build a Navigation Grid is a user Setting.



Displays the first record in the file.



Displays the previous record in the file.



Displays the next record in the file.



Displays the last record in the file.



Displays the record identified by its sequence number in the file. The dialog box will allow you to type numbers only.

If you type a number higher than the number of records in the file, the Goto command is ignored.



Allows you to search for a word or phrase in the MARC records.

Enter a term in the first box and click OK to perform a search. Do not use quotation marks.

The tag and subfield-code boxes can be used without a search term; that is, you can search for the presence of fields or subfields regardless of their contents. You may also specify indicator values for these searches if you specify a tag.

Data in the Leader is not searched unless you specify "Ldr" as the tag. To search for data in the entire Leader, enter "Ldr" into the box for the tag. You may also search for data in any of the Leader values that MARCView displays by using its three-letter display code. For example, to search in Record Status, use "Sta" as the tag.

The MARC Record Directory is not searchable. MARC Escape Sequences are not searchable.

Interrupting a search

To interrupt a search, hold down the Ctrl key until the search stops. The Ctrl key is checked each 100 records.


MARCView does NOT normalize your search term or the MARC records in order to match, except for capitalization (at your request) and diacritics (see next section). In other words, you must use the spacing and punctuation that you expect to find in the MARC records. "Tokyo, Japan" does NOT match "Tokyo Japan".

Diacritics and non-latin characters

MARCView can find words containing diacritical marks. To search for these, enter the letters of the word without the diacritics. For example, enter "Rèné" as "Rene". Do not enter any symbols that are not accented letters, such as musical flat and sharp, ©, ®, ™, ±, etc.

Single-byte characters are translated for searching as shown below.

name character enter as
Polish L Ł, ł L, l
slash O Ø, ø O, o
crossbar D Đ, đ D, d
thorn Þ, þ TH, th
ligature AE Æ, æ AE, ae
ligature OE , OE, oe
hook O Ơ, ơ O, o
hook U Ư, ư U, u
Turkish i ı i
eth ð d

Although MARCView can read the entire MARC-8 and UTF-8 character sets, it can search and display only those characters with a Latin-1 equivalent. Other characters are displayed as green squares, but these are ignored in searching. In other words, if you see a string of character such as

     use the -square function

you would search for this as

     use the -square function

Subscript and superscript characters should be entered as if they were normal characters. That is, to search for "H₂O" search for "H2O".

For display of diacritics and non-latin characters, see Display of Diacritics and Special Characters.

Search results

Usually when MARCView finds a record matching your search, it will display the record with the search term highlighted in red; it is highlighted wherever it occurs in the record, even if you restricted your search to a particular field or subfield. In some cases highlighting is not possible, and MARCView will display the message "Found but cannot highlight". The search term is highlighted in the record wherever it is found, even in fields you may not have searched on; if this bothers you, you can turn off highlighting using the Settings menu item.

Including the subfield delimiter in a search

You may include the subfield delimiter as part of the search term if your computer supports the keyboard command required. For example, you may search for "Donizetti, Gaetano,‡d1797-1848" by entering that exact string. To enter the subfield delimiter, make sure your NumLock key is on, then hold down the Alt key and press 031 on the numeric keypad, then release the Alt key. The subfield delimiter will display as a rectangle. Do not use the dollar sign or the double dagger to represent the subfield delimiter.

You may search multiple subfields with this method, such as by using the string "‡aDonizetti, Gaetano,‡d1797-1848". You may restrict such searches to a specific tag in the usual manner.

If the subfield code is included in this way, do not also add it to the third entry box or MARCView will search only a single subfield.

Some computers will not insert a character for Alt-031. We have no solution for this problem.



Once you have done a search with the Find button, you can search forward for the same search specifications by clicking on the Again button.


Hexadecimal and ASCII view

MARCView can show you the unmodified MARC record from the input file. This "Hexview" shows the record currently in the right-hand pane of the main window -- so you must have a file of MARC records open to use Hexview.

To see the Hexview, simply click the "Hex" button. A new window opens with the current record shown in both hexadecimal and ASCII formats. By changing the width of the Hexview window, you can cause the record to wrap according to your needs.

The record is color-coded to help you read it: subfield delimiters and subfield codes are blue, field terminators are red, record terminators are white on red, and escape sequences (indicating a shift to another character set) are green. (For MARCXMLrecords the color scheme is different.)

If you click the mouse in a directory entry or in a data field (either hex or ASCII), the corresponding byte in both the ASCII and hexadecimal views will be highlighted in yellow. If you double-click in a directory entry, it will be highlighted, and so will the corresponding data field for that directory entry. Likewise, if you double-click in a data field, both it and its directory entry are highlighted. (Double-clicking has no effect in MARCXML records.)

In the Hexview, both displayed and printed, certain characters are replaced in the right column to make it easier to read.

Each time you click the Hex button, a new window opens. This way you can compare several records in their native MARC formats.

When you exit MARCView, all Hexview windows are closed for you.

Print button

Click the Print button to print the current Hexview window. The same colors as described above are used in the print, including any yellow highlighting. The layout of the print is not affected by the width of the Hexview window.

Close button

Click the Close button to close the Hexview window.



Print button

The Print button prints the current record formatted as it is in the right-hand pane of MARCView.

File/Print menu item

The File/Print menu item offers three choices for printing:

To interrupt a long print job you didn't intend, right-click the printer icon in your Windows task-tray (under the time-of-day) and select the printer. Then click the menu item Printer/Cancel All Documents.

The "Selection" radio button in the printer dialog does nothing.

We do not recommend you "Print To File" for large ranges or files. Because each MARC record is a separate document, you will be asked for a filename for each record.



Opens your browser to the MARCView Help file on the Internet. You may save this file for off-line use if you choose. Note where the file is saved so you can bookmark the downloaded file in your browser.

Every time you click a Help button a new browser window is opened. We apologize for this, but there seems to be no way to detect that MARCView Help is already open in the browser.



Closes the MARC file you are viewing and exits MARCView.



When installed, MARCView uses the Windows Courier New font. You may change the size or use another font by selecting the menu item Tools/Fonts. You should choose a font that will display the Latin-1 character set. A standard font-selection dialog is shown.



By clicking on the Settings menu item in the Tools menu, you can change how MARCView handes your files when opened for Viewing. These settings are saved when you exit MARCView and used the next time you start the program.

Some settings cannot take effect until you reopen the file you are viewing. Others require you to exit and restart MARCView. You will be shown a message to indicate which action is required.

General Settings

Non-numeric tags. If checked, tags like u01 are allowed (these are used in RLIN acquisitions records). If not checked, tags must be numerics in the range 001 - 999.

Highlight terms found in search. If checked, terms found in searching are shown in red. Since terms cannot always be highlighted (see Technical details for the reasons), highlighting can be turned off if you wish.

New line for each subfield. If checked, each subfield begins on a new line of the display.

Size Limits

Do not use commas when entering these numbers.

You can set the maximum number of records that can be viewed (default is 100,000). If a file has more records than your setting, the first part of the file will still be viewable. (The reason for this setting is to accomodate systems with little memory.) There is no limit except your computer's resources to the number of records in a file, but the file size is limited to 2 gigabytes (2,147,483,647 bytes).

You can also set the number of records that will be examined to build the Navigation Grid in the left pane of the display. The default is 5,000, as building the Grid becomes slower as the number gets larger. The maximum number is 10,000 for two reasons: more than that is impossibly slow to build, and also a larger grid is practically unusable. Enter 0 if you do not wish the Navigation Grid to be built.

If you enter non-numeric characters into these fields, the defaults will be used.

Character Set of Records

(Does not apply to UNIMARC files. MARCView will automatically use the UNIMARC character set for UNIMARC files.)

(Does not apply to MARCXML files, which are assumed to be in UTF-8. Please contact us if this is a problem.)

Use these choices to tell MARCView what character set is used in the MARC records. If your accented records look wrong, your records may be using a different character set; change this setting and reopen the file.

We can provide support for other character sets on a contractual basis.

(For details on how characters are displayed, see Display of Diacritics and Special Characters).

Navigation Grid

Use this section to describe what fields (and optional subfields) you want displayed in the Navigation Grid, and what the column headings should be. There are four sets of specifications so that you may have different selections for bibliographic andauthority records, and for MARC21 and UNIMARC formats.

You may enter a tag only or a tag and subfield code. MARCView shows a $ between the tag and the subfield code.


File statistics

MARCView can analyze the currently open file and display statistics about the records in the file.

To see the statistics, select the menu item Tools/Statistics from the MARCView menu. In a few seconds a window will open with the information (longer for large files). This window may be left open while you perform other functions in MARCView. You may move it if it is in your way. The Statistics window must be closed before you request to see statistics on a different file.

Statistics will be slower for MARCXML files, as there is no Record Directory to analyze. Instead, each field in each record must be read.

If the "Maximum records" setting (in the Settings dialog) is less that the size of the file, the entire file is not read. This means that the Statistics shown apply only to the number of records read.


About MARCView

Provides information about the program and about Systems Planning.


All contents of website, including HTML and JavaScript, copyright © 1996-2014 Systems Planning. MWeb, InFORMer, and CAPS are trademarks of Selago Design, Inc. MARCView and MARConvert are trademarks of OCLC, Inc.