Getting Started with MarcEdit

Last updated on 2023-09-22 | Edit this page

Estimated time: 23 minutes



  • How is MarcEdit organized?
  • What are the top level features?
  • Where are the top level features located?


  • Locate top level menu features
  • Explain the top level menu features

Getting Started with MarcEdit

Top Level Menu Features

When you launch MarcEdit, the main window opens. From here, you can access the suite of MarcEdit tools, features, plug-ins, quick links, or help.

MarcEdit Main Window: Top Level Menu

In the main window top level menu, there are three options: Tools, Plug-ins, and Help.


The Tools menu allows you to access a number of different basic and advanced features. Features to highlight include:

  • Preferences
  • The MarcEdit regular expression store
  • OAI Harvester
  • Export either MARC records or records reformatted as a text delimited csv (comma separated value) or tsv (tab separated value) file
  • MARC Processing Tools: MARCsplit, MARCcompare, MARCjoin, MARCmerge, find duplicate records, RDA Helper, or MARCValidator
  • Delimited Text Translator
  • Utilities that include a verify URL tool

One thing you’ll notice is that there are both shortcuts, linked icons, and menu options that lead to the same features or tools. For example, to update your preferences, you can go to Tools → Preferences, use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+P, or click on the gearbox in the upper left hand corner of the main window.


In MarcEdit, Preferences allow you to configure the main window and various tools, such as the MarcEditor (the tool used to manipulate MARC data). For example, you can change the font, font size, or select your most frequently used tools to display as shortcuts in the main window. In Preferences, you can also configure settings for other tools beyond the main window menu such as the MarcEditor where you can update the default character encoding for records that are opened in this tool (such as MARC8 or UTF-8) , integrations with OCLC, or accessibility settings.

Let’s add a shortcut to our main window

  1. Click on the gearbox in the top left corner or go to Tools → Preferences
  2. Select “Main Window” in the Preferences window in the left hand pane
  3. In the right hand pane, select RDA Helper
  4. Click Ok

Name three other tools or features that can be changed in Preferences.

  1. Click on the gear icon in the main window or go to Tools → Preferences
  2. In the left hand pane, look at the names there
  3. Tools or features that can be changed in Preferences: Main Window, Bibframe, MarcEditor, MARCEngine, Ease of Use, File Associations, Language, Locations, Other, Updates, Configure Watcher, ILS Integration, OCLC API Integration.


There are a number of useful plugins that can be added to MarcEdit to extend its functionality. An example is the MARC to KBART or Knowledge bases and related tools converter. You can find more information on plugins on the MarcEdit Plugin page.


This top level menu Help allows you to find information on updates, about your current MarcEdit installation, and links out to video tutorials or online help.


MarcEdit remembers what you did last. You can see this history in the Quick Links section which is a drop down of features and tools you frequently use. Although not related to a history of what you did last in MarcEdit, the “What would you like to do?” box in the upper right hand corner is convenient for quickly finding tools and features in MarcEdit.

Key Points

  • MarcEdit offers the ability to add shortcuts to the main window
  • MarcEdit allows you to set preferences for features and tools such as the main window or the MarcEditor
  • Preferences can be accessed using the gearbox icon and selecting Tools → Preferences, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+P