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We’ve added a new suite of Advanced Search tools to help you find exactly the list of titles you need, in the frontlist or the backlist. We’ve also added more ways for you to view and act on your search resultsfeature that will let everyone set custom columns in grid views and exports. Switch between account columns and your custom columns whenever you like, and export Excel or CSV files that include all the data you need!

Table of Contents

Advanced Search

With our newly added Advanced Search tools, you can find exactly the list of titles you need, frontlist or backlist. We have also added more ways for you to view and act on your search results, with a new grid view option!

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Account columns and custom columns

Account columns

If you’re an Account Manager (or Catalogue Editor), you may have noticed that the Exporting tab in your Settings has been renamed to Account Columns. You still have the Basic, Extended, and Customized options when it comes to choosing what columns are included in your export files and what displays in the catalogue grid view by default for people in your account. What we’ve done is give these columns you have set up a new name: account columns. The new name helps differentiate these columns set up at the account level from our new feature, user-level custom columns.

Preset your filters

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The filters section includes two columns, one where you can limit results with simple opt-in checkboxes or, in the second column, you can set specific range parameters and multi-select criteria from the drop-down boxes.

Canadian Authors: Ticking the box next to this option will generate a result set that includes books by Canadian authors. A book will return if any contributor to the work is flagged as Canadian.

Favourite Publishers: This option only displays if you are logged in to CataList, and have set Favourite publishers or imprints. This limiter will

Added in the past [ ] days: The default for this is set to 2, but you can select as far back as 7, 15, or 30 days. This is calculated from the date a title is published into a public or trade-only catalogue in CataList. It also includes the current day; searching titles ‘added in the last two days’ will return titles added to CataList today and yesterday.

Publication Date: To set a date range, select from the dropdown: Before, After, and Between. This activates the calendar picker for the start date, end date, or both - depending on the range type you selected. Click on the calendar icon to open the picker to select a date.


Click on the month and year in the calendar picker’s header to open drop-down selectors for faster navigation to different timeframes.

Price range: You can set your filters to only return items within a certain price range. This filters on the Canadian retail price data point.

Format: Use the format limiters to return specific formats only. In addition to print formats, you can limit to ebook product, audio or non-book items like calendars or stationery items.

Audience: If you want to limit results to a particular audience, such as Juvenile or Young Adult, use the audience tool to select just the audiences you are looking for. Other options include All, General Trade, Education, Higher Education, Professional/Scholarly, ESL, and Adult Education.

Language: You can also pre-filter results based on the language of the text. The most common languages represented in CataList are at the top of the list (English, French, German, etc.), and indigenous languages are included in this list. The Multiple languages option returns items specifically flagged with a multiple language indicator. Books where, for instance, both French and English are indicated as languages in the text, will be returned if either French or English is selected.

Search result grid view option

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Click on any image to view at full size

There is also a new way in CataList to view your search results!

Use the icons at the top right of your search result items to select a preference for how CataList presents your search results. By default, you’ll have our standard scrolling view set. Simply click the grid view icon to switch your view. When you are logged in to CataList, the system will remember your last selection and will display future searches in your selected format.

Use the Show/Hide columns button to set the columns you want to see on this page. When you are logged in to CataList, the system will remember your column settings for future search results.

In grid view, you can also use the checkboxes in the first column to select and act on titles returned in your search. Again, you must be logged in to CataList to access this feature. Select all titles or specific titles, and send your selections to a custom catalogue or export them from the system.

Latest features added November 18, 2020
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Click on any image to view at full size

You can access the Advanced Search at any time from the link below the Quick Search box. Clicking the link brings you to the Search page, with the Advanced Search form open.

If you run a Quick Search for book results, you'll also see the Advanced Search bar at the top of the search result page. You can click the bar to open and access the Advanced Search form at any time on that page.

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The Advanced Search form is a versatile tool that allows you to customize and filter your search results in a dynamic way. There are several parts to the form and different ways to set search parameters. Each section is covered in more detail below. When you have set your parameters, remember to click the Run Search button at bottom of the form to start your search.

Once your search returns you can reopen the form to refine the parameters on your search. Alternately you can use the refine boxes at left to quickly refine your result set.

Use the Clear All button to clear all parameters from the form and start a fresh search.

Searching in specific data fields

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At the top left of the form, you’ll see the option to search for text matches in specific data points. This section looks for exact word matches in the selected data field. This relies on publishers providing names and series consistently across titles.


If you are not seeing the matches you expect, try reducing your search terms to the main keywords. For example, try searching “Hunger Games” in series rather than “The Hunger Games” to get the largest set of matches.

Title: This option searches for matches across title and subtitle fields.

Contributor: This option searches for matches on all contributor roles including author, illustrator, editor, photographer, etc.

Series: Search for series matches for all of the books in a particular series, for example, “The Massey Lectures” or “Dog Man”.

All Subjects: If you know the subject you are looking for, i.e. Cooking, you can type it in here, or if you prefer to search specific subject codes, use the ‘Search specific subjects’ function in the next section.

Publisher: If you know the publisher of a book, i.e. Dundurn, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Groundwood, etc., you can type it into this field to see results that include publications by that publisher.

Imprint: You can search for a specific imprint’s title list using the Imprint option. For example, you could search for all titles in Goose Lane’s icehouse poetry titles by searching for “icehouse poetry”.

Canadian distributor: The Canadian distributor option allows you to locate sets of titles that can be ordered together from a single source.

Publisher keywords: Many publishers now add keywords to their metadata to help surface results that may not be otherwise easily found using the title, subject or other common metadata fields. Try searching for keywords like “indigenous”, “BIPOC” or topical or seasonal themes such as “pandemic” or “Halloween”.

When you’ve set your parameters, click the Run Search button at the bottom left of the form.

Boolean search examples

Use the ‘Add another parameter’ button and the AND, OR and NOT operators to expand or limit results:

  • Use the AND operator to match across indexes. For example, books with a subject containing the word “Crafts” AND a distributor “Scholastic”

  • Use the OR operator to find books where either criterion is met. For example, where either Robert Munsch OR Michael Martchenko is a contributor

  • Use the NOT operator to exclude a subset of potential matches.

Note that multiple words in a single search box are always handled as an AND operator. If you search “Italian cooking” using the All Subjects filter, the Advanced Search tool will look for books that have both “Italian” AND “cooking” in the subject fields.

Select subjects from a list

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To limit your result set to specific subjects, this section allows you to look up and select BISAC or Thema subjects.

  • To use this feature, select your preferred subject standard, BISAC or Thema, and click the blue Add/Edit Subjects button under the Search subject codes text box. This opens a lookup box and the subject tree.

  • The system will not allow you to type in your own text into the display box. Once you have selected the subject code(s) you would like, the subject text will populate into the search box for you automatically.

  • Use the lookup box to find matches for your text in the tree. You can lookup by subject code or literal. Matching subjects will be highlighted in the list, as shown with the example ‘adventurers’ in the image at left. Scrolling down the list will also show ‘adventurers’ highlighted in the (adult) Biography section.

  • You can explore the subject tree to make your selections. use the +/- button to expand or collapse sections, and the checkbox to indicate your selections. For example, you can open the Non-fiction box, open the Cooking category, and make selections from the different styles of cooking, cookware, and other relevant subtopics.

  • Selecting a subject that has subcategories will include all subcategories by default For example, selecting ‘GARDENING / Climatic’ automatically selects the subcategories Desert, General, Temperate, and Tropical. You can deselect one or more subcategories by unchecking the box next to the subcategories you wish to exclude.

To edit your subject selections, or to clear them without clearing the rest of the Advanced Search form, use the Add/Edit Subjects button to reopen the subject tree where you can modify or clear your selections.

Custom columns

Before we introduced custom columns, the columns that you were able to show and hide in grid views were limited to the columns that the Account Managers set up in the account settings.

Now, all the columns available in CataList are available for you to add to your grid views and exports, regardless of which columns the Account Manager selected for the account columns.

By default, each person will see the columns set at the account level. To customize your column views, click the Customize Columns button at the top right above the table and choose the My Custom Columns radio button. Select the columns you want to include in your custom grid, and click Save. You can drag the header of a column to place it next to another column. Your column selections and their order are reflected in your export files and will be saved for the next time you log in to your account.

Catalogue grid view

When you browse a catalogue in grid view, the Customize Columns button displays on the top right of your grid. As this is a feature available only to registered users, please make sure that you are logged in to your account.

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The new feature lets you easily switch between the account columns (the ones set up at the account level) and your custom columns. By default, the account columns are selected, and you won’t be able to edit them. Switch to My custom columns to start customizing your grid view. When you are customizing your catalogue grid views, you will see the available columns separated into four sections:

  • Bibliographic data

  • Supply data

  • Order management

  • Supplemental information

Click the section headers to toggle the column lists open or closed.

You then have the option to save, reset, or cancel your options. If you choose to click Reset, your columns will be reverted to the last set of columns saved by you (or, if it is your first time using this new feature, it will revert to the account columns).

Search results grid view

To customize your columns on the search results page, make sure your search results are displayed in the grid view.

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Your custom columns for the search results grid view can be different from the ones you selected for your catalogue grid views. When viewing search results, you will also have a smaller set of available columns you can select from, compared to the catalogue grid views. For example, the columns in the Order Management section aren’t available in the search results grid view.


If you want to use the Order Management columns for your search results, you have two options:

  • Click on an ISBN to view the title detail page, where order capability exists, or

  • Move the search results into a catalogue, where you can access the catalogue grid view. To do this, select the titles you want and click Add To Catalogue.

Exporting from CataList

For all users, account columns will always be available as an export format for Excel and CSV files. Our new feature gives you the option to use either the account columns or your custom columns.

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This is helpful if there are times when you need files that contain columns that were not set up by the Account Manager. With your custom columns saved to the system, you can switch between exporting your columns and the account columns. When you are ready to export a file, choose from the drop-down menu which set of columns you want your file to include and then download your Excel or CSV file.

When viewing your search results, you can select individual titles to include in your export file by selecting the checkboxes next to those titles.

Order exports

Order exports also have the custom column feature. While you can’t set your custom column views on the order page, you can still export your order using your custom columns. If you choose to do this, we will use the set that you have saved for catalogue grid views, not search results.

Other changes in this release

  • We have streamlined the registration process to help new clients indicate how they need to use CataList in their business workflows

  • We have added new columns to the grid views:

    • Measurements: height, width, depth, and weight

    • Thema subject codes

    • Availability

    • Language

    • Previous Edition

Latest features added March 11, 2021.

Check this space often to find out more about the changes and new features added to BNC CataList.