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Tip for December 3, 2018

A few weeks ago, we looked at importing files from vendors—mostly MARC and MicroLIF. Tab-delimited records are a bit different because they always require some sort of field mapping, which is a way to match the columns in your import file with fields in Alexandria. 

No one wants to set up Field Mapping in every import, so here are two ways to simplify the process: 

  1. Create a saved import with your field mapping settings.
  2. Use Alexandria headers in your import file.


Saved Imports

The first method is pretty straightforward:

  • In v7: In a new import, set up your field mapping then click Create Saved Import to save your settings for next time. Be sure to name the import descriptively! (e.g. Johnson New Copies Only) 
  • In v6: You can only save Field Mapping for imports coming from an FTP source. In Imports, use the Advanced tab.

Alexandria Headers

The second method may be a new one for you and requires editing your import file to add a header, which will allow Alexandria to automatically sort and organize the information into the correct, specified fields. 

At the top of the file, add header codes in this format:

###*FileCode/FieldCode/FieldCode/FieldCode/


For patrons, it might look like this:

###*PT01/1000/1007/1006/ <return>

1100000 <tab> Bill <tab> Smith <return>

1100001 <tab> John <tab> Jones <return>


The item code is FT01. So if I was adding titles/copies it might look like this:

###*FT01/2000/2020/2023/2245/ <return>

123456 <tab> 0439023483 <tab>  WHS <tab> Hunger Games <return>

123457 <tab> 9780439023511 <tab> WHS <tab> Mockingjay <return>


The easiest way to get headers is to run a tab-delimited export of all the fields you will be importing—then you can copy the header from that file! But if you need to do it manually, you can find lists of Alexandria header codes in our Support Center.

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