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Learner guide: Connexion client 5 - Automation and customization

Course overview

Connexion client includes several automation tools that can help you customize the interface to fit your local workflows and maximize your cataloging volume. This class explains how to create constant data, and text strings, how to customize the toolbar and assign user tools. These features can help you efficiently complete routine tasks on individual or groups of records.

 Note: This learner guide is designed to accompany the Connexion client 5 - Automation and customization course.


Options available on the menu bar: 

Constant data

Using the Connexion client, you can create bibliographic constant data online or create constant data in one or more local files located on your workstation or shared network drive. The client provides a blank default local constant data file (DefaultBibCD.bibcd.db). See Manage local files for more about local files, their locations, and how to share them.

Why create constant data? 

Using constant data is a way to apply frequently used information to records. You add the same data to bibliographic records to:

  • Avoid rekeying frequently used data
  • Reduce errors and improve consistency among related records
  • Develop and maintain local standards for bibliographic records, for specific collections, or for different types of resources

Create constant data from a workform

  • Cataloging > Create > Constant Data
  • Choose workform type (books, visual materials, etc.)
  • Enter tags, fields, text, following regular editing procedures
  • Action > Save Record to Local File OR Action > Save Record to Online File
  • Name the Constant Data (tip: use a short name for ease of use)
  • (optional) Set a “my status” and set as default

Create constant data from a bibliographic record

  • Open target record
  • Edit > Derive > New Constant Data
  • Choose Yes or No for Transfer fixed field values to new record?
  • Enter tags, fields, text as needed
  • Action>Save Record to Local File OR Action>Save Record to Online File
  • Name the Constant Data (tip: use a short name for ease of use)
  • (optional) Set a “my status” and set as default

Apply constant data

  • Open target record
  • Edit > Constant Data > Local > Apply Default
  • Default must be designated beforehand


  • Edit > Constant Data > Local > Apply by Name
  • Type name of saved constant data record
  • Choose fixed, variable, or both


  • Edit > Constant Data > Local > Apply from list
  • Search by name, by My Status or click OK to display all constant data
  • Click desired constant data from displayed list
  • Choose fixed, variable, or both
  • Click Apply Selected


Selected Default Keystroke Shortcuts in Connexion Client for Constant Data

Action Keystroke

Create New Constant Data


Apply Default Local Constant Data


Apply Local Constant Data by Name


Search Local Constant Data


Apply Default Online Constant Data


Apply Online Constant Data by Name


Search Online Constant Data


Text strings

Text strings can:

  • Be used to supplement constant data
  • Include diacritics or special characters
  • Include multiple fields

You can:

  • Create a text string of data you use frequently to insert in records.
  • Insert text strings in bibliographic and authority records and in bibliographic and authority constant data records.

Create text strings

  • Text Strings > Manage
  • Add
  • In Description, enter a name for the text string
  • In Text, enter text exactly as you want it applied (include tags, indicators, delimiters, subfield codes; multiple fields)
  • OK

Apply text strings

  • Text Strings > select from list
  • OR map to a custom keystroke


Macros are short programs you write to automate routine tasks. Macros are built from commands. Each command does one step in the procedure you want to run automatically. Creating and using macros is optional and requires some understanding of BASIC programming language. The client supports macros written using OCLC Macro Language (OML), which provides:

  • Standard BASIC functions and statements
  • Macro commands developed specifically for the client

Why use macros? 

Using macros can help to:

  • Reduce the number of keystrokes and mouse clicks by running repetitive processing steps automatically
  • Standardize procedures to reduce errors and inconsistencies
  • Decrease staff time required for routine tasks

Use OCLC macros

  • OCLC-supplied macros are in the OCLC macro book (Tools > Macros > Manage…)
  •  Highlight macro to use, click Run to run the macro
  • Optional: Assign macro a custom keystroke shortcut or user tool
  •  Add the user tool button to the toolbar (through toolbar editor)

Create a new macro book

  • Tools > Macros > Manage…
  • New Book
  • Name the macrobook
  • Close

 Note:  Create a macrobook for the macros you create, so you do not lose custom macros if Connexion is updated in the future.

Record a new macro

  • Prepare macro scenario (open record, etc.)
  • Tools > Macros > Manage…
  • Click the macro book where you want to save macro
  • Click Record
  • Enter Macro Name (no spaces allowed)
  • Enter Macro Description
  • OK
  • Complete steps to be recorded in macro
  • Press stop button (red square)

User Tools

  • Assign up to ten functions to ten available generic user tools.
  • Assign a user tool to: 
    • Insert a special character or diacritic.
    • Run a macro.
    • Run a menu item.
    • Insert a text string.
  • Unassign a user tool.
  • View current user tool assignments and their default descriptions.
  • Customize the user tool description that appears in the user tool menu list and as the toolbar button tool-tip (pop-up description when the cursor is over the button).

Assign User Tools

  • User Tools > Manage
  • Select an option in the Display Commands for Category box
  • Choose item to associate with the User Tools
  • Under Select New User Tool, select Tool 1-10
  • If satisfied, click Assign

Apply User Tools

  • User Tools > click assigned tool

Toolbar Editor

Customize the main toolbar:

  • Tools >Toolbar Editor
  • Add a button to the toolbar: Drag and drop a toolbar button in the Menu Items list to the toolbar
  • Remove a buttonr: Drag toolbar button from the toolbar and drop it in the Menu Items list
  • Move a button: Press <Alt> while you drag and drop a button in the toolbar to a new location

 Note:  You can select other ways to customize the appearance of the toolbar on the Tools > Options > Toolbar tab. See also Customize the toolbar.

Keystroke shortcuts 

The client provides predefined keystroke combinations for carrying out menu commands, editing, and entering diacritics and special characters.  However, you may prefer to create your own shortcuts or change the default key assignments,

Assign keystroke shortcuts 

  • Tools>Keymaps
  • Make a selection in the Display Commands for Category box
  • Choose item to associate with the keystroke shortcut (in the white box on the left)
  • Place cursor in Press New Shortcut Key box
  •  Press desired shortcut key combination
  • If satisfied, click Assign

View a list of keystroke shortcuts 

  • To view a list of user-defined shortcut keys only: Tools>Keymaps>List All
  • To view a list of all shortcut keys (Application default, Windows default, and user-defined):
  • View Assigned Keys…
  • Copy to Clipboard (to edit list)
  • Print

Test your knowledge

1.    True or False? It is possible to enter and retain blank fields and subfields in a constant data record.

a.    True

b.    False

2.    Which is true about Constant Data? 

a.    It can be applied to fixed or variable fields

b.    It can be applied to fixed or variable fields

c.     It can be applied to a displayed record or a list of records

d.   All of the above

3.      True or False? Text strings can only be used for variable fields.

a.    True

b.    False

4.      Which would you use to add fields and subfields to a group of records?

a.    Text strings

b.    Constant data

c.     Type the fields and subfields into each record

5.    Which would you use to add a field at the cursor position in a record?

a.    Text strings

b.    Constant data

c.     Neither

6.    Which option can you use to automate repetitive, multi-step actions, such as strings of commands?

a.    User tools

b.    Macros

c.     Keymaps

d.    Constant data

7.    Which option can you use to apply a keystroke shortcut to a text string?

a.    User tools

b.    Macros

c.     Keymaps

d.    Constant data

Answer key
  1. a.
  2. d.
  3. a.
  4. b.
  5. a.
  6. b.
  7. c.

Información complementaria

We look forward to seeing you in the next class!