Lexlist Help Archive

Search through the archives either by using the hotlinks in the table of contents, or by using CRTL-F (Find Command) in your Web browser.

Manuals are available free to LEX customers, and can be purchased for those using the sample program.

Lexlist Archive-Table of Contents

Advancing Divisions (at Year End)

Append Format Creation

Append Forms Problem


Barcodes, Duplicate, Getting Rid of

Barcoding Projects


Book Ownership


Building a Searchable Database of Lost and Missing Items

Call Numbers-Global changes


Copy Record Command-Edit F7


Duplicate Barcodes, Getting Rid of

Edit F7-Copy Command


General Materials Designator (GMD)

Global Changes Of Call Numbers

Hourly Loans

ID Subfield

Patrons, Adding with Append Information


Index Updates & Screen Saver

Input MARC Records From Other Source


Item Not Found In CIRC

Label Printing - Laser


Lost and Missing Items-Building a Searchable Database of them

Label Printing  (Spine labels only on laser printer)

LEXIFILE for Windows (LexWIN)

MARC Records-Input From Other Source

Update Version, most Recent

LEXLIST Instructions

LexWIN on a Network

LexWIN Progress

Locating Unbarcoded Items

Magazine Indexing

Maximum Fines 

Media Management System & LEXIFILE

Missing Records

Network Installation For Windows

Location Of Working Directories

Station Configuration

With Windows 95

With Windows 3.11

Word Processors and LEXIFILE

News for Network Customers

Networks and LEXIFILE Indexing

Significance for Network Users

Not In Database

On-Loan Report by Barcodes


Password Feature

Patron Files-Export Import

Packing Empty Database

Patron ID Barcodes


Dot Matrix Labels

Laser Label

Patron Append Information

Printing a Catalogue

Printing List of Subject Headings

Printing Patron Barcodes

Printing Slow With Dot Matrix

Printing: Windows 95

Putting Items on Hold

Records With No Barcodes

Removing Entire Databases

Repeated Holdings Data

Retrospective Conversion

Save Command

Barcoding Projects

Breakout Databases with Save MARC

System Command-Manual Addition 2

Troubleshoot Checkout Date


Unable To Index

Understanding Lexifile File Names

Deleting Files from Windows

Deleting Files from within LEXIFILE Program


Web Page Downloads

Year 2000 (Y2K)


May 14, 1996

Subject: BACKUPS


For automated libraries, a talk about backups is about as popular as a lecture from your dentist on the need to floss every day.

Here is a quick and easy way. Find someone at your institution familiar with DOS commands to help you if necessary. Use a text editor (such as notepad) to make a one-line document with a line such as the following.


This assumes that your LEX database is at F:\LEX, and your local hard drive has space for a complete backup in a directory called MONDAY. Adjust this line accordingly to pathnames appropriate to your installation. The /S parameter means "backup sub directories". This means your CIRC files.

Save the file to a name "Monday.Bat" in a directory of your choice.

Run MONDAY.BAT every Monday for a backup on that day. It is possible to make a directory for a complete backup every day of the week. If you want, only backup the CIRC subdirectory every day, and back your whole database up weekly. Judge by how much data you can afford to loose.

It is a good idea to backup on a different drive from the one your database is on.


Many libraries are very fond of these for backups. They are external drives that enable large backups to one disk. They use 100MB disks. One of these disks could backup a database of 100,000 items or more.


May 14, 1996


After June 1996 LEXIFILE releases have an IMPORT command that allows many school database systems to provide data for a new patron file.

Before you import a new patron file, you probably should print out a list of all overdues and fines, then check the items in manually. Otherwise you may end up with old transactions on file for which there are no patrons.

First of all, you see if the Columbia, Trevlac, or other system will EXPORT files in DELIMITED format. They look like this:

"104247","Stack","Roberta","","","Box 2026","","Frontier, Sask... "10423","Cronk","Laurel","","","38 Phillips Cres","","Saskatoon, Sask...

Each new field is separated by [","]. Each record is separated from the next by a new line. Let us suppose that the data file is provided on a floppy as a:\pat.dat. You would use the .IMPORT command, select PATRON, and specify a:\pat.dat.

The file is displayed and you select DELIMITED, and select DEFAULT format.

At this point data is displayed on the left, and your LEX fields are on the right. You just use the TAB and ENTER keys to select data from the input side, and show where it goes on the LEX patron side. Illustrating this in an email is difficult, but the screen pretty well explains itself. Finally, you strike F2 to import.

Your last question from the system is as follows:

  1. Input records even if duplicates on file.
  2. Input to replace patrons with same ID's and names. <--SELECT THIS.
  3. Input to replace patrons with identical names.
  4. Input to replace the entire patron database <___OR THIS.

Generally speaking, you will want a whole new set of patron records, since update information is also needed on patrons who were pre-existent on LEXIFILE.


May 14, 1996 (1:2)


One keen clerk inventoried about 6,000 items in one day. I was suitably impressed. This was made possible by putting the barcodes on the bottom left of the book covers. You just pull the book off the shelf a little ways, and scan the barcode.

Student patrons, however, sometimes like to pick off the barcodes, which they couldn't do if the barcodes were inside the books.

At the end of the inventory a report can be generated as to all the missing items. I would suggest marking them as missing, at the end of the inventory (one of the choices). Then PACK and remove all missing items SAVING REMOVED RECORDS. Then open a file called MISSING. Input the LOC.REM (removed) file to this database. Chances are many of them will show up later, and you don't want to retype your MARC record.


May 28, 1996 (1:3)

Subject: General Materials Designator (GMD)

The question has come up as to whether it is possible to search for "media type" in LEXIFILE: it IS if a title subfield for the "GMD" is used.

The title main entry field is placed in MARC tag number 245. This divides into three parts: The subfield $a is the title proper, $b is the remainder of title, $c is the statement of responsibility, and $h is the "general material designation" which we have loosely called "media." An example of the use of these subfields would be:

245 $aThe Universe$bThe milky way $cRobert Smith $hMotionpicture

The punctuation can be left out; LEXIFILE will fill it in. Many people don't know that you can search for the GMD (loosely media) with searches like:

ME=Motion Picture, or by clicking on SEARCH and then MEDIA. Of course this will only work if you have been using the $h field in 245. AACRII allows the following in Australia, Canada, and the USA: art original, art reproductions, Braille, chart, computer file, diorama, filmstrip, flash card, game, globe, kit, manuscript, map, microform, microscope slide, model, motion picture, music, picture, realia, slide, sound recording, technical drawing, text, toy, transparency or video recording.

Some will find omissions inconvenient, and are inclined to fill in alternatives of their own choosing.


May 28, 1996 (1:3)


LEXIFILE imports and exports USMARC and USMARC--MicroLIF format. The latter really only means that the call number and other "holdings" information such as barcodes are placed in the 852 field. USMARC is very hard to understand when viewed directly, however. It is also almost impossible to edit in a word processor, since it contains coding that word processors such as do not like.

To make matters simpler, and make the records editable, we store our MARC records in the old MicroLIF format, which CAN be viewed in WordPerfect. If you would like to experiment COPY your LOC.FIL to another file, and then call that file up in WordPerfect. Open that file as "type" ASCII. You will see the familiar MARC tags down the left-hand side of the screen like this:

001lex 000002 85022494 /AC


008850917s1985 nyua j 00110 eng

020 $a0531100987 (lib. bdg.)

0390 $a2$b3$c3$d3$e3

0500 $aZ52.4$b.H64 1986

0820 $a652/.5

090 $a652/.5

In your word processor editing, make sure you do the following:

1. Don't edit the information above the "fixed fields"; that is above the 020 field.

2. Always leave two spaces or characters between the MARC tag and the $a subfield.

3. Use a text editor. If you use a word processor, keep your margins narrow, and your fonts small! You should see ONLY THE TAG NUMBERS ON THE LEFT MARGIN.

245 $a If you see your text

wrapping like this$bYou are

going to have trouble.

In this example, you will see in Display:

Title: If you see your text

Why bother to use a word processor at all? Because of the powerful and fast find and replace capabilities you have.

When you have completed your word processor editing, you cannot simply copy back the file to LOC.FIL and resume LEXIFILE use. You have thrown the indexes out of whack, and must either PACK the file, or INPUT it.


July 11, 1996 (1:4)


To suit some Bible college libraries, LEX SYSTEMS has been working on modifying its circulation system to handle loans by the hour. Colleges generally tend to have reserve book collections, that they loan out for very short periods of time. LEXIFILE does allow "same day" loans if the loan period is set at "0", but that wasn't adequate.

We are now starting to test an experimental version that will allow loan periods as short as one hour.

These modifications had to take place in circulation configuration:

*Putting an H after the loan period changes it from "days"

to "hours"

*Fines entered are HOURLY whenever the loan is in hours

*There is a spot for entering "hours of operation"

Other changes had to be made to the system as well:

*When CIRC is booted an option is given to alter "hours of

operation" to allow for certain days when hours change

*The fines report omits the year for "date due" so that room is left for hours and minutes.

July 12, 1996 (?)


This message is the standard one emailed out to new LEXLIST members:

Welcome to LEXLIST, a mailing list for users of LEXIFILE, library

automation software.

If you are on the list in error, instructions are given below for


Our purposes are to provide:

A forum for discussion on all aspects of LEXIFILE software

Information of interest before it is added to the manual

Technical updates for those monitoring program changes closely

A feedback mechanism to guide LEX SYSTEMS in program development

An avenue for customer chat on all manner of library/database issues

This list is moderated, but names will be removed from the list for any serious breeches of "netiquette". The rules are simple: be polite, and avoid sending material people would not normally want to receive on a library mailing list. If in doubt, please check with LEX SYSTEMS first.

We would like to have as many LEX customers on the list as possible, please forward this letter to anyone else you think would benefit from joining.

The basic list operations are as follows:

To message the entire list, send mail to:


To message the list moderator, send mail to:


To join the list, send mail to:


The body of your message should consist of the single line:

subscribe lexlist

To withdraw from the list, send mail to:


The body of your message should consist of the single line:

unsubscribe lexlist

Please save this letter for future reference.

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 10:36:50 -0600





Place note in index under "Duplicate Barcodes" on p 43-2

This is a quick and temporary addition to your manual, as noted above.

On occasion you may have a problem with duplicate barcodes showing up. Often you discover it after a PACK, when the system informs you that duplicates have been found.

This is generally not a severe problem. It usually occurs because one of the following have happened:

a. A file has been inadvertently input twice.

b. Someone inadvertently (or by chance) struck ALT-T. As a result the system asks you if you want to transfer records, and prompts you for the number range. If you respond to the prompts, you could very easily transfer 200 records from your database back into the database, making duplicate copies.

When duplicate records occur they usually pass unnoticed until you pack your database. At that time the system reports on duplicate barcodes.

To prevent this from happening, set your passwords on for levels 4 and 5. Use the .PASS command (as per the manual) and enter a master password that you will never forget. Then set one that can be shared with all people qualified to enter or change data (level 4).

Getting Rid Of Duplicate Barcodes

After packing the system creates a file called bardup.usr. At the expert prompt do the following:

>>>.view bardup.usr

You will see a report such as the following, but longer. You can print this, one screen at a time, using the ALT-P command. Or you can use your word processor, and print the file c:\lex\bardup.usr. If you have 200 duplicates, you will likely have 400 barcodes showing in this report.

Duplicate Item barcodes

1102 1104 8600006 8600009 8600010

8600011 8600012 8600013 8600014 8600015

8600016 8600017 8600018 8600019 8600020

8600021 8600022 8600023 8600024 8600025

First of all analyze the pattern of these records. Do so by picking the first duplicate barcode, and searching for the record as in:


In the case of this example the following report resulted:


1 Dolan, Edward F. Adolf Hitler, a Portrait in Tyranny. Dodd,

Mead, c1981. 921 HIT. Y.

2 Dolan, Edward F. Adolf Hitler, a Portrait in Tyranny. Dodd,

Mead, c1981. 921 HIT. Y.

View these items in .DISPLAY and confirm that they are identical copies:

record #2. Summary: 1 holding, 1 not checked out.


AUTHOR-ME: Dolan, Edward F., 1924-

TITLE: Adolf Hitler, a portrait in tyranny / Edward F. Dolan, Jr.

PUBLISHED: Dodd, Mead, c1981.

MATERIAL: x, 228 p. : ports. ; 24 cm.

ANNOTATION: A biography of Adolf Hitler from his youth to his

self-destruction in a Berlin bunker.

SUBJECT-NAME: Hitler, Adolf,--1889-1945.

SUBJECT-TPCL: Dictators--Biography.

SUBJECT-GEOG: Germany--History--20th century--Biography.

RECORD #202 proves to be identical


Make note on a piece of paper what the record numbers are at the top of each display screen.

In this case I see that record #2, is identical to record #202. After I spot check some more records I begin to see a pattern:

#2 = #202

#3 = #203

#4 = #204


#20 = #220

You can then fix the problem in two steps going:

(a) >>>.rem #202-220 (note that you must use the # signs)

(b) >>>.PACK

When prompted, remove from the set of all records, and do not save removed records as they are already on file.

__If there is no pattern to duplicate barcodes__

If there is no pattern evident, you may have to do the following:

a. Search for duplicate barcodes from bardup.usr.

b. Select one of the records and remove it as in >>>.rem 2 (no # sign).

c. Repeat for next barcode, until done.

If the records are not truly duplicates...

a. If the records differ in only minor ways, then somebody has likely input records twice after editing. The reason is important, just use the .rem command (as above) on the poorest record in each set up duplicates.

b. If there is no correspondence between the records other than duplicate barcodes, or if the records seem distorted in some way, then make screen prints of a set of duplicates in DISPLAY mode. Use the .SYS command to print out a system report, and fax these pages to LEX SYSTEMS.


Date: Sat, 01 Mar 1997 22:07:40 -0600

Subject: System Command-Manual Addition 2




Place note in index under "System Command" on p 43-4

The system command provides a method for you to summarize the status of your installation whenever you have a request for technical assistance. This command is given by typing:


at your expert prompt.

You will see on screen something like this:

1/201 Record LEXIFILE Sample Program FILE: LOCAL


DOS Version : 7.0 Page Lexifile Version : 4.055.17 Sep. 20, 1996, 500 limit, Circ

Config. File 1: C:\LEX\LEX.CFG

Config. File 2: C:\LEX\LEXCFG.CFG

Circ Directory: C:\LEX\CIRC\

Current Directory: C:\LEX\ Space: 126091264

Program Directory: C:\LEX\ Space: 126091264

Data Directory: C:\LEX\ Space: 126091264

Total Memory: 655360 Used by DOS & TSR: 20976

Used by LEXIFILE: 386048 Free Memory : 248336\

Stack size : 3670 Data Buffer Size : 10000

Video mode : 3

Files open, sizes: 514496

Config. Flags : 30 30 30 30 30 31 31 37 31 32 46 59 59 4e

59 2 59 f8 31 32 33 5e 35 36 37 38 20 20

___________________(P)rint full report__(S)ave full report

If you want to fax the report, strike P to print it. To use Internet (better idea, more legible), use the S option to save to disk, specifying a file name when prompted.

Do not use ALT-P, or your PRINT-SCREEN button. The actual report is much longer than appears on the screen. The added detail given with (P)rint or (S)ave is very helpful to us.

Using your email software, you can message LEX SYSTEMS, giving the nature of your problem (lex@attcanada.net). Then click on MESSAGE and ATTACH FILE. Specify the path to the file you used to save your system report.

When you report to your garage mechanic, you don't need to be specific because the mechanic knows what questions to ask, as in "Does it stall when hot or cold?" etc. We need you to be very specific when you communicate your problem with fax or email, because we can't yet ask the questions. In the message accompanying your SYSTEM report let us know detail like this:

When I boot the system I see only "zero" records at the top of the screen. When I try to PACK I get an error message "unable to open loc.fil". I get the same message when I try to use the .RESTORE command to install a backup.

The combination of your SYSTEM report and a step-by-step account of how the problem was observed, is unbeatable. We will usually have help suggestions available for you by the next morning.

By all means phone us as well, but send the SYSTEM report ahead to save time.


Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 12:59:40 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE Import Command: Manual Insert #3




Place note page in index under "Import command"

"Patron file"

"Trevlac import"

"Maplewood import"

"Columbia import"

"TESS import"



Starting from Mode Using Access to command

Patron Access Keyboard No access

Mouse No access

Expert Keyboard ALT-R or .IMPORT<Enter>

Mouse Records

The IMPORT command is useful when databases have to be imported from standard database systems that do not use MARC records. This includes products like DBase and Foxpro, as well as school management systems like Maplewood and Trevlac.

Usually cataloguing records are in MARC already, so the IMPORT command is not required (see INPUT command for MARC records).

IMPORT is particularly useful for the PATRON records, which frequently can be obtained from standard database products.

Importing A New Database, Comma Delimited

Your first challenge is to EXPORT records from your other system. If possible, use a "comma delimited format". Fields are separated by commas and quotation marks, and look like:

"206","","Leask, SK.","","S0N 0T0","637-1504","","Jones, W."

"325","","Leask, SK.","","S0N 0T0","637-9243","","Smith, A."

The delimited file rules are:

One record on one line

Each field surrounded by quotes


Fields separated from other fields by a comma


End of record (line) marked by a CrLF (more commonly called ENTER or HRT).

We will assume that you have exported records from another database management system in a comma-delimited file, and that you called it "pat.dat".

Step 1

Setup your patron append screen with the fields in it that you want to use. While in the patron area in CIRC strike <F9>. Then strike ALT-O for append format options. Choose "Create a new format". Call it "Patron" or something to suit your needs. Go to the fields you want and strike F2 to decrease the number of fields chosen; F3 to decrease them. Escape from this screen to save your format. You have now identified which fields you wish to fill when you import the data from your external file. ESCAPE and save changes.

ESCAPE from CIRC and go to the >>> prompt.

Step 2

Type >>>.IMPORT<Enter>, and select Pat.fil, and name the import file (pat.dat in our example).

You should see a "comma delimited" file on screen. Select "delimited file" and choose the "Patron" format, or other append screen format that you have created. You will then see:


1 104247 ID 010 $f:=

2 Stack NAME 100 $a:=

3 Roberta FIRSTNAME 100 $b:=

4 REL/SURNAME 130 $b:=

5 R/FIRSTNAME 130 $c:=

6 Box 2026 ADDRESS 220 $a:=

7 STREET 220 $c:=

8 Frontier, Sask. CITY 220 $e:=

9 PROVINCE 220 $g:=

10 S0N 0T0 POSTAL-CODE 220 $h:=

11 637-1504 TELEPHONE 220 $k:=

12 USER-TYPE 300 $a:=

13 Jones, W. DIVISION 310 $h:=

14 NOTES 500 $a:=


With the cursor on the data on the left that you wish to import, strike ENTER. The cursor will move to the right hand side of the screen. Position the cursor to deposit the data, and strike ENTER to execute that operation.

Strike TAB to go to the other side, and then strike ENTER to move the second field when the cursor is positioned correctly. Repeat the above until all the fields you want to move are identified and placed.

Strike PgDn to see more records (some fields may not have been represented in the first record).

Step 3

Strike ESCAPE (twice usually) and select START IMPORTING RECORDS. You will see this menu:

Input records even if duplicates on file.

Input to replace patrons with same IDs and names.

Input to replace patrons with identical names.

Input to replace the entire patron database

You should not be here without having backed up all CIRC files first.

Think carefully about these options. You usually won't want to produce duplicates, unless you want to edit them out manually. You can choose the second option to replace patrons on file if the names and ID numbers are generally the same. If the names are the same but ID numbers change, you can select the third option.

The most common way is to "input to replace the entire patron database". Don't do that, however, unless you have taken the step (given above) to print out overdue notices in advance. Otherwise, your records of losses will be difficult to access.

Import A Database, ASCII File

Use this technique if your database management system in the office can only EXPORT in ASCII. Your records will look like this:



Box 2026

Frontier, Sask.

S0N 0T0


Jones, W.

Note that spaces will be left to indicate vacant fields.

Repeat the above process, and select ASCII when prompted. You then will have to tell the system how many lines there are in the record, because flat ASCII files do inform you where a record begins and ends.

The process is then the same as with comma delimited format.


If you like, you can request LEX SYSTEMS to build you a custom program to convert your records. This is not advised any longer, because changes from year to year in the data characteristics could produce erratic conversion results.

Patron Records, For schools and colleges

In the last few years quite a number of LEXIFILE customers have been using patron files generated by other computer systems: Trevlac, TESS, Columbia, and various other management systems. If you are exporting records from such a system, and taking them into LEXIFILE, this document should be reviewed first.

If you want to "play it safe" edit your existing patron files, deleting students who have left, and keying in data for those new arrivals.

It seemed like a good idea to publish a little document that would guide everyone in making these conversions. In some case LEX SYSTEMS has been asked to design special conversion programs; in other cases users have been managing their own.

If you are converting the patron data files yourself, here is what you have to keep in mind:

1. It is dangerous to try and delete the original patron files if there are records outstanding. For example, if you have a loan to Mary Smith no. 1234 in last year's file and, next year she is M. Smith 2345, then any overdue reports for overdues from last year will go astray.

If you are erasing your old patron file and adding a new one, you should:

a. Backup your patron and circ files.

b. Print out an on-loan report.

c. Print out a fines report.

d. Check-in the outstanding items, and pay the fines.*

e. Erase your old patron records, or REPLACE the file on IMPORT

f. Add your new patron records.

g. Add last year's loans back to the system.

h. Deal with last year's fines in paper form only.

If you neglect to pay fines and check-in records, you may have these problems occur:

a. Outstanding fines from students who have left will "float" without a name in reports. They cannot be paid, and always appear.

b. If any or all patrons change their ID numbers, they will appear twice on the file.


Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 14:07:18 -0600

Subject: Understanding LEXIFILE File Names

Before deleting any files from DOS, you are advised to backup your data files, and make sure you have a copy of your most recent program somewhere.

>>I will give you the files that are now provided with newer program installations, and an explanation of what they are:

>A. In your root directory (order may be different)

LEX EXE 526,736 03-02-97 9:12p Main executable file

>LEX CFG 6,421 02-06-97 7:56p Configuration file

>LEXCFG CFG 328 09-19-96 10:18p Your own local configurations

>LEXHELP DOC 29,478 01-09-97 3:01p Text that LEXIFILE uses

>LEXHELP2 DOC 17,481 03-31-95 1:26a Text that LEXIFILE uses

>LEXHELP3 DOC 7,718 01-14-97 9:03p Text that LEXIFILE uses

>CIRC <DIR> 03-02-97 9:12p Your circulation sub-directory

>READ BAT 128 10-15-91 6:37a Floppy install file, erase

>LXINS EXE 42,635 10-29-96 11:47a Floppy install file, erase

>READ DOC 592 02-10-97 4:47p Floppy install file, erase

>GETKEY COM 34 11-22-94 10:23p Floppy install file, erase

>LXINS BAT 2,767 03-29-95 10:08p Floppy install file, erase

>LOC APP 12,726 02-24-97 8:34p Data added since BACKUP

>LOC FIL 132,886 02-28-97 9:42a Your main database.

>LOC# NDX 804 02-28-97 9:42a Index to record #1, #2, etc.

>LOC0 NDX 47,515 02-28-97 9:42a Index to keywords, big index.

>LOC1 NDX 3,015 02-28-97 9:42a Index to call numbers

>LOC2 NDX 7,250 02-28-97 9:42a Index to authors

>LOC3 NDX 9,424 02-28-97 9:42a Index to titles

>LOC4 NDX 3,618 02-28-97 9:42a Index to barcodes

>LOC5 NDX 16,900 02-28-97 9:42a Index to subjects

>LOC6 NDX 4,200 02-28-97 9:42a Index to 245$h (GMD subfield)

>LOC7 NDX [may not be used] Index to missing items

>LOC8 NDX [may not be used] Index to out-for-repair items

>LOC REM 372,815 11-26-96 9:36p File of removed records

>LOC LOG 2,309 02-25-97 5:07p [Newer versions] activity log

*All files ending in .USR are "user" generated files, and can be erased without harming the program.

*All files ending in .TMP have been added by the system. DO NOT delete them if any terminal is operating LEXIFILE at the time.

*Files ending in .LEX are special configuration files for one of your databases. Do not erase them.

*If you have a file called VENDOR.LEX you may delete it as obsolete.

*Leave alone any files ending in ".1DX" ".2DX" or "!" They are temporary files that LEXIFILE will delete as appropriate.

*Files ending in .OLD are usually a backup file made by someone trouble-shooting your system. Note the date, and erase if no longer useful.

*Any OTHER files ending in .FIL are alternate LEXIFILE databases. To see these, go into LEXIFILE and open them. For example with VERT.FIL:

>>>>.open vert.fil<Enter>

Deleting Files From Windows

See your Windows reference book on use of Windows 3.1 File Manager, or Windows 95/98 Explorer.

Deleting Files from Within LEXIFILE Program

When you use the .dos del command, use the "dir" command to check what you will be erasing.

For example, if I want to remove a file called "nbk.fil" I would first go:

>>>.DIR C:\lex\nbk*.*<Enter>

I would see on screen:

NBK#.NDX 168 04-10-95 19:13

NBK.FIL 31794 04-10-95 19:13

NBK0.NDX 7839 04-10-95 19:18

NBK1.NDX 630 04-10-95 19:18

NBK2.NDX 1800 04-10-95 19:18

NBK3.NDX 2204 04-10-95 19:18

NBK4.NDX 36 04-10-95 19:18

NBK5.NDX 6920 04-10-95 19:18

Now I see that I also have NBK INDEXES to delete. Deleting just the file would not finish the job. I can go:

>>>.DOS del C:\lex\nbk*.*<Enter>

B. Circulation sub-directory (files may be in another order)

PAT LEX 2,311 09-25-96 11:45a Configuration file, patrons

LEXCIRC CFG 4,128 05-29-96 10:47a Local configuration for circ

CIRC FIL 1,590 02-03-96 9:48p Items circulated file-VITAL

CIRC0 NDX 280 02-03-96 9:48p Index to circulation file

CIRC1 NDX 245 02-03-96 9:48p Index to circulation file

CIRC LOG 304 02-03-96 9:48p Log of all circ transactions*

PAT FIL 1,301 10-31-94 11:49p Database of patron info-VITAL

PAT APP 150 12-12-96 6:14p Patron data added since backup

PAT REM 95 07-22-96 1:56p Patron data removed & saved

PAT# NDX 36 04-24-95 10:06a Patron file index

PAT0 NDX 432 04-24-95 10:06a Patron file index

PAT1 NDX 162 04-24-95 10:06a Patron file index

PAT2 NDX 126 04-24-95 10:06a Patron file index

PAT3 NDX 216 04-24-95 10:06a Patron file index

PATRON LOG 162 07-01-95 9:52a Statistics on patrons

RECEIPTS LOG [will be present if you issue receipts in lex]

STATS LOG 206 07-01-95 9:52a Statistical records for circ.

FINES0 NDX 0 11-01-96 9:31p Fines index

HOLD0 NDX 0 10-04-94 2:18p Index to holds

HOLD1 NDX 0 10-04-94 2:18p Index to holds

>*Circ log is a very interesting field.

If you go:

>>>>.VIEW c:\lex\circ.log you will see data like this:

95-06-24 22:35:43 Automatic Circ PACK

95-07-01 09:52:33 Manual Circ PACK

95-07-01 09:52:44 Chkout 8600146, FIC VON, Cat's cradle, due 95-07-14 1042 1001, Bruce, Jim

95-07-04 14:26:47 Renew 8600146, FIC VON, Cat's cradle, due 95-07-18 1042 1001, Bruce, Jim

96-02-03 21:48:23 Manual Circ PACK

>Every checkout, checkin, pack, etc. will be recorded. If you have a patron INSIST that an item was checked in on a given day, you can double check by viewing and searching this file. If the patron is 2002 borrowing item 10001 you would go:

><CTRL>S and be prompted:

Search for?

Now you can search either for the transactions by item 10001 or patron 2002.

>>This procedure is also useful for determining if the circulation clerk did indeed check an item in at a given time.


Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 23:43:38 -0600

Subject: Index Updates & Screen Saver




Place note in index under "screen-saver"

"index update"

LEXIFILE will update its indexes automatically when the LEX screen-blanker comes on. During this period access to program files from other terminals is delayed.

This "screen-blank-indexing" feature works fine if you only have a standalone version. The more terminals you have (and the more cataloguing you do) the more you will notice this delay. It's harmless but annoying.

To avoid this problem, use your configure command:


Select "other changes," and put "0" (zero) in the field for screen saver. You may have to make this change on each terminal separately. LEX saves configuration changes to the "local" station if that has been done once in your use of LEXIFILE. If not, it will say "save changes globally or locally?"

You cannot solve this problem by going to "automatic indexing" because this indexing also delays file access by other terminals.


Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 10:58:06 -0600

Subject: Troubleshooting




Place note in index under "Troubleshooting" on p 43-4.

Here are a the first of a series on the most common problems we are asked to

troubleshoot, and the answers we give:

1. The database has vanished from my hard-drive.

Very seldom does the file called loc.fil ever really vanish. This file is more static than anyone realizes. During packing, for example, we work with a temporary file. If anything goes wrong, you can return to use of the original file.

However, a LEX database can only be accessed using the indexes. These files end in ".ndx". Loc0.ndx, for example, enables LEX to find record #1, #2, etc.

If that index is missing you will see "1/0 record" at the top left of the screen.

If you see this on bootup DO NOT RESTORE A BACKUP, or do anything else drastic. Just execute a PACK command, and your have at least a 99 percent chance that all will be back to normal.

2. I get an "unable to open" message.

This results when a file is opened somewhere for writing and you are trying to access it. There are a number of possible causes:

a. The most frequent reason is that a screen-blanker has come on at one of the terminals, and during that time LEXIFILE is attempting to update the indexes.

Use the .CON command, and choose "other changes." You will see:


| Default list | BIBLIOGRAPHY

| Record Order | On

| Date/Time | On

| APPEND file | On

| Read-only prot. | Off

| Clear at EXIT | On

| Screen Saver | 2 Minutes <--Reset this

| Write to Alt. | On

| Help Level | 1

| Local file | LOC.FIL

| Alternate file | NBK.FIL

| Expert/Patron | Expert

| Colors |


Reset the screen saver to "0" (zero) minutes. This will prevent the Lex screen saver from coming on, and will block the index updating.

In most cases simply waiting for a few seconds will enable access to the file again anyway.

Generally speaking, you should catalogue in "batch mode" when others are using LEXIFILE. Then update the indexes when there are no patrons using the system.

b. If the above has not helped do the following:

-Exit LEXIFILE on all stations

-Reboot the program

c. Attributes have been set to read only.

This can be cured by going to your LEXIFILE directory in DOS mode and executing this:

c:\lex>attrib -r *.*

d. Systems person has restricted network access to some files and directories.

Some programs put their data files in data directories, and then restrict write access to the program directories. However, LEXIFILE puts its "circulating" database in the program directory (usually c:\lex). Therefore to catalogue you must be able to read and write to the directory c:\lex.

Check with your systems person to see if access rights have been changed.

2. I have just entered records and I can't find them.

Update the indexes. If that doesn't help, pack the database.

If that doesn't help, make use of the LEXIFILE loc.app file (if the missing records were supposed to be in loc.fil) that is added to every time you edit a record, or add a new record.

Here is a process than many find useful:

a. Create a file called new.fil (>>>.open new.fil)

b. Input the appended records

>>>.INPUT loc.app (or ???.app depending on file name

for the database)

c. Search for the missing record

d. If you find one, go AT-T and transfer the record to the database it is missing from.

3. My database has changed, records are missing, strange things are in the records...

In our experience, most cases LEXIFILE customers have not set passwords! That is only satisfactory if you are making daily backups to guard against inadvertent or mischievous alterations being made.

Go to each of your stations and enter:


If you can get in without a password, then your data is at risk. Anyone can pack and make global changes, erase records, or edit them.

Priority 1: Set a master password. If you are the first person to do that, you gain complete control over the system.

Use the .PASS command. You may be called on to enter a password, do so.

You then should see something like this:

----PASSWORD menu:-----------------------+

Access ON/OFF Password |

1. Circ In/Out ON JANUARY |

2. Print ON FEBRUARY |

3. Exit ON MARCH |

4. Pack/Edit/etc. ON APRIL |

5. MASTER/Config. ON MAY |

ENTER to change protection, ESC to exit |


The two vital passwords are 4 & 5. Do not make them the same; share the master password with no-one. You only use that password to alter the others.

There will be time when you want an assistant to do editing. Don't give them the master password, give them level 4.

Most people find the password protection on printing a nuisance.

You likely will want different passwords for different stations. To do that you have to have LEXIFILE set up for network use. Refer to section 1-5 in the manual, then see the chapter on passwords.

4. There are duplicate records on file

This usually happens when a file is inadvertently input twice. It can also happen when patrons are striking keys randomly and discover ALT-T with the level 4 password set off.

a. Use the .DUP command and list duplicates by title and author. You can print the duplicate file, save it to disk, or send it to the screen. I would print or save it to be able to use it conveniently when troubleshooting.

b. Look for a pattern in your duplicate list, such as:







It is obvious from the above that records are reproduced in exact order. Suppose the problem starts at (17,217) and ends at (20,220). Check the records visually to determine which set of pairs you want to maintain. Then go:

>>>.REM 17-20 or >>>.REM 217-220


Date: Sun, 06 Apr 1997 09:25:16 -0600

Subject: Printing

Here are the options for label printing in LEXIFILE (Dos Version):

A. Print Dot Matrix Labels: convenient but not as pretty as with the laser labels. You get one label at a time, which is really nice.

To print dot matrix labels in LEX at the expert prompt:


select printer configuration

select dot matrix printer

select lpt1 (in most cases)



select label configuration

1 1/2 inch single card & spine labels <-Select this one (option 1)

2 inch double card & spine labels <-or this one (option 2)

3 x 7 card & spine labels, one sheet

3 x 7 all spine labels on one sheet


Break Dewey number at decimal (Y/N) =Y <-Your choice

Print barcode/accession number (Y/N) =Y <-Your choice


for option one your labels look like [ ] [ ]

[ ]


for option two your labels look like [ ] [ ]


[ ] [ ]


The labels must be OCLC format (see a library supplies catalog),

measuring as follows:

Spine label (on top left of set) should be 9/10" X 1 1/16"

Two circ. labels (one over another on right) 2 9/10" X 13/16"

Overall width, 4 3/4"

Width between pinfeed holes (centre to centre) 4 1/4"

Horizontal perforations 2" vertically

Insert your labels so that the left edge of the spine label is on "0", and the first line of the top circ label is just under the print head. Perform a search for the book needing new labels. Bring the card on screen with the <F3> command. If you do not find the title, it must be catalogued first. Now print the label with "<F9><Enter>. Alternately, you can be in the EDIT or APPEND screens and strike F9.

B. You can Print Laser Labels.

We deliberately chose a label that is easy to buy from local office supply stores: Avery 45008 (5360) 2-13/16" x 1-1/2" (7.1 x 3.8 cm) these are 3 across and 7 down. Using these labels you will have some trimming to do, but this is not very difficult. You also have to print enough labels to fill the sheet or you will waste a great deal of stock. That is the drawback: you can't label your books until you have finished a big enough batch.

To configure for laser labels:

1. Use the .CON command

select printer configuration

select laser printer

select lpt1 (usually)

2. Use the .con command

select label configuration

1 1/2 inch single card & spine labels

2 inch double card & spine labels

3 x 7 card & spine labels, one sheet <-select for spine, circ & pocket labels

3 x 7 all spine labels on one sheet <-select this one for "all

spine" labels


Break Dewey number at decimal (Y/N) =Y <-Your choice

Print barcode/accession number (Y/N) =Y <-Your choice


Using laser labels you are likely going to want to trim them to suit your book. I actually like this as I can chose to overlap the sides of the

book just the right amount. That keeps them from peeling off as easily.


Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 21:26:37 -0600

Subject: Not In Database


A. Not in database problem

B. Need to pack database occasionally

C. Are you using your password feature?


The most common calls we get at Lex Systems are ones relating to items in the database that don't show up in a search.

If this is happens to you, bring up this email message and go through the checklist. It will help you to decide whether you need to call the 800 number.

1. The most frequent cause is the "batch indexing" feature in LEXIFILE. Records added to not automatically show up in a search, the indexes have to be updated. Use ALT-I and select "Update Indexes".

2. If a record has been made SMALLER with an edit, then the "update index" option will not be provided. For example, if I changed a title "All about horses" to "About horses" then the "update index" option would not be available. Consequently, you would still have to search t=ALL about horses to find the record.

This problem will cure itself when you do a pack (see section below).

3. Are the indexes corrupt? Do a >>>.STAT<Enter> command and see if all the indexes are present. IF they are not, then use an ALT-I, PACK command.

4. Verify that there is no punctuation or spelling problem. For example, a search for ABCs will not bring up ABC's.

5. Does a .Pack cure the problem? If it does, then you are probably going to be OK.

If you still have a problem, then do two things before calling:

(1) Print out a SYSTEM report and fax it to us. You get this report with:

>>>.SYS<Enter> and striking P

(2) Do a screen print of the record that is difficult to locate, and record the exact way you searched for the item that SHOULD have worked but did not.

B. Need to PACK database

LEXIFILE handles records in such a way to keep your database file as compact as possible. If you edit a record and make it larger, LEX has the same problem you do if you buy a new book for a shelf that is always completely full. Something has to move, and your shelf markers need to change.

What LEX does is copy the enlarged record to the end of the database file. Then it takes the old record and flags it for removal. Finally it records a reminder message for you that the index should be updated.

The record may be called #101, but it might be PHYSICALLY located after record 10,000 now. Lex just changes all its pointers to find the record in its new home, while letting you think it is in the old one. Something like call or mail forwarding!

Now if you edit the same record 10 times, you really leave the file in somewhat untidy fashion.

This is all remedied when you PACK your database.

Packing should be considered a "safe and necessary" option. I like to see it used perhaps once per week. It throws out the dead space where the old copies of edited records are held. It then completely re-indexes the file.

C. Password Feature

Students can go ALT-T and transfer all of your records to another file. They can REMOVE all your database in a few seconds. They can chop pieces out of records.

You should have two levels password protected, for example after the ".PASSWORD" command you should see passwords:

-----PASSWORD menu:--------------------[x]+

Access ON/OFF Password

1. Circ In/Out OFF

2. Print OFF

3. Exit OFF

4. Pack/Edit/etc. OFF <Here>

5. MASTER/Config. OFF <And here>

ENTER to change protection, ESC to exit



Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 22:55:23 -0600

Subject: Barcoding Projects


LEXIFILE Manual Insert #4, April 16, 1997

Please place in index under "Barcoding Projects"

There are two basic functions for barcoding items in your library. First of all you need a unique identifier for each item so that you can circulate it, and inventory it.

Using Accession Numbers for Barcodes

The question always arises, "why not use the accession number?" There are a variety of reasons:

In your retrospective conversion, the accession numbers may not have been entered.

If you printed out all your accession numbers as barcodes you would have to sort through thousands of barcodes to find and match them to specific books.

Accession numbers are not always stamped in the same place in each book.

It is simpler to assign brand new barcodes for each book. They can be peeled off label sheets, and quickly entered into LEXIFILE while they are being affixed to books.

Smart Barcodes Versus Dumb Barcodes

Very large libraries like to edit barcodes into their MARC database. Then they "export" data from their file that includes title, call number, and barcode. This data is sent to a barcode vendor and is used to print out barcodes that have each of these elements. The barcode labels are printed in shelflist order. They are called "smart barcodes" because, in a sense, they "find their own books." You check the call number and title before you put the barcode on the book.

The logic behind a smart barcoding project is that the sheets can be given to dozens of clerks who can hunt for books independently, and thereby barcode a large collection much faster that way. Imagine bringing 500,000 books to the terminals to put barcodes on them.

There are severe drawbacks for small or medium sized libraries, however:

Without an accurate inventory, there will be many books

left without barcodes, and many barcodes without books.

Without an accurate shelf read, clerks will have a hard

time performing the matchup.

Companies who print barcodes want much more for smart

barcodes than for "dumb" ones.

Without accurate training of clerks the foul-up can be

horrendous. (Scenario: clerk gets bored and starts

peeling and sticking labels one book out for five shelves

in a row).

In the writer's opinion, dumb barcodes can handle 100,000 titles in a time fast enough to save costs over smart barcoding.

Ordering or Printing Your Barcodes.

Code 39 barcodes are very popular for smaller libraries. Codabar labels encrypt a number to indicate patron or item, a number to correspond to a unique library, a sequence number, and a check-digit on the end. Being 14 digits long they are VERY clumsy to type in by hand, should you need to do so.

LEXIFILE can use any barcode sequences for patrons or items (up to 14 digits long), other systems need different sequences for patrons and items. LEX can also handle numbers or letters in your barcodes. Watch out for this: the suppliers may not be able to increment letters. If you start with a barcode like A9B7C7A, they will likely not be able to follow this with A9B7C7B. If you are using letters, use them at the beginning, as a prefix, such as B000001.

Remember that after "19" sort routines file "2", so start with a large number followed by zeros. If you will never have more than 90,000 titles, start with 10,001 and go up from there. If you might have more than 100,000 titles some day, start with barcode 100,001 and that will allow you to barcode 899,999 items before you have to add another digit.

Barcode labels give you a cheap way to affix the name of the library on the book. You may wish to put your phone number on as well, and a "human readable" number. That way you can type the barcodes in by hand if necessary.

Here is an approximate representation of what your barcode might look like:

My Library

|| ||| ||| || |

10,001 604-536-5555

You do not have to pick another sequence for your patrons with LEXIFILE, but most libraries do. With LEXIFILE you can begin with a letter, or start at a different range. For example, you could use P10001, P10002, etc. School libraries find that students forget their id cards. This can be handled by using letters: aaaa, aaab, aaac, aaad, etc. and simply typing in the ID. This solution makes for patron barcodes that are very easy to remember.

Whatever you do, record your barcode range for items and patrons somewhere so that you avoid the problem of having to throw away thousands of them that duplicate what you have already used.

The writer would suggest you purchase barcodes rather than print them, because your supplier will guide you around all the pitfalls: and the barcodes are not expensive.

You will want laser labels. Usually the "thermal transfer" process will do. If the labels are going outside the books, your thermal labels probably will need protective tape covering. The cheapest way to go is to buy this tape in rolls, but only if you have a good tape dispenser.

Where To Place The Barcode

You will not believe how much debate there has been on this topic. Many put the barcode inside the book because they want to open the book to stamp the due date, or put the return slip in. That protects the barcode from wear. Most place barcodes on the outside for convenience in charging the books out. Barcodes are difficult to stick on the spine, and they may look odd, but some use the spine because inventory then does not require removal of books from the shelf. The back is a good choice if you are passing the book over top of a scanning device.

The writer would contend that the barcode should be on the cover for those who use top-down wands or scanners. That way you can visually verify that the record on screen matches the book title, and most patrons will hand you the book title-upwards. By putting the label near the spine you make it relatively easy to do inventory. You need only pull the book a few inches out on the shelf to wand or scan the barcode. It is very awkward to have to open each book when taking inventory, but some like this because it forces you to look at the condition of the book.

Choosing Your Time For The Project

The best time for a barcoding project, of course, is when most books are in, and the library is closed. This is not essential, however, as long as you can stop assistants from reshelving books into areas that have already been barcoded.

Engineering The Dumb Barcoding Project

LEX was designed to make barcoding projects easy. Here is the project in summary: take books to the computer, bring up the book, use the .EDIT (ALT-R, select EDIT) command, stick on the barcode, wand in the barcode, then cover the barcode with a label protector.

There are more details that can help you. Work in teams of two to four if possible. Fill up a book truck and take the books to a terminal. Search by keywords. The fastest technique for "gone with the wind" would be to type:

.EDIT call wild<Enter><TAB>



<Save Record>

Make sure that you enter enough keywords to make a unique hit likely. The TAB key in EDIT mode will take you directly to the 901$a subfield that LEXIFILE uses for holdings.

While in the holding field you may want to enter things like copy, volume, part, etc.

You may note that it was suggested that you stick the barcode on before you wand it in. Wanding in barcodes in allows for the possibility that the barcode may tear, or be placed on another book by accident. If on the book already, the clerk sees the title and the barcode at the same time--and mistakes are unlikely.

It is possible to edit on more than one terminal at a time using LEXIFILE. On occasion there may be delay while another system is saving data to your database. You could search for C=FIC and save all your fiction records to a separate database (see SAVE in the manual). Then one terminal could do fiction, and another non-fiction. At the conclusion of the project the database components can be re-united. Personally, I prefer working with one terminal and an efficient team of workers.

The fastest work is possible when you have:

a. One person who brings the book on a truck and reshelves books from the truck when completed.

b. One person reading the title and putting on the barcode.

c. One person searching for the barcode and bringing up the EDIT screen.

d. One person putting on the protector label.

A good team can make the job short and even fun. There are some interesting spin-offs to this technique:

a. You will find books not in the system. The trick then is to put in a quick dummy entry with just the title and call number, such as:

245 $aDictoionnaire moderne Larousse

650 $aqqCatalogue

901 $a232343

Note the 650 "QQCatalogue" entry. At the end of the project your cataloguer(s) can search for the QQ entries and make whole MARC records.

b. You will find books in the system, and not on the shelf. Those without barcodes are missing items (unless they are circulating). Wait a few months and then remove these items.

Here is a tricky little way of finding all records without barcodes. Using the >>>expert prompt:

>>>.SEL #1-

S01 [will be set of all records]

>>>.SEL b=

S02 [will be set of all records with barcodes]

>>>S01 not S02

S03 [will be set of all records without barcodes (!)]

You can then remove these records with:

>>>.REM 1-

Be sure and save these removed records when you pack. Lost books have been known to be returned.


During barcoding you are making a dramatic number of changes to your database. Every time you edit in a barcode, LEX has to move the record to a new file position and flag the old position for removal. Pack the database at the end of each day, and do backups frequently.


Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 23:35:37 -0600

Subject: Unable To Index

On occasion LEXIFILE has given a message "The database must be packed first" when going into CIRC control.

Normally that takes place as expected, but on occasion Windows Networks won't allow access to the database to pack. As a result, you get an "unable to index the database" message.

This can happen if some other station is busy indexing or editing, but sometimes it occurs without that being the case.

This has happened to me personally on two occasions. The solution: shut down the system on which the database is located, and reboot. It is probably best to actually power down the computer that holds the database you cannot index.

This seems to be a problem with Windows restricting write access to the file in question. Exiting Windows removes the problem.


Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 22:16:04 -0600

Subject: Save Command

SAVE COMMAND (Continued)



Place note page in index under "Breakout database"

"Barcoding projects"

Breakout Databases with Save MARC

It is frequently necessary to work on one part of a database exclusively. For example, it may be necessary to take a certain call number range, and do extensive work on it, or perhaps make "global changes".

Suppose you wanted to do extensive work on your biography section (we will assume Dewey Call numbers). The problem is that biography call numbers have been applied inconsistently. Here is a search to find all of the biography items:

>>>biography or (c=b) or (c=92)<Enter>

This will find all occurrences of biography in title or subject, all call numbers beginning with 92. We want to make global changes in these records but not in all the records in the database. Our desire then is to breakout the above records into a working database.

First of all we must save the records in this "biography" set. Do this as follows:

>>>.SAVE .MARC 1- <enter> [use menu commands if you prefer]

You can save MARC data in any form you like when prompted, and select "save all data". Next you will be prompted to name a file to receive the data. Here we do the following:

filename: c:\lex\biog.dat [pathname your choice]

Now you need to remove all the records copied to the biog.dat file. You do this because you don't want two copies of the master records available for editing.

>>>.open c:\lex\biog.fil

This will create a new home for the data to be edited. Now we need to add the data to this file:

>>>.input c:\lex\biog.dat

Confirm that you want to input to biog.fil, and that you want to input without making changes. You are now free to edit the records in biog.fil. Use .PACK and select "with changes" if you want to make global changes in this "biography" section of your database. When you finish with your editing, you will want to add these records back into the database from which they came.

Do this as follows:

>>>.open [select your main database]

Now add the edited file to your main database:

>>>.input c:\lex\biog.fil

You will likely want to input "to loc.fil", "as is", and without making changes. After you have finished, you should pack the database that just received the edited files. You may not want to save the removed records, since you already did this.

Many Editors Make LEX Busy

Lex has been designed to handle multiple station editing, but the stress on the system is larger when many people are trying to make editing changes.

This is often at its worst in Barcoding Projects. There may be three or four terminals receiving books to barcode.

To simplify matters, consider using the above process to break out data into separate sections for each editing station. Then after editing in all the barcodes, the database can be rebuilt from the sections.


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 08:20:23 -0600

Subject: Item Not Found In CIRC

CIRC: Item not found

In the versions 4.055 and some early 4.056 editions SOME users have a situation arrive in which they get a message in CIRC that an item is "not found". After packing CIRC, the item is then found.

I would generalize and say that those who have done heavy circulation of LEXIFILE over a period of a few years are having this problem--which is a nuisance rather than a critical problem.

An update is available to cure this problem. Request version 4.057 or later.


Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 21:24:06 -0600

Subject: Maximum Fines

Regarding maximum fines, LEXIFILE indeed does use only the dollar amounts and ignores the cents. This will be corrected in a future version. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

In the meanwhile, keep your fines down to 99 cents or less, or above that use even dollar intervals.

The "Maximum fine" in CIRC configuration is actually a DEFAULT maximum fine. It is used only if no price is found in 901 $j, 020 $c, or 350 $a fields, in that order.

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 21:24:06 -0600

Subject: Edit F7-Copy Command

In the EDIT screen you should be able to strike F7 and copy the record.

If you are unable to use the F7 command from the EDIT screen, it could be a result of having your CONFIGURATION option "Write to Alt" set at "off" making it impossible to save changes to alternate databases. This should be set "on" when you have a UNION database, or other database you don't want to edit locally.


Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 21:24:06 -0600

Subject: Packing Empty Database

There is a bug in 4.055.17 that prevents packing of a database that has all records removed. This has been corrected since then. Until you get a new version you have to either always leave one record in the NBK database that is not removed so that it can be packed, or delete NBK*.* from DOS to get rid of all records. The last one can also be done from within LEXIFILE with the command:



Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 20:57:44 -0600

Subject: Network Installation For Windows


(Place in manual after 1-5)

In your manuals on page 1-4 are instructions to install LEXIFILE on a network. The instructions were written before most LEXIFILE users were on WINDOWS. If you have the Network license for LEXIFILE, you should be operating it so that each terminal has its own working directory. If you do not do that, temporary files from one computer may interfere with those from another. When you clear your password to catalog in LEXIFILE, you are releasing patrons on other terminals to all the file-altering commands.

We do not recommend you follow this process unless you have a good understanding of how to use your Windows commands.

With Windows 95

First of all we want to create working directories for each station. Do this by clicking on START-PROGRAMS-WINDOWS EXPLORER. Then click on the drive containing LEXIFILE, and find your LEXIFILE directory and select it with a double click. Within your LEXIFILE directory selected, select FILE-NEW FOLDER. Rename that folder STAT1 for station 1. While there, you might as well create a folder for each computer as in STAT2..3 etc.

Next, select in turn your START button, then SETTINGS, and TASKBAR. This is the screen for choosing your executable program. Use the BROWSE button, and search for the file LEX on your server hard drive (actually lex.exe). When you find it, click NEXT, and then insert the name LEXIFILE as your program name. Then click FINISH, but don't exit the next screen yet.

You need to assign your LEXIFILE station its own working directory. Click on ADVANCED, and find LEXIFILE and RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON CLICK on it. From the menu, select PROGRAM. You have a series of fields here, put a directory name in the box called WORKING. Enter in the name of the directory intended for this particular computer, as in:

Working C:\Stat1

You can then click on OK and click on the X button until you are back to your Start menu button.

Repeat this process for every terminal, putting in the appropriate name for each terminal in the WORKING box.

Windows 3.11

This description is more complete than the one offered in the manual under NETWORK INSTALLATION ON WINDOWS.

You need to make working directories for all your stations first. Use your Windows FILE MANAGER and select the hard drive containing your LEXIFILE. Then select your LEX directory, and then FILE-CREATE DIRECTORY. Name this stat1 (for station 1, or your choice). Click on OK. Repeat this process for every station you have, call the directories STAT2, STAT3, etc.

Click on FILE-NEW and select PROGRAM ITEM and then OK. Complete your fields this way, TABBING between fields.

Description: LEXIFILE

Command Line: [browse to find lex.exe]

Working directory: c:\LEX\STAT1 [or drive letter and file as appropriate]

Location Of Working Directories

If you locate your working directories in with your program files, then your backup device will likely back up the working directory files as well as your LEX data files (if you use a tape drive or removable drive device). Again, for setting up non-windows Network installations, refer to the manual instructions.

Station Configuration

Go to each terminal in turn and use the CONFIGURATION command under FILE-CONFIGURE. Make sure you configure a master password at least for the last two levels as in:

4. Pack/Edit/etc. London

5. MASTER/Config. Rasputin

Never tell the master password to anyone, and never forget it as it cannot be discovered again once set.


Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997


If barcodes when scanned simply "sit on the screen" it is likely because the unit has not been programmed to send an ENTER to the computer after reading the barcode.

With the reader usually comes a sheet of paper full of barcodes, used to program the reader.

There will likely be a sequence in there called "postamble". You want a "postamble" composed of <Enter>.

You can test this. Get in a word processor and scan a barcode. The cursor should jump to the next line with a <Carriage Return> <Line feed>, the characters that make up an <Enter>.


Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 22:33:00 -0600

Subject: Distributing Databases

To distribute a database of any size, it is a good idea to compress files with WinZIP.

Using WinZIP you can compress the files into a "self exploding" file which will put your database right where the recipient wants it.

You should not distribute LEX program files without our permission, but we would be happy to supply a read-only version for a small sum to cover handling and shipping.

You can, of course, send the database itself to anyone without restriction. If the recipient has a program that will receive MARC records, you should have no problem.


Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 00:08:49 -0600

Subject: Append Format Creation

We have come across a library that has a garbled message when in the append screen--append format options--create new append screen.

The likely cause is a damaged file called c:\lex\forms.cfg *

If that is the case, you can just delete this file, and start over. Use Windows EXPLORER to delete this file.

Alternately, from within LEXIFILE perform


Reboot the program, and you should be able to create append formats again. You will, however, lose the old append format screens.


Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 00:06:11 -0600

Subject: Media Management System & LEXIFILE

Media Management System Integrates with LEXIFILE

Central media centres are very interested in automation systems that allow resources to be reserved for use at various dates. It is necessary to provide shipping lists and mailing labels for each operating day.

Library circulation systems are not suitable.

CAE Custom Software of Calgary has produced a media management module that INTEGRATES with LEXIFILE software and databases. This gives the product (MCS) all the benefits of using MARC records, and enables the client to use LEXIFILE for cataloguing and inventory purposes. Users searching in LEXIFILE will be able to see the availability of items in the media centre database.

MCS has been around for some years, but the LEXIFILE/INTEGRATION feature is very new. If interested you should email Charlotte Edwards for details at:


Here is some technical information on the MCS product:


CAE Custom Software Ltd.

announces an update for

MCS (Media Circulation System)


This product provides a resource centre with the ability to :

-- maintain barcode, title, media type, copy and booking length information about items in their collection and provides the ability to make an unlimited number of reservations for any item. Circulation statistics for each item are kept and accumulated by media type.

-- A file is kept for dates the resource centre is closed to facilitate entry of start and due dates.

-- maintain barcode, phone, and address information about borrowers. Borrowers are linked to a customer group so that circulation statistics for each customer may be displayed.

-- daily shipping lists and labels may be generated

-- items due to go out immediately are flagged when they are received back

-- Many reports can be viewed on the screen or printed. Reports of interest are:

-- Report for Borrower activity showing all reservations and items in circulation

-- Report for all items in circulation

-- Report for reservations for a given period of time

-- A circulation log of all items that have been circulated is maintained and may be accessed by item barcode or borrower barcode

-- Report for all items due for a particular date

-- Report by title showing current usage of an item

-- Ability to export borrower names and addresses to a file for input to word processor (for labels etc.)


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 00:07:20 -0600

Subject: BookWhere?

For those who want to obtain MARC records on the Internet, I would suggest that you purchase a program called "BookWhere?". It allows you to search many USMARC databases, and download actual MARC records. Then LEXIFILE will accept the results.

See www.bookwhere.com

Price is not expensive, but I don't remember how much. Under $200 I believe.

If you want to try to cut and paste, do it first to a text editor such as notepad. Then construct something that looks like:

010 $a77-17024 AC

020 $a0-07-031645-7

0820 $a362.2 9$219

090 $a362.2 HYD

10010$aHyde, Margaret Oldroyd,$d1917-

24510$aAddictions :$bgambling, smoking, cocaine use, and others

260 $bMcGraw-Hill,$cc1978.

300 $ax, 150 p. ;$c21 cm.

520 $aDefines addiction; distinguishes between negative and positive

addictions; and discusses addiction to gambling, smoking, drugs, food,

caffeine, jogging, and other activities.

650 1$aGambling.

650 1$aSmoking.

650 1$aDrug abuse.

900 $a362.2 HYD

901 $a08600006$eLI$g362.2 HYD

902 $a6016001

903 $a09.95

904 $a000166729 005266

905 $a030223113

906 $a001

999 $aLI

*Note how this word processor has wrapped the 520 line. Actually your text editor should NOT do this, since LEX expects on INPUT to see one field per line. Each line should have a number on the left margin.

If you cut the above out, and save it to a file, it will import into LEXIFILE. Careful not to use WP or WORD, they introduce non-ASCII characters.


Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 21:39:15 -0600

Subject: Printing Patron Barcodes

We have never emphasized the barcode-printing capability of LEX because the dot-matrix facility we have just can't match the inexpensive laser-printed ones that you can buy. Also, we have no way of incrementing the numbers to print large numbers of barcodes in sequence.

However, you may wish to print a barcode to replace one that has been lost.

Here is the procedure for printing a patron barcode:

a. Make sure LEX is configured to print to your 24-pin dot-matrix printer. Having a good ribbon would be useful.

b. Open the patron file


--Select Pat.fil

c. Search for the patron record, and bring it up on the screen

>>>n=anderson<Enter> [name as appropriate]

d. Strike <F6> to print

e. Select number of record from the list on screen, using this menu:

Which Record(s)?

Current record (1)

Select record from list

Record numbers=1 <--put record number here

All records in set

Your barcode should then print on whatever paper you have on the machine. You can cut it out of paper, if you like, and cover it with clear tape. Scan it with the barcode reader, it should work for you.

You can print item BARCODES this way as well, or you can simply put on a new barcode number.

Please don't re-use barcode numbers from lost books. Remember that the LEXIFILE CIRC program still has statistics saved for that old barcode.


Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 20:05:22 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE Databases--Eliminating

Eliminating a database has not been made too easy, so that loss of data to computer vandals is not too obvious.

To get rid of your database called NBK.FIL you could go:

>>>.DOS del nbk*.* [.DOS allows running of a DOS command from LEXIFILE]

If this works without requiring a password then set one quickly.

Or, you could go

>>>.OPEN nbk.fil<Enter>

>>>.REMOVE 1- <Enter>

This will star (*) all records for removal. Get rid of them permanently using:



Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 20:38:19 -0600

Subject: Global Changes Of Call Numbers

We will show how to change one portion of all your call numbers. Let us say you want to replace PB F with F.

LEXIFILE does difficulty with changes to the 901 field as you noted, but this can be avoided by putting in the subfield indicator in the search line. In other words replace "$fPB F" with "$fF" rather than "PB F" with "F"

The original 901 field looked like this in the MARC record:

HOLDINGS 901 $a: 8600006$eLI$fPB F$gHYD

And like this in the "holdings window:

Barcode $a: 8600006

Volume Info $b:

Copy $c:

Part $d:

Branch $e: LI

Call-Prefix $f: PB F

Call-Classif. $g: HYD

My PACK with global changes window was setup like this:

---PACK options: -----------------------[x]+

Proceed with PACK with changes

Add a field to all records [ ]

Find and replace a word or phrase [ ] <--this was selected

Move a field [ ]

Cancel this procedure +---------------------------+-------------

Replace word: $fPB F

Replace with: $fF

The result was successful:

-HOLDINGS 901:-------------------

Barcode $a: 8600006

Volume Info $b:

Copy $c:

Part $d:

Branch $e: LI

Call-Prefix $f: F

Call-Classif. $g: HYD

Call-Cutter $h:

Item Type $i:

Price $j:

Accession $k:

Sub-Location $l:

Shelving-Title $r:

Purchase Date $y:


For this test I was using

Version 4.057.153

Hope this helps for now. We will probably make alterations to our PACK--with global changes, as a result of your observation.


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997

Subject: Label Printing - Laser

You can print just spine labels if you have set the printer configuration to "laser". Then go to


--Set label configuration

+-Style of LABEL-----------------------[x]+

1 1/2 inch single card & spine labels Dot matrix

2 inch double card & spine labels _ Dot matrix

3 x 7 card & spine labels, one sheet Laser

3 x 7 all spine labels on one sheet Laser


Break Dewey number at decimal (Y/N) =Y

Print barcode/accession number (Y/N) =Y




On a 3x7 sheet of laser labels you will then get 7 or 21 spine labels.


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 10:17:43 -0600

Subject: MARC Records From A Word Processor

You can make MARC records in a word processor (in text mode) that will be received in LEXIFILE using the .INPUT command.

What you see on the screen as a MARC record is only a representation of MARC. LEXIFILE will accept USMARC records (the real thing) but they are messy on screen:

00939 2200301 45000010021000000050013[more data to right..]





771031s1978 nyu j b 00110 eng a

362.2 9219 a362.2 HYD10aHyde, Margaret

$bgambling, smoking, cocaine use, and others /cMargaret O. Hyde.

p. ;c21 cm. $aDefines addiction; distinguishes between negative addictions; and discusses addiction to cafeine, jogging, and other activities.

1aGambling. 1aSmoking. 1a

006eGPf$gFhHYD a6016001 a09.95

a001 aLI

Anything OTHER than this is a "representation" of some kind. LEXIFILE uses the old MicroLIF standard for its "text display" of a MARC record. In it the following rules apply, which you must take into account if you use a word processor with cut and paste:

100 $aSmith, Brown

a. Each line must begin with a three-digit tag number

b. There must be two spaces between the tag and a "$a" which indicates where the data began.

c. The $ must be used as the subfield indicator

d. There must be a three-digit tag at the beginning of each line.

e. All the tags must be in ascending order 100,245,260,300..etc. LEX knows a new record is coming when the fields go from a high number back down to a low one.

Use of the fixed field tags is optional. The record will input with no data in the 001 to 008 tags. They are called "fixed field, because the data can be only of a certain length. Unless you are an expert cataloguer, doing them from scratch in a text editor is difficult.

2. Some of your lines appear to be "wrapping" This may be just a result of copying long lines into Eudora.

Your text editor must allow the notes field, for example, to go ON AND ON to the right. This will usually cause a problem with your note fields, such as the 500 field you show:

500 $aBased on papers presented at a colloquium at Dartington College, June 28 to July 1, 1991.

LEXIFILE will read this in as far as "College,"

HINT. Use a very basic text editor such as notepad in Win 95. If you have to use Word Perfect, use a tiny font and very wide margins.

For a model of LEXIFILE's ASCII standards for input, do a .SAVE .MARC in ASCII format. I have one below, with the line lengths kept short since Eudora is wrapping the fields:

001 77017024 AC r812


008771031s1978 nyu j b 00110 eng

010 $a77-17024 AC

020 $a0-07-031645-7

0820 $a362.2 9$219

090 $a362.2 HYD

10010$aHyde, Margaret Oldroyd,$d1917-

24510$aAddictions :$bgambling, smoking, cocaine use, and...MORE

260 $bMcGraw-Hill,$cc1978.

300 $ax, 150 p. ;$c21 cm.

520 $aDefines addiction; distinguishes between negative...MORE

650 1$aGambling.

650 1$aSmoking.

650 1$aDrug abuse.

900 $a362.2 HYD


Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 00:45:12 -0600

Subject: Export To Comma Delimited

>>This letter was sent to us to see if we could suggest how to make MARC records into comma-delimited files. LEXIFILE will do this, and I thought you all might want to know. Putting MARC into comma delimited would allow for it to be put into DBASE, mail merges, etc.

>>It is only successful if you don't use your MARC records to handle 32 subject headings, have titles 200 characters long, etc. MARC has inherently a better way to handle variable field lengths, and variable field repetitions.

>>At 06:10 PM 10/27/97 -0500, message received:

>>Dear Lex folks:

>>>>Could you recommend a program that converts MARC records to tab or comma separated text file?

>>>>Tamas Lassu

>>Our sample LEXIFILE will do it, 500 records at a time. Download it at


>>Our customers can do it for all records on file. You will first have to learn your way around LEXIFILE, check out the documentation provided.

>>You will want to use the command


>>To create a new database to input your MARC records use the command


>>and specify the path to the MARC records you want in comma-delimited form.

>>Finally, you will command


>>You will be asked to specify what database you want to export from, what file you want to export to, and what range of records you want to export. Answer these questions. Finally you will have this menu:


MARC format

Delimited format

WordPerfect merge

ASCII text file


>>Choose delimited format, and you are away.


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 23:33:49 -0600

Subject: Locating Unbarcoded Items

The trick to locating unbarcoded items is being able to make a set of all records NOT having a 901$a (barcode) subfield. This is the process:

>>.select #1- ...this will create a set of ALL RECORDS

S01 201 Record=

>>.select b= ...this creates a set of records


>>s01 not S02 ...this creates a set of ALL


S03 1 Record= and not BA=

Note that you are typing S "Zero"1 for S01. The set numbers will vary depending upon how many searches have been performed before this operation. You may have to go S10 not S11 or as appropriate.

Laura wants to transfer this set to another database. That can be done by concluding with an ALT-T command.


Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 21:51:17 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE Web Page, Downloads

LEX SYSTEMS has a new web page under construction, and we would like to invite you to check it out. Keep in mind that it is going to change a great deal yet.



There is something in particular that I would like to invite the more adventurous to try out for us.

You are an "adventurous enough" if you download programs to use from the Internet on a regular basis.

We are now placing on the WEB the most recent program being mailed to customers. That way Internet customers can keep up-to-date if they wish. Some clients don't like this, following the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If your current program does exactly what you want, you may not wish to spend the time learning new features.

On our web page click on "Downloads"

Then select:

LEXIFILE Most Recent Version Update (4.057.158)

When you click on the words (or the icon) you will be asked where you wish to download the file. This doesn't matter as long as you record or remember the location. The default file name is UPDATE and in my case the directory suggested is c:\dnload.

In a matter of minutes your file will be downloaded.


1. You may wish to copy your LEXIFILE directory to a new location before installing this version. Downloaded programs sometimes come with flaws in them, much the same as they can have problems right off floppy disks.

Alternately, see if you have a copy of your last program disk handy. That way you can always re-install the old program.

2. Your databases will be untouched by the install, but this may also be a good opportunity to perform a backup. If you have copied your whole LEX directory, relax. You have already made an on-disk backup of everything.

Win 95 procedure...

Now use the RUN command. In Windows 95 it is the second option from the bottom you see after clicking START in the bottom left of your screen. In my case I will use:

RUN c:\dnload\update.exe

You will see a screen that says:

Winzip Self extractor: Update.exe

Unzip to folder c:\lex

Change the "Unzip to folder" as appropriate for your installation. If you do not know WHERE your LEXIFILE is located, boot the program and use the >>>.SYSTEM<Enter> command. You will be told where the database is, for example:

Program Directory: H:\APPLIC\LEX\

In this case, you would change your "unzip to folder" to:


Then in a few seconds your update will be finished. Boot LEXIFILE and have a look.

Win 3.1 Procedure...

Click on FILE and select RUN. Then the procedure is the same as with the Windows 95 instructions.


We would appreciate knowing how this process works for you. When it proves to be reliable, we will recommend it to everyone on the Internet.

To this point feedback has been difficult to obtain, unless yours truly sends out too much humor...:-)


Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 22:43:51 -0600

Subject: Retrospective Conversion

LEX SYSTEMS performs Retrospective conversion, and we have just completed a large project for Lethbridge Schools.

If any of you want good quality work done for $.50 per (typical library) record, please get in touch. We would be happy to send you a sample file, or a list of satisfied customers.

London West Resource Centre sells LEXIFILE and also does a higher volume of Retrospective conversion than we do. They have access to more MARC records, although our hit rate is high if records are typical, and in English. Check with Norville Webb on his work as well, I will invite him to respond re his retrospective conversion services.

We are planning to issue a CD at some point made up of records from LWRC and LEX SYSTEMS. It will be quite useful because of Canadian and French records included.

LWRC is at: njwebb@ibm.net


Attachment Converted: c:\netscape\eudora\attach\newotc.zip

Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 21:06:46 -0600

Subject: Troubleshoot Checkout Date


Troubleshooting Discrepancies in Return Dates

The following was from a letter to Shannon Mossey, who was having troubles getting staff checkout dates to enter correctly in LEXIFILE. The process below is what we go through when someone has a problem.

Here is what I want you to do to help troubleshoot your problem.

A. Pack your CIRC file (Circ, ALT-O, pack CIRC file)

B. Next identify a "problem patron" (staff person). In CIRC put your cursor in the patron area, strike F8, then enter the name or barcode of a patron.

RECORD-ID 001 : lex 000009

TRANSAC 005 : 199106271959

ID 010 $f: 10421

NAME-LAST 100 $a: Bruce


ADDRESS-1 220 $a: Box 178


CITY $e: Dalmeny



TELEPHONE $k: 254-2040

USER-TYPE 300 $a: 2

DIVISION 310 $h: Jones, W

NOTES 500 $a:

Note that I am recorded as User Type 2. Strike ALT-P and print this screen for me.

C. Now you want to ESCAPE from this screen, and with a staff member in the patron area, strike F2 and check out a book. Again strike ALT-P to print out a screen such as this:


NAME: Bruce, Jim

TELEPHONE: 254-2040

TYPE: Staff


---------------------- TAB etc.


TITLE/WORDS: Addictions: gambling, smoking,

AUTHOR: Hyde, Margaret Oldroyd


TYPE: General

STATUS: out to Bruce, Jim

Check out: Nov 27, 97

Due date: May 07, 99

Note the long checkout (staff period seems to be working in this version, which is version 4.057.158)

D. Next, with the cursor on the item area, strike F8, and arrow down to the 901 area. Do an ALT-P to show something like this:

Barcode $a: 234451

Volume Info $b: 2

Copy $c:

Part $d:

Branch $e: GP

Call-Prefix $f:

Call-Classif. $g: F

Call-Cutter $h: HYD

Item Type $i:

Price $j:

Note that the Item type is blank indicating default item type of "1".

E. Finally, strike ALT-0, select CIRC SETUP, then select LOAN PERIODS. Print a screen like this:

PATRON 1 2 3


ITEM TYPES --- --- ---

1 General 15 365

2 Referen 3

3 Video 10 10

4 Cassett 10 10

5 Film 10 10

6 Filmstr 10 10

7 Records 10 10

8 Kits 10 10

In my case I see that Staff (user-type 2) allows a book (item type 1) to be borrowed for 365 school days (this does not include holidays and weekends).

At this point you should have these printouts:

a. Patron edit screen

b. Item edit screen

c. Checkout screen

d. Loan periods screen

F. You may have solved your own problem by now, if not I would like you to fax your printouts to me, including a printout of this report:


Strike P to print report. [NOT ALT-P]

Actually, if all this doesn't help you, I will likely send an update, since the staff loan periods are working with a newer version here.

This may seem like a great deal of work, but such is the nature of troubleshooting.


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 08:56:37 -0600

Phone: 1-800-665-4828 or 306-254-2040

Fax: 1-306-254-2612

Web: http://www.lex.sk.ca/


Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 21:17:33 -0600

Subject: Bibliographies

ATTN: LEXIFILE users and librarians

I have had a request from Khalid Jamal of the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Arkansas.

He would like bibliographies to be changed in LEXIFILE so that:

a. There is no ________________ at the beginning of entries that have no author.

b. He would like bibliographies to print with numbered entries.

I would like to know what other people think.

Phone: 1-800-665-4828 or 306-254-2040

Fax: 1-306-254-2612

Web: http://www.lex.sk.ca/


Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 22:30:41 -0600

Subject: News For Network Customers

First part is technical, if you skip it be sure to read the concluding paragraph anyway...

Networks and LEXIFILE Indexing

>From some work done at Lethbridge School District Media Centre we discovered that in some circumstances Novell networks are unable to keep up with the rapid sorting that takes place when LEXIFILE is updating or packing indexes.

During that time, LEX wants to write to the hard drive with a vengeance. In the case of the Media Centre, some portions of the indexes didn't get written to disk properly. This resulted in certain title searches not functioning (faulty title index).

When we repeated the pack on other computers, no problem. When we performed the pack on the LOCAL HARD DRIVE at the Lethbridge Media Centre, there was also no problem. Only when LEX was packing files on this particular server were there difficulties. There also was no fault with the LEXIFILE routine --as far as we can tell the velocity of data flow to the server drive was the problem.

Our solution was to provide a version that creates the new indexes on the local hard drive THEN forwards the file to the server. We feel this will also speed up the indexing process.

Significance For Network Users

We are now wondering if this indexing problem has affected any other sites.

If you have this problem, you should be able to find indexes that are MISSING data, resulting in records not being found in searches that should be. For example:

a. Words in titles and subjects that cannot be found in a search

b. Barcodes that cannot be found even though the indexes have been updated.

c. Similar omissions for authors, call numbers, and subjects.

Perhaps you would like to do some checks of this. Print out 10 records chosen at random, and see that you can search for them in every conceivable way. Using the F4 command to scan indexes would be an efficient way of checking. If all work for you, then the indexes are LIKELY to be fine.

If not, then you likely will need this new update.

Phone: 1-800-665-4828 or 306-254-2040

Fax: 1-306-254-2612

Web: http://www.lex.sk.ca/


Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 02:24:19 -0600


Re: Label Printing

Ann Low wrote:

Hi Jim:

Could you please tell me when you print labels in Lex, I chose to print 7 in a laser printer-- spine labels only-- and how do I use the rest of the labels on the sheet? Thank you, Ann.


There is no perfect answer to this problem. The dot-matrix printer has the advantage of being able to print one label at a time.

The laser labels require you to wait until 7 books have been catalogued. When you print to the laser labels you are allowed to save the labels to buffer. When 7 have been done you can print a whole set.

Another answer is to file your new books in alphabetical order by author. Then when done the whole set, print the spine labels for the new books by author.


Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 22:40:26 -0600

Building A Searchable Database of Lost and Missing Items

Helen McAllindon was wondering how she could take items that were marked as missing, and make a MARC file out of them, so that they could be returned to the database one by one as they turn up.

The answer is in the PACK with changes options for saving removed records or missing items:

+-PACK and INDEX--------------------------------------[x]+

™ Proceed with PACK ™

™ PACK and SAVE removed records in D:\LEX\CD.REM ™<--1

™ PACK, REMOVE and SAVE items marked as missing ™<--2

™ PACK and RESTORE missing/out-for-repair items ™

™ PACK and make global changes ™

™ RESTORE backup of 1998-01-29 00:40:16 176634978 bytes ™



Note that these options have to be selected with separate packs. Only one is possible with one pack.

Option 1 will take all records out of the database that have been eliminated with the REMOVE command. They will be placed in LOC.REM.

Option 2 above will remove all of your items marked as missing from within CIRC or INVENTORY. If you select this option you will:

a. Eliminate the barcode of a missing item if there is more than one copy

b. Eliminate the whole MARC record if there is only one copy

When asked, save items removed to loc.rem

Periodically, I would suggest you make a file called LOST.FIL or something similar.

Use the OPEN command to make this database.

INPUT loc.rem into this file.


 At that point you will be able to OPEN the LOST.FIL and search it for books that show up. Then use the ALT-T command to transfer them back to active status in LOC.FIL.

After inputting the LOC.REM file into LOST.FIL you have no need for LOC.REM anymore. Use Windows explorer to eliminate it, or go:

>>>.DOS del loc.rem (If you don't need a password for this, better set one!)

Send me a return email if you need further explanation for this process.


Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 21:41:53 -0600

Subject: Magazine Indexing

LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

Periodical index

Periodically (excuse the pun) we get inquiries as to how to use LEXIFILE to index journal articles. For example, Jo Ann (who has a charming accent from the South) sent the letter below.

I have done such indexes, but always improvising them. I have been searching the web for help and haven't found much. I sent out about 20 requests to indexers, offering to put their service on this list (once) if they can offer to find some useful documentation. We will see later what they have to offer.


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 09:08:37 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE for Windows (LexWIN)

LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

Had a question about LEXIFILE and Windows

>Thanks so much! Everything is working wonderfully. I downloaded the update a while ago and everything is great. Will there be a Windows version available for us DOS users? We are now using Windows 95 in the library and I was wondering if the Windows version of LEXIFILE would be much different.




Glad the download worked well for you. You can find the Windows version of LEXIFILE on our Web page now, there has been much updating with our web page. We have our own "virtual domain", so please update any bookmarks you have to:


The two versions (Windows/DOS) work together, so you can continue to use the DOS version when you wish. There will eventually be a charge for this particular upgrade, but we are looking for more users to check it out for us.


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 23:49:41 -0600

LEXIFILE Printing: Windows 95

LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

A few customers have had difficulty printing from LEXIFILE after installing Windows 95. I had the same experience here running LEXIFILE on my new laptop. That lead to what I believe is a solution to the problem.

When Windows 95 is installed, there is a question, "Do you print from MS-DOS?" This should have been answered by marking YES. If this has NOT been done, we found that we had to re-install the printer in Windows 95 to enable printing from LEXIFILE and other DOS programs (such as Windows 5.1 which I cannot totally give up).

Here are the steps in the solution. You may wish to turn this matter over to your technician (I did!). Please don't accept the answer that "LEXIFILE is not a Windows 95 program so it can't access the printer". Windows 95 was designed in part to enhance the ability of Windows to handle DOS applications, not eliminate that need.

Here is the process that was successful for us. If you have an alternate solution, please reply to the list.

1. Check that LEXIFILE is configured properly for printing:


Select printer configuration

Select LPT 1, 2, or 3 (almost always 1)

Select laser or dot matrix

Save settings and exit

2. Check to see if a Windows application can print properly. If it can't then you have to configure your printer, check cabling, paper supply, etc. You have a Win95 setup, connection, or hardware problem.

3. Check to see if another dos application can print properly: e.g. to do DOS prompt and type


type some characters

select FILE--PRINT

Not being able to print from here will confirm a Win95 setup problem.

4. Downsize all windows and select MY COMPUTER


Select ADD printer

Select NEXT to begin install

Select NETWORK PRINTER (unless you are not on a network)


Select Capture printer port

Select LPT number (usually 1)

Select NEXT

Select the Printer name and model

Click NEXT

Give the printer a name to suit yourself

When asked "Do you wish your windows based printer to use

this printer as default?" Click YES

Click NEXT

Select "Print a test page"

Select Finish


5. You may wish to remove the old printer, and the computer hosting the printer has to have the share option set so that computers other than the host one can use the printer.

I don't really expect many of our group to follow through on this, but at least you have something on file to show your technician if necessary.


Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 10:38:23 -0600

Subject: CIRC Log

LEX Customers and librarians


The CIRC log is a wonderful file that many LEXIFILE users never investigate. You can find it in the CIRC log under CIRC--STATS.




™ Statistics--Summary ™™

™ Statistics--Daily ™™

™ Most Loaned Items ™™

™ Top Borrowers ™™

™ View Circ log ™™<---Here it is.


Its function is twofold. For the librarian it can settle disputes as to whether an item was actually checked in. Every action affecting the CIRC files is recorded. For LEX SYSTEMS it enables us to analyze factors that may have corrupted your files.

When you select "View Circ log" you see:


™ Starting date (YY-MM-DD)? ™


For this example I entered 95-07-01 and saw.

95-07-01 09:52:33 Manual Circ PACK

95-07-01 09:52:44 Chkout 8600146, FIC VON, Cat's cradle, due 95-07-14 1042

1, Bruce, Jim

95-07-04 14:26:47 Renew 8600146, FIC VON, Cat's cradle, due 95-07-18 1042

1, Bruce, Jim

96-02-03 21:48:23 Manual Circ PACK

Notice that the date/time is given first, then the activity. I can tell that on July 1 at 9:53 am there was a checkout of Item 8600146 (Cat's Cradle) by Jim Bruce. The item was due for return on July 14th of that year, and Jim's patron id is 1042.

Let us suppose you find a book badly damaged on your shelves and you want to determine when it was checked out. You can do that by going into CIRC file, entering an early date and striking <CTRL>S

(Control key and S together). You will see:


™ Search for? ™


If the item is 8600146 you type it in. The program will stop where this barcode is found. You can then see when it was last checked out.

Another use for this feature is to troubleshoot when you believe the system is "missing" items checked in. You can search and see if transactions you believe to have taken place actually did.

The file that gives all this information is c:\lex\circ\circ.log. Don't erase this file without backing it up. It could potentially be used to rebuild all your circulation information, and unlike the other CIRC files it "can't forget". So....if a practical joker checks in all the books that are out, you can go back and read circ.log to undo all the damage.

During troubleshooting, we may ask you to send us your circ.log file which is backed up when you do a total circulation backup (You do this each day, we hope!).


Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:38:07 -0600

Subject: Year 2000

ATTN: LEXIFILE users and librarians.

Sister Kay has asked a question that a number of you have put forward lately:

Dear Jim,

Hello from Virginia, USA. It has been so long since I have contacted you that maybe I should re-introduce myself. I'm Sr Kay Kettenhofen of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Crozet, Virginia. I have been "lurking" in the Lex list-serve for awhile and have learned a lot. I haven't as yet seen any reference to the Year 2000 compliance problem. I am using Lex version 4.048 dated July 15, '94 and I'm wondering if this version is going to be Year 2000 compliant. (We have the cataloguing portion of the program only.) If it is not compliant, what would be the cost for us to up date at this point to your latest Windows version,. The question that goes with this move is, will or is your Windows version compatible with the Windows NT?

Thanks for your help, Jim. I've really enjoyed the list-serve even if I do only "lurk".

LEXIFILE stores numbers in format YYYY-MM-DD in its program. The log files sometimes use two digit years, but they aren't used to calculate anything, just record.

That is why we anticipate no problem. However, I am going to take a library in the fall of '98 and simulate Fall of '99 (advancing date) so that I can get several months of checking time in.

I don't suggest that you try it, since it is going to take some help from our programmer to change all the dates back later on.


Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 22:07:43 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE Default Databases

At 11:04 AM 3/20/98 Trish Jessop wrote:

I have just started to use LEXIFILE for circulation and searching. My problem is that when I boot up the search stations they are in NBK.FIL database rather than in Main.Loc, and I have to go into file each morning and change the database. I am assuming that the search stations are in expert mode and I am unable to get them into the patron mode. Please help me out.

Thank you.

You need to set your default databases in LEXIFILE. Do this by using the .CONFIGURE command,

Select (in the DOS version)


You will see this screen:

Default list ™ LIST

Record Order ™ On

Date/Time ™ On

APPEND file ™ On

Read-only prot. ™ Off

Clear at EXIT ™ On

Screen Saver ™ 2 Minutes

Write to Alt. ™ On

Help Level ™ 1



Expert/Patron ™ Expert

Colors ™

While in this area you might want to check the manual and make some of the other changes.


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 09:08:44 -0600

Subject: LEX: Input MARC Records From Other Source

The writer been giving Jean Law help on how to input records from LaserQuest. The process would be fairly similar inputting records from BiblioFile, or Precision One, etc. Now first of all your system must output MARC records, which is what JEAN sent me.

From within LEXIFILE

1. Create a database in LEX to receive records

.open new.fil [name the new file anything you like]

2. Execute the input of MARC file

.input a:lques.lex [or whatever file pathname is appropriate]

3. Locate a call number. Your records have the call number in 082,

you haven't placed a local call number anywhere as far as I can see.

To receive the 082 call number:


™ INPUT file as is ™

™ View input file first ™

™ INPUT with changes ™<---Choose this



4. Select a call number options.

+-INPUT options: -----------------------------[x]+

™ Proceed with INPUT ™

™ ™

™ Add Record leaders where missing [ ] ™

™ Correct punctuation; Aut, Tit, Pub & Sub [ ] ™

™ Convert 'SUBJECT--CASE' to 'Subject--Case'[ ] ™

™ Imprint records with location code [ ] ™

™ Select a source/destination for call no. [ ] ™<--Select here

™ Delete a field from all records [ ] ™

™ Add a field to all records [ ] ™

™ Find & Replace a word or Add a subfield [ ] ™

™ Copy or Move a field or subfield [ ] ™

™ Select WORD for conditional INPUT [ ] ™

™ Cancel this procedure ™


5. Select destination for call number. Strongly advise 901 for LEX customers:

™ Correct punctuation; Aut+-DESTINATION: [x]+

™ Convert 'SUBJECT--CASE' ™ 090 $a ™

™ Imprint records with loc™ 901 $g ™<---Select

™ Select a source/destinat+-----------------+

5. Select a source for call number

Add Record leaders where missing [ ] ™

Correct punctuation; Aut+-CALL NUMBER SOURCE: [x]+

Convert 'SUBJECT--CASE' ™ No Change ™

Imprint records with loc™ Copy 050 LC ™

Select a source/destinat™ Copy 082 Dewey ™<---Select

Delete a field from all ™ Copy 082 $y/$z Dewey ™

Add a field to all recor™ Copy 090 Local Call ™

Find & Replace a word or™ Copy 092 Local Dewey ™

Copy or Move a field or ™ ™

Select WORD for conditio™ Select some other ™

Cancel this procedure +------------------------+

If Laserquest (or any other bib product) has allowed you to place a local call number somewhere, prefer that to the 082, which was entered to suit the ORIGINAL cataloguing library.

6. Tell LEX to over-write any existing call number in 901 (there won't be any in your sample)


™ Overwrite existing destination Call Numbers™

™ No Yes ™<--Select YES.


7. Select "Proceed with input" and then if offered make a suitable choice here:


™ Input records even if duplicates on file. ™

™ Input to replace records with same barcodes and titles. ™

™ Input to replace records with identical titles and authors. ™


If you have an existing file, you want to avoid creating duplicates.

8. If you have no other files to input, strike ESCAPE when you see this:


™ Input another filename? ™


9. Check your records. Here is the first one in your sample, I used:

>>><F3> 1 (>>>.display 1)

record #1


AUTHOR-ME: Fitzsimons, Cecilia.

TITLE: Step-by-step 50 nature projects for kids / Fitzsimons,

Cecelia ; photography by Anthony Pickhaver.

PUBLISHED: Toronto : Strathearn Books, c1995.

MATERIAL: 96 p. : col. ill.

NOTE-GENERAL: Includes useful addresses and index.

ANNOTATION: "Fun, practical ideas to help children learn about the


SUBJECT-TPCL: Natural history--Experiments.

Environmental protection--Experiments.

Natural history--Study and teaching--Activity programs.

Science projects.

TITLE-DIF-AE: 50 nature projects for kids.

Fifty nature projects for kids.


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 22:24:15 -0600

Subject: LEX ID Subfield

LEXIFILE Users and Librarians:

Patron Append Information, RECENT VERSIONS

In several recent releases (4.058.11 to 4.058.13) the patron records in edit look like this:

ID 010 $a: $f10421

We would ask you NOT to edit out the "$f" or the ID number will be lost. It BELONGS in $f.

Other versions show:

ID 010 $f: 10421

In such cases it is less likely that anyone would attempt to edit the $f in any way.

There is no problem with this edit screen that we know of, if the subfield $f is left in place.


Date: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 23:21:24 -0600

Subject: Updating LEXIFILE

I wanted to assist Helen McAllindon with the procedure for updating LEXIFILE. Since this might be of interest to others, I thought I would inform our whole mail group.


You can download from the web site, http://www.lex.sk.ca , or you can request an update by mail, or wait for your annual update.


Some updates are provided to do this, but generally you have to install to the directory you originally had LEXIFILE in. This is particularly true of the WEB updates. If we placed the full-featured version, everybody would download it and never purchase it.


You can, by emailing us a request. The web-page version is a sample version, don't install it to your regular LEXIFILE directory.


Here are general procedures you are advised to follow:

1. Enter your existing LEXIFILE and select FILE--STATISTICS and see:

+-Statistics of?------------[x]+

™ Main: C:\LEX\LOC.FIL ™<--Choose your main file, usually "loc.fil"

™ Patron: C:\LEX\CIRC\PAT.FIL ™



2. From this screen determine WHERE the main database is located:

Database File Statistics:

Free disk space 643825664 bytes

F:\LEX\LEX.CFG configuration

F:\LEX\LOC.FIL database 132161 bytes <--Located in F:\LEX

In the example given, you now know to install TO F:\LEX

3. Ensure that you have the existing version of LEXIFILE backed up somewhere in case you wish to return to it for some purpose. That also protects you against the possibility that the installation diskette(s) is/are now faulty.

4. It is never a bad idea to back up all your databases, regularly, and before a new installation would be an ideal time.

5. Before installation, you must exit ALL copies of LEXIFILE running on all computers on your network. If you are on a large network, it might be easier to go to the main computer (in this case the one that the system is calling drive F) and SHUT IT DOWN.

Before shutting down your computer EXIT the programs that are running.

Shut down Windows 95 by going START-SHUT DOWN. You will receive warnings about other people connected to your computer, that is really not a worry unless there is some program other than LEXIFILE running that other people MUST have all the time. After the shut-down command, you may select "Restart Windows 95" when that option is provided.

In Windows 3.11 just use the File--EXIT command. Once you leave Windows the other stations will lose their ability to access your LEXIFILE program on its server. After shutting down Win3.11 you can re-enter it, other users will have been disconnected from LEX temporarily.

6. If in Windows 95, put your floppy in drive A and execute:

START--RUN A:\ --then click browse. You will find on drive A

one of these files to note:

lxins.exe --Installs either in Windows 3.1x, Win95, or DOS. Is

either a new installation or program update.

update.exe --Installs in Windows 3.11 or Windows 95, a LEXIFILE update


setup.exe --Installs in Windows 95 and will install the LexWIN our

Windows product. Icons will be installed.

There will be some instructions on the disk label.

7. Execute the installation file on drive a (usually) by running the lxins.exe file, update.exe or setup.exe file.

You will be asked at some point where to install (or explode) the files to. That is why you used the STATS command. In the example we would install to F:\LEX

NOTE: If you get a message "unable to write to" you have one of two problems:

a. LEXIFILE is running somewhere and accessing the lex.exe file

b. You do not have "write access" to the files in your installation directory. See your system administrator.

8. If you are asked "do you wish to keep your existing configuration"

say YES. Otherwise you will have to enter new passwords, setup your printer again, setup access mode, etc.

9. Follow through the prompts that are quite self-explanatory. Re-enter LEX and check out that you see a new version number. You may wish to PACK your databases.

10. If you shut down your server, all people on your LEX terminals will complain that they are having access problems. Tell them to quit and re-enter LEXIFILE. They will think you are clever, when in reality you helped cause the problem...


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 01:16:46 -0600

Subject: Printing Slow With Dot Matrix...

ATTN: LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

Printing large reports with LEXIFILE

Had this problem reported by a teacher librarian:


I have asked my LEX to print an overview of my entire collection. I let it run one entire day and at 5:00 it was at entry 4,000 or so. I have 10,000 entries. The next morning when I started again the printer started at #1. My printer is directly connected to my LEX system it is an Epson Action printer 32600...it will only hold 20 papers at a time. Any suggestion???????


I am assuming this is a dot matrix printer, but even if it isn't it is probably unfair to your network and printer to print huge outputs from LEXIFILE, and it may consume too much paper (as you discovered).

This is the process I recommend:

a. Search for the records you want

*For entire database use

.LIST t= for title order

.LIST a= for author order

.list c= for call number order

*For a select set perform a normal search

d. Sort the database if it is a set. Use the SORT command <F5> and select by title, author, or call number.

e. Use OUTPUT-SAVE and choose the format

*LIST will save space, but it crops long call numbers.

*BIBLIOGRAPHY gives author title, publisher, and all of the call number.

*DISPLAY gives the essential parts of the MARC record. Use where detail is used.

*EXPORT will provide data that can be used to merge into custom reports...any MARC fields. See your manual for this one.

f. Specify a filename and save to it. If asked, save in ASCII.

g. If you have a word processor, open this file. If you don't have a laser printer, take the file to a computer that does.

h. In your word processor, consider doing the following:

*Reduce the font if the report is large.

*Put the report in an attractive font

*If you can, insert page numbers

*Consider entering a header on each page

*Set margins

*Go to the end of your document and see if the number of pages can be printed

i. Once satisfied with your document, SAVE it and print it. If it is too long, print it in ranges (p1-20, etc.). Doing this prevents a large job from getting "stuck" in your printer buffer which may be hard to clear. Sometimes you need a network consultant to free a print queue.


Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:09:46 -0600



Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 05:43:02 -0600

Subject: Patron ID Barcodes

At 09:13 AM 5/5/98 -0700, Dan Pontefract wrote:

Our student cards for the students are done by Jostens.

What do we need to tell them in order to get proper bar codes for students, so LexWIN can read them??


LEXIFILE can utilize any standard of barcodes that we know of, provided the wand or scanner you buy can read them.

There are three possibilities for creating patron id numbers (barcodes) to use on library cards:

1. Numbers already in use in another database management system can be utilized. This allows you to use one number for students instead of two. You generally have to have data output from your management program then have it imported to LEXIFILE, and also sent to whoever is printing your cards. Contact me for more details if you are following this process.

This is practical only if the DBMS can output either "comma delimited files" or "flat ASCII files".

2. Purchase a set of barcode labels for your patrons. Isolate a number range that you will not use for circulating materials. Have Jostens (or other vendor) place the label on each card before laminating.

3. Have Jostens generate their own barcode numbers. If they do that, then have them follow a sequence suitable to you. Do not overlap with the barcodes you use for circulating materials (books, etc.).

I find code 39 labels convenient to use.

LEXIFILE does print barcodes, but they are dot matrix. The professionally generated ones save you much trouble for the modest expense. You can also purchase barcode printing programs at office supply stores such as Future Shop and Office Depot. Try and get one that will generate a number sequence.

When deciding on a sequence, start with a number that has the maximum number of digits you will likely use, e.g.:





Don't start with short numbers or they will file like this:






Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 01:20:13 -0600

Subject: Inventory Command

Some hints to assist with taking inventory:

1. Backup all files before inventory, as you are starting a procedure that could make massive changes in your databases. Then check to see if you have ended your last inventory before starting this one. If you like select Clear current inventory so that you can start over again fresh.

2. With program versions before 4.055.03 the system got a mild "upset" if you restored an earlier version of the database, or made changes to the file during PACK. It is best to complete your inventory before packing or restoring the database with versions that old.

3. I suggest you do inventory with a computer on the network. That way it really doesn't matter if all of the books are in at one time, or whether you take weeks doing your inventory. My favourite method is with a barcode cable that is 50 feet long, so that it can reach many books from one position. Using a portable barcode inventory device is not recommended because system messages are bypassed when using such a method.

If you want to use a computer OFF the network, then consider copying the whole database (and circ databases) to a computer that can be carried or wheeled around (a laptop is ideal). If this is your approach, then shut the library down while you do inventory.

If you are copying your database to another computer, make sure you have your CIRC files copied to, because the system uses this to remind it that a book out on loan is not missing.

I don't like using hand held units, because LEXIFILE has different inventory messages to give you with such as:

Not in database

Out on loan. Check it in?

Duplicate barcode

With a hand held batch unit the system cannot advise you of these problems (which are one of the reasons you need to do inventory).

4. Consider using a long cable that allows the barcode wand to be taken down the stacks from any nearby network station.

5. Put two people on this job at one time if you use a long cable. One should watch for screen messages.

6. Be careful with the inventory by range options. Once started, you must complete or clear this inventory. Before setting a range, do a .SCAN and select CALL NUMBERS to see what your range includes. The range method of doing inventories is generally not recommended.

Often these problems occur:

a. Books from another section are mis-shelved and don't get inventoried.

b. Books with prefixes are missed: e.g. you have 398.2 and PB 398.2 filed together, but the PB call number is not inventoried with the 398.2

c. The operator fails to hear beeps letting you know "not in collection", etc. Then the next three or four books may not get inventoried when you wand them in. You may have the sound turned off your computer, and this may lead to many mistakes. Turn it on so that in the boredom of doing your inventory, the sounds can remind you of any problems.

7. When you have completed your inventory go to the inventory menu and select List not inventoried or missing items. Print this list. You will likely find some items that are sitting on filing cabinets, in kits, in the staff room, etc. These should be inventoried before you close the inventory file.

8. Backup your inventory files. In the inventory command menu you will see:

Continue Inventory

Restore old inventory Note

Backup current inventory Note

Clear current inventory

List not inventoried items

End Inventory and mark missing items

Read Inventory Log

9. In the testing library, the loc.fil had items flagged as lost or missing from a previous inventory, and they were causing duplicate records to appear in the missing file. This problem was cured by executing in inventory:


and select this option:

"Delete missing items" .

If you need this feature and do not see the command, ask for an update.

10. Now with your loc.fil backed up, and your inventory complete and backed up, you are ready to go to inventory and select, "end inventory and mark missing items".

11. Now in inventory, list items marked as missing. After listing, use P to print this list.

12. Check your missing list against the list of lost or missing items that you printed before ending the inventory. Once you have verified the LIST, select End inventory and Mark Missing Items.

13. The last step is to PACK the database. Note that pack gives you this menu:

Proceed with PACK

PACK and SAVE removed records in C:\LEX\LOC.REM

PACK, REMOVE and SAVE items marked as missing Choose this option

PACK and RESTORE missing/out-for-repair items

PACK and make global changes

*RESTORE backup of


You want to save the items marked as missing in your LOC.REM file. That way if they show up again you can return them to your database.

14. Before erasing your LOC.REM file, input it into another database. Suggestion: create a database called REMOVED.FIL. Input the loc.rem file, then eliminate it. This will create a REMOVED. FIL that you can search. Transfer back the missing items as they are found.

15. Notice that inventory does not remove whole records unless all holdings are missing. If one copy remains, the item is not removed.

16. Note that in PACK is a command "PACK and RESTORE missing/out for repair". That allows you to change your mind and return to active status the items marked as missing. This is only possible if you have not as yet removed these holdings.

Hope these hints assist. Take care with inventories, and don't rush them. Make sure you verify the missing list before actually removing these holdings.

Phone: 1-800-665-4828 or 306-254-2040

Fax: 1-306-254-2612

Web: http://www.lex.sk.ca/

Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 01:35:19 -0600

Subject: LEXIFILE Inventory

LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

More on Inventory

Gail Kruchkywich in Lethbridge read my last email on doing inventory, and wondered if you could START with an inventory on a range of items, then CHANGE to an inventory of all items. Our programmer's reply follows:


I made some tests and it seems that it should work.

When using the "Backup current inventory" command to save the inventory results keep in mind that you have no choice of filename, so be sure to save each inventory range backup to a separate diskette and label the diskettes with the ranges. Then "Clear current inventory" and "Begin new inventory" with a new range.

Perhaps before starting a new range you would want to print the "List not inventoried items".

Even though you could "End inventory and mark missing items" after each range you probably would not want to do that for you would likely uncover misplaced items in some other range and might want to restore certain inventory ranges to inventory those items.

At the end, if you wish to use LEXIFILE to mark the missing items as missing, you would have to restore each inventory range one by one and print "List not inventoried items" if not done already, and "End inventory" for that range. You could defer the packing of the database until all ranges are ended. If doing a manual Pack choose "PACK, REMOVE and SAVE items marked as missing".

These instructions apply to LEXIFILE 4.057.26 or later.


Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 06:59:43 -0600

Subject: Missing Records

Re: 1. Missing Records

Missing Records (?)

>From time to time someone suspects records are missing on LEXIFILE. This sort of problem is hard to troubleshoot, it is equivalent to telling your family that you know a document has gone missing from a drawer--if it is sufficiently hidden then there are no traces to suggest HOW it happened.

Here are the most likely suspects as far as LEXIFILE is concerned:

a. The .REM command has been used and the wrong records deleted:

.REM 1-3 Removes records 1-3 in the current search set

NOT records 1-3 in the database

.REM #1-3 Removes the first three records placed in the database.

b. Passwords have not been set and someone is editing your database. You should be asked for a password to use the .REM command.

c. The indexes have not been updated since new items have been added, or new editing done. Access the INDEX pull-down menu.

d. Your indexes are corrupt and need to be repacked.

e. You are out of disk space and indexing is incomplete.

f. Indexes have been inadvertently removed.

g. Disk drive problems

h. Networking overload: We have found that LEXIFILE may be too demanding on large networks, they can't keep up with index file manipulation on the server. Newer versions write temporary files to the local drive to eliminate the problem. It is evidenced by gaps in your indexes, so some titles or authors may not be indexed and others are. This can make records seem to disappear. Ask for an update. No need to get an update unless the problem appears. LEXIFILE is indexing properly, but the server can't write the changes quickly enough. Those using version 4.058 versions before 4.058.10 may need updating under these circumstances.

LEXIFILE basically dumps new records on the end of a long file. It has quite a number of safety features built in to keep the integrity of that main database, loc.fil. Hence indexing is more often the problem than actual data loss.

If you want some insurance against this problem, I would suggest making a special backup that you can check back against when you believe records have gone missing.

Simply open a new database like this:

>>>.open lexback

Then input your existing database to that file:

>>>.input loc.fil

Any time you believe a record to be missing, open your LEXBACK file and look. If you find the record, use ALT-T transfer to return it to your loc.fil. You then also have a record of what happened, and we will be more likely to be able to offer help.

2. Troubleshooting: System report & Screen prints.

Please don't omit faxing us a .SYSTEM report (Use command, and then strike P to print).

There is so much we need to know from this to handle any sort of difficulty. For one thing, we need to load your program version to check out the problems you are having. Secondly, many if not most problems are evident to us from this report.

Also, we LOVE people to do screen prints with ALT-P in LEXIFILE, and to circle problems and fax them to us.


Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 01:06:40 -0600

Subject: LexWIN Progress

It has been some time since LEXIFILE users were updated on what has taken place with our Windows Module. There are some interesting features not in the DOS modules:

We are looking for feedback on the sample LexWIN provided on our web site: http://www.lex.sk.ca/. We would suggest you examine and test it first by installing to a different directory. You can still open your own database, or use the sample database provided.

Installing to your own directory will result in your regular DOS program being advanced, which you may not desire.

* You can use the 991 fields to identify file names of bitmap graphics. That would enable use of images, maps, etc, accessed from the cataloguing records.

*LexWIN defaults to two screens showing at one time after a search. You have a list (or bibliography) on the left, and a single-record display on the right. When you scroll down the list, you can see selected items change on the right hand side of the screen. Windows can be resized to suit.

*You can setup LexWIN to identify your Internet browser. Then if you catalogue a URL in the "856 $u" subfield, patrons can search for it, then retrieve it on the Internet. In the sample database we have provided a title "Welcome to the Internet" 856 $uhttp://home.netscape.com

In display this shows as:

LINKS: http://home.netscape.com [text is highlighted in blue]

*To the basic search screen we have added a button "select all records". When clicked this button allows selection by: date added, call no, author, title, or subject.

*More functions are handled in windows screens. Append and circulation still are DOS based.


Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 16:22:09 -0600

Subject: Advancing Divisions

ATTN: LEXIFILE Users and Librarians in Schools


Deb Meier from D.A. Ferguson School asked how to advance divisions in her patron file (useful for schools). This is simple if divisions advance by one number. You simply go to CIRC, ALT-O, year-end, and select "automatic advance of patron divisions".

If, as in Deb's case, you have irregular division designations "1A goes to 2B", or "Stewart" goes to "MacPherson" etc, then use "pack with changes" in this manner:

a. Backup your patron file. ALWAYS do this when using global changes. Take note of the number of records you have, and verify that you end up with the same number of records, accounting for records removed.

b. Use "Pack with changes" (see manual). Select "Find and Replace a word..."

c. Replace <old division> with <new division>--substitute as applicable where I have <> indicated.

d. When prompted, select field tag 310, subfield letter h.

This is illustrated below (I have inserted *1 to *5 to illustrate five places for data entry):


PACK and INDEX: with constant record sequence


+-PACK options: ------------------------------[x]+

™ Proceed with PACK with changes ™

™ ™

™ Add Record leaders where missing [ ] ™

™ Correct punctuation; Aut, Tit, Pub+-Replace:----------------------[x]+

™ Convert 'SUBJECT--CASE' to 'Subject™ In what field (default all)? ™

™ Imprint records with location code™ Field tag number =310 ™4*

™ Select a source/destination for ca™ Subfield letter (default all)=h ™5*

™ Delete a field from all records +----------------------------------+

™ Add a field to all records [ ] ™

™ Find & Replace a word or Add a subfield [X] ™1*

™ Copy or Move a field or subfield [ ] ™

™ ™

™ Cancel this procedure ™-------------ESC to exit-

Leave Replace word blank to add a subfield.------+

Replace word: Jones, W 2*

Replace with: Smith, T 3*

This procedure has to be repeated for each division. It may not be worth the trouble in smaller schools.


Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 00:20:10 -0600

Subject: Book Ownership

This question came from Professional Loss Control.

I wanted to clarify the "ownership of book" question I previously asked. We have one library room. Most of the books we have are owned by PLC, however, there are quite a few books owned personally by the principal(s) -. There are also some books which were gifted to our library. We would like to be able to indicate ownership, i.e.

Book owned by:

Professional Loss Control PLC

Luke S. Morrison Book LSM

Lyle G. Hamre Book LGH

Gift from John A. Smith JAS

Gift from Joe A. White JAW

What would be the most appropriate way to do this?


The technically correct place to put this is in a field called 541 "Immediate Source of Acquisition Note" Type in $f and add the owner information.

OCLC says of this subfield:

$f OWNER. Use for the name of the person or organization with legal custody over the described materials.

541 $a35 diaries$fJohnathan P. Merriwether Estate

This is obviously intended to indicate ownership of donated archival materials, but the field is allowable for "all formats".

In your case, don't bother with the other available subfields, type in:

541 $a$fJAW

You can then locate all of the JAW records by searching:


There are other possibilities. You could put it in the 901 subfield LEX uses for Accession number, since many libraries have stopped using them in favour of barcode numbers.

+-HOLDINGS 901:--------------------------

™ Barcode $a: 8600034

™ Volume Info $b:

™ Copy $c:

™ Part $d:

™ Branch $e: LI

™ Call-Prefix $f:

™ Call-Classif. $g: 782.81 SUL

™ Call-Cutter $h:

™ Item Type $i:

™ Price $j:

™ Accession $k:JAW

™ Sub-Location $l:

™ Shelving-Title $r:

™ Purchase Date $y:


This can be searched for with 901=JAW

The advantage of using a 901 subfield is that one copy of the book could be donated by JAW and the other by JAS, and the ownership can be linked to JAW--copy 1 JAS--copy 2.

You could use a 500 note field, but then you should add in explanation as in:

500 $aOwned by JAW.


Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 00:39:30 -0600

Subject: Printing A Catalogue

A question has arisen as to the best method of printing a list of subject headings.

I would recommend this process. Select <F7> SAVE command


™ Format to Save: ™

™ LIST F2 ™<--Select this



™ CARD (MAIN) F10 ™

™ CARD (SET) ™



™ Which Record(s)? ™

™ Current record (1) ™

™ Select record from list ™

™ Record numbers=s= ™<--Then type in "S=" for subject list

™ All records in set ™


Save to a suitable filename.

Use a word processor (I will illustrate with WP 5.1) and bring up the file. The file will look like this:

Put cursor on | mark below

1 Adolescence Fiction FIC SWA Swartho 1

2 Adolescence Fiction FIC SAL Salinge 1

3 Africa Dictionaries 960.003 HOR Hornbur 1

4 Alcohol 362.2 SIL Silvers 1

5 Alcohol Phys. effect 362.2 SIL Silvers 1

6 Alcoholism 362.2 CLA Claypoo 1

7 Alcoholism 362.2 SIL Silvers 1

8 Alcoholism 613.8 GOO Goodwin 1

9 Alcoholism 362.2 LAN Langone 1

10 Allergy 616.9 SIL Silvers 1

11 Allusions 803 BRE Brewer, 1

12 Alphabets 745.6 FIS Fisher, 1

13 American drama 812.08 BES Gassner 1

14 American poetry 821.08 FEL Fellema 1

15 Americanisms 929.403 STE Stewart 1

End block on | mark

Now use the block and cut to remove the call numbers, authors, and copy available number.

In WP51 you use pull down menu for EDIT, then SELECT, then RECTANGLE, then mark the columns on the right for removal. Then strike DELETE to remove the rectangular block.

I would make the list fancy by putting in page numbers, and a nice header for each page.


Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 07:13:50 -0600

Subject: Printing List Of Subject Headings (MORE)

Our programmer, Tenho Tuomi, suggested an alternate means to print out a list of subject headings.

This command is not documented, but it works. Type at the LEXIFILE expert prompt (>>>)


Save it to a file (such as scan.usr). Then use your word processor to open this file and you will see something like this:


















After formatting your document, you can print it out.


a. This has the advantage that subject headings used multiple times will only copy once (unlike .save .list s=)

b. The disadvantage is that the subject headings will be all in upper case.

c. You will have to edit out the numbers on the right hand side, which represent the number of times a subject heading is used in your database.


Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 07:13:47 -0600

Subject: Repeated Holdings Data

Anna Marie from St. Patrick Regional School is cataloguing text books, and using the F8 key in append to generate many consecutive barcodes in 901 fields. She also wanted each field to have "Item type 2" as in:

901 $a100001$i2 (barcode 100001, item type 2)

Using F8 in append to generate barcodes gets you only:

901 $a100001

901 $a100002

901 $a100003


The programmer has reminded me that using a "949" field makes the system apply the given "user type" level to ALL barcodes that don't have a $i in them.

For example:

901 $a1001

901 $a1002

901 $a1003

949 $a2

Will make all three barcoded items "type 2"

Extending this process further:

090 $a398.2 <--Will make all 901s have call number 398.2

901 $a1001

901 $a1002

901 $a1003

949 $a2 <--As explained above, makes all 901s take "type 2"

999 $aSP <--Identifies all 901s as belonging to library "St. Patrick"

Others cataloguing textbooks will find this timesaving. This process works poorly, however, if you have a mixture of call numbers and item types, such as when reference books are included, or paperbacks, large print versions, etc.

It will work very well where exactly the same book is used over and over again, with identical holding information.


Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 22:35:42 -0600

Subject: Records With No Barcodes

Caroline Watters wrote:

I would like to separate all my records that do not have barcodes. How do I list my records that do not have barcodes? Please help.

This is in the manual on page 42B-5 (Appendix: Barcoding), but it is worth repeating. Everyone who completes a barcoding project should check for items not yet barcoded.

At the expert prompt:

>>>.SEL #1- <Enter>

This will make a set of all the records in your database. You will see:

S01=<number of hits>

>>>.SEL b=<enter>

This will make a set of all the records with barcodes:

>>>S02=<number of hits>

Now you want "all records in database" NOT "records having barcodes".

So you go:

>>>S01 NOT S02

Now you have S03, which will contain all records not having barcodes. Find these items, and complete your barcoding.


Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 07:09:00 -0600

Subject: LexWIN on a Network

When you install the LEXWIN update from our website, it will install certain "DLL" files to your Windows \System directory.

That is fine if you are going to install LEXWIN at each station, but not if you are accessing it off a server on a network.

Mention to your network service person that the solution is to note the names of the DLL files identified by error messages of the type "Unable to find... " and MOVE those files to the directory where LEXWIN.EXE is located. That will enable all stations to find these files since the system looks FIRST in the default directory, then in the Windows \System directory.

Different versions of LEXWIN use different dll files. Version 1.01.23 uses Cw3230.dll



Copying those files from your Windows \System directory to your \Lexwin directory will enable Version 1.01.23 to run on your network.


Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 22:41:31 -0600

Subject: Removing Entire Databases

Some versions of LEXIFILE don't allow you to use the REMOVE command to eliminate the whole database. The following is offered as a solution to this (rarely faced) problem.

You should, of course, not consider doing the following without having several good backups on hand to restore.

Use the STATISTICS command to find out the path to your database. In the case of my sample LEXIFILE I see:

Database File Statistics:

Free disk space 407175168 bytes

C:\LEX\LEX.CFG configuration

C:\LEX\LOC.FIL database 132161 bytes

C:\LEX\LOC#.NDX pointer 200 records

C:\LEX\LOC0.NDX WORD index 3632

C:\LEX\LOC1.NDX CALL-NO. index 200

C:\LEX\LOC2.NDX AUTHOR index 289

C:\LEX\LOC3.NDX TITLE index 247






Press ESC to continue

Knowing this I can delete the whole database (USE CAUTION) with:

>>>.DOS del c:\lex\loc.fil [to get rid of the main file]

>>>.DOS del c:\lex\loc*.ndx [to get rid of all indexes]

If you do not get a "Password?" requested, then it is time you set your password....


Subject: Putting Items on Hold

Jo Ann Huskey asked about how to place holds in LEXIFILE'S circulation module. I will make use of an example:

Let us suppose that patron Lisa Jackle has a book called "Cat's Cradle" out on loan.

Lisa Jackle

631-8th Ave

Regina, Sask

S7H 5B8


FIC VON Von Cat's cradle

Items currently out....1

Items borrowed to date 1

Robin Johnson comes in the library and asks for that book to be placed on hold for her. So we:

1. Enter Robin Johnson's name on the top part of the CIRC screen (or her ID number).

2. We strike F4 for hold

3. We type the title "Cat's cradle" in the bottom screen. Note that we don't use the barcode, because we will be happy to have ANY COPY of Cat's Cradle for Robin.

This is what we see on screen:


PATRON ID NO: 104262

NAME: Johnson, Robin

TELEPHONE: 760-3194

TYPE: General


---------------------- TAB to move between PATRON-ITEM


TITLE/WORDS: Cat's cradle

AUTHOR: Vonnegut, Kurt


TYPE: General

STATUS: out to Jackle, Lisa - ON HOLD for 1 patron

Check out: Sep 01, 98

Due date: Sep 23, 98



Robin will have to wait a while because the item is out to Lisa until September 23rd.

The next operation comes when the book is checked back in. This is what we see upon checkin:

--------- CIRCULATION - CHECKIN --------------Reports-Stats---Other---

ITEM is ON HOLD for Johnson, Robin

™ DISPLAY hold notice

™ PRINT hold notice

™ SAVE hold notice

™ Cancel hold

STATUS: out to Jackle, Lisa - ON HOLD for 1 patron

Check out: Sep 01, 98

Due date: Sep 23, 98

Now that you know the item is on hold, you can put it aside somewhere, for a set period of time (default set for 3 days). You can print a notice to hand or mail to Robin Johnson.

Let us suppose Robin comes in to check out another book, and has forgotten about the hold. When we enter her name or ID in CIRC we see:


Johnson, Robin

™ You have the following books waiting for you:

™ Title Author Volume Type


™ Press ESC to continue

Cat's Cradle can be taken off the hold shelf and checked out to Robin.


Subject: Append Forms Problem

Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 08:34:40 -0600

If one of these files in LEX become corrupt you will be left with an inability to create new append forms:

forms.cfg Saves append formats for item databases

forms2.cfg Saves append formats for patron database

Both files are in your \LEX directory.

You create new files every time you make a new append format.

If you can't add ITEM append format screens any more, do the following:

>>>.DOS ren forms.cfg oldfrm.cfg [note the period in front of DOS]

If you can't add PATRON append format screens, do the following:

>>>.DOS ren forms2.cfg oldfrm2.cfg

BTW if you can do this without a password...so can your patrons.

The actual file names you use for renaming are irrelevant as long as you can remember them.

You will lose your existing append formats, but they are usually pretty easy to create anyway.

This problem has occurred perhaps six or seven times now, we are unsure of the cause. In the latest occurrence the computer was left on while the add append format screen was up. Latest versions of LEX allow you to save any existing screen as an append format.

Subject: On-Loan Report by Barcodes

Date: Thurs. 8 Oct, 1998

At the end of the school year school libraries often check in all materials on loan or overdue, then add a new patron file (with new ID numbers), then check out materials again.

The CIRC on-loan report does not provide any information about the patron ID numbers, or item barcodes.

You can generate such a report by doing the following:

>>>.OPEN CIRC.FIL Open the CIRC file at the SEARCH prompt

>>>.LIST b= LIST CIRC data by barcode


Input to?[x]


Patron: C:\LEX\CIRC\PAT.FIL <--Select

New database =

Input filename? <yourfil.txt> <--To suit

[x] Select as appropriate

INPUT file as is <

View input file first

INPUT with changes


[x]See note

Input records even if duplicates on file. 1

Input to replace patrons with same IDs. 2

Input to replace patrons with identical names. 3

Input to replace the entire patron database 4

1. You could leave the old records on the system, IF THE PATRON BARCODES ARE RE-ASSIGNED. This will not create a problem, except that the patron record will appear twice, under different ID numbers. Overdue lists will be sent to last year's teacher, otherwise this may not be inconvenient.

2. You can use this IF THE PATRONS HAVE THE SAME ID NUMBERS. This will result in overdue material being assigned to the new patron ID numbers.

3. This will work if the names are recorded in EXACTLY the same way, and the ID numbers have changed.

4. This is the safest mechanism. However before you do this, be sure you print out an onloan report. Printing out the barcode and ID reports above would be a good idea as well.



Date: Sunday August 1, 1999: Attention LEXIFILE Users and Librarians

Although LEXIFILE can print barcode labels with a dot-matrix printer and labels, we do not recommend this. It is better to order a sequence of barcode numbers and apply as necessary. Here are the elements we recommend go on a barcode: phone number, library name, code-39 barcode, and human readable code.

Mayview Library (306) 555-5555

||| |||| |||||| |||||


Mayview Library (306) 555-5555

||| |||| |||||| |||||


Mayview Library (306) 555-5555

||| |||| |||||| ||||| |


LEXIFILE does not require a different sequence to be used for patron or item IDs. We suggest that you reserve a barcode range for books to be pre-processed for you. So, if you are ordering from Baker and Taylor, for example, have them start their barcode sequence at 30,000, while you start at 10,000. Don't start with fewer digits such as 500. LEX will file it AFTER 4999.

You may wish to use simple letter codes for your patrons. If you start at "aaa" and go to "zzz" for example, you allow for over 17,000 patrons. That way you can tell a young borrower, just remember "Always ask Arnold", when you want to checkout a book. The checkout clerk can verify with other information if thought to be necessary. If you want to do this, don't buy the labels, just have borrowers remember their own code. Three letter codes are easy to type in accurately. Furthermore, you can use telephone numbers or names to check out if you prefer.

We have had great success ordering barcode labels and equipment from this firm. You can, of course, order comparable labels and equipment from a variety of places:

AURORA bar code technologies ltd.
10310 - 176 Street, Suite 200
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5S 1L3
Phone: (780) 483-6025
Fax: (780) 484-8767

Web Page: http://www.dimension-x.com/aurps.htm

Here is a typical order that would start a library of 5-10,000 items going with an inexpensive system:

6K thermal transfer labels @ $35 per K $ 210
NovaScan Delux Wand $ 135
Caere Decoder 2033 with cabling $ 650
6K label protectors @$30 per K $ 180
Total $1175

If you are going to be doing inventory, we would suggest you either use a laptop or buy 60 feet of wand cable extension cord (if that suffices for your library).

LEXIFILE will interface with a hand held portable scanner such as the NovaScan5000. However for the $915 you would be able to pick up a used laptop that would run LEXIFILE for the inventory. By using a portable unit you bypass certain features of LEXIFILE Inventory: