BiblioFile: Backwards Compatibility with ITS for Windows

Updated 3/9/2007

The following have been identified as areas in which BiblioFile's behavior differs from that of ITS for Windows. In most cases, these represent conscious choices to improve the workflow in BiblioFile. Other features have been omitted because they seem (to us) to be no longer necessary. Please let us know if we're wrong!

Card printing

Although this feature hasn't been yet implemented, you can use BiblioFile to select records and print to the card queue, which you can default to your ITS for Windows folder. You can then print cards in ITS for Windows. TLC's intent is to use as much of the new label printing technology as possible to print a card-sized "label." Users who are willing to help in this effort should request a special print configuration that has been designed for this purpose.

Label printing

Number of labels

In ITS for Windows, you can use MARC fields (e.g., 991,992) to control or override the number of labels that print. BiblioFile's label printing logic uses a print control dialog instead to permit selection of specific labels at print time. BiblioFile does not support the use of a specific field to control the number of labels to be printed for each copy or volume found in the record. TLC seeks input from users on the merits of the two separate approaches.

Missing Copies or Volumes

BiblioFile's label printing logic does not support the Exclusive Copy and Volume Numbers features in ITS that permits a field to be designated that controls the printing of labels for specific copies or for multi-volume works in which some volumes are missing. To perform this function in BiblioFile, select desired items from the print queue.

Label Stock

BiblioFile does not have a label stock sizing feature per se as ITS for Windows does. Instead, BiblioFile supports known label stock sizes offered by library suppliers. If you don’t see your vendor's stock number represented, send us a sample sheet (not a fax or copy), along with the vendor name and stock number. We’ll add it to our label stock download site, which is accessible from within BiblioFile.

Label Font Reset

In ITS for Windows, you can override the default font setting for a specific label configuration on the fly. This was not developed for BiblioFile. TLC seeks input from users on the usefulness of this feature.


In 1995, TLC developed two fonts for ITS, the ALA font and the USMARC font. The first was used for for demonstration purposes at an ALA conference. The second was developed to support ITS' specialized mode of diacritic display (in which a diacritic modifier and the base character were displayed in separate positions). Neither of these fonts have been upgraded for use in BiblioFile. In fact, neither could be upgraded without substantial effort and/or introducing the risk that a character might be misrepresented in the editor. Because standard Windows implementations include several fonts capable of supporting an accurately rendering all ASCII and Unicode characters, TLC has no plans to continue support for these fonts.

Alt key search shortcuts

In the ITS search dialog, Alt-T changes the search type to Title, Alt-A to Author, etc. In BiblioFile, you select your search type via a drop down menu. This requires one mouse click or keystroke to invoke the drop down, and at least one more to advance to the desired search type. TLC is working on modifications to the search dialog. In the meantime, BiblioFile’s option to set search defaults should eliminate quite a few clicks and keystrokes. You can also press a key to move the highlight to the first search type that starts with a character (e.g., T for title).

ITSMARC web interface

ITS users who download MARC records from ITSMARC on the web (as opposed to ITSMARC via Z39.50) are used to having downloaded records open directly into a cataloging edit window. BiblioFile will not be able to support this feature unless a change is made to the ITSMARC server. Meanwhile, BiblioFile's Z39.50 search options for ITSMARC-Z go well beyond those available in ITSMARC-web, including the ability to display jacket art, available by subscription. Development of the web interface has therefore been deferred pending user feedback that the web version is still necessary.


Single key use

To invoke a macro in BiblioFile, you press F6 and then any other key or key combination using Shift, Alt, or Ctrl. This produces about 800 possibilities for macros, vs. 83 in ITS. Only eight of the function keys could be used ITS without a modifier key. This meant that a cataloger employing more than eight macros in ITS was already required to use a multiple-key operation for any macro beyond the first eight. However, the new approach was not implemented just to increase the number of possibilities. In BiblioFile, it will be easier to remember macro key combinations, since letters can be assigned. For example, F6-c could be used to insert a call number.

SAVE command

The SAVE command in macros is not implemented. This feature will be added in the Summer version.

Multiple cataloging instances

Multiple instances of BiblioFile may be launched on the same station. The system responds as if a second user had just logged in on a network. This is not possible in ITS. Some users may regard this as a convenience, others as a nuisance. We invite comment.

Edit windows

ITS for Windows permits an unlimited number of edit windows to be open and each can be set to any size. BiblioFile's tabbed display also permits an unlimited number of windows (actually, separate tab groups) to be open, but they must be tiled either vertically or horizontally. Once this choice is made, all windows are the same width (or height). This is consistent with most user's practice, but if you need to open additional, variable sized windows, you will have to open a separate instance of BiblioFile.

BiblioFile also treats horizontal and vertical tiling literally, which ITS does not always do. Depending on the number of open records, with four or more records open, ITS uses a combination of vertical and horizontal tiling that produces a grid of rows and columns (e.g., 2X2, 3X2, 2X3, etc). Depending on user feedback, TLC will research whether this treatment can be replicated in BiblioFile.

Supported MARC Formats

BiblioFile does not support MARC Holdings Format records and therefore does not support the creation of a linked holdings record from a bibliographic record. BiblioFile also does not support Community Information or  Classification Format records. These formats will be developed if justified by popular demand.

User-defined indexes

Development of this feature is targeted for release later this year. It will not be included in the Summer release. Historically in ITS, many of the uses of this feature were to index fields that are now indexed in BiblioFile.


Local Call Number Searching

The search dialog lists Local Call Number as one of the search types. When invoked against the Local Database, a message appears indicating that this feature has not been implemented yet. It will be included in a future release.

Search limit by page count

This feature was not scheduled for development and no user feedback was received following the December 2005 announcement letter indicating that the feature would be initially left out.

WISCAT 917 Field Option

This feature was not added and no feedback has been received that this feature will be missed.

Automatic Sort by Tag Number

This feature was never popular with MARC purists but is handy when creating large records in original cataloging. BiblioFile has a menu option and toolbar button to sort tags on an as-needed basis rather than automatically.

Save To Serial Port

This feature was a remnant from an earlier era of computing. It was not developed for BiblioFile and no feedback has been received that this feature is still in use.

BiblioFile DOS Floppy Files

ITS for Windows permits the batch importation of "IPF" format MARC records from the old DOS version of BiblioFile Cataloging which was popular in the 1980's and 1990's. The new version of BiblioFile does not recognize the old DOS version files.

Single-click Printing

Development on this feature has been deferred pending user feedback. Enhancements in label printing may make this feature unnecessary.

Return to BiblioFile News

TLC on FacebookTLC on TwitterTLC on Pinterest TLC Google Plus