A preprocessor is written as though it were always called without the compiler by a command line. In particular, every preprocessor must accept at least the following command-line options:
|-e file||causes error messages to be written to the specified file. This option must be followed by the name of the error file.|
|-help||do not preprocess; show command-line help on standard output device|
|-Pofile||causes preprocessor output to be written to the specified file. This option must be followed by the name of the output file.|
|-Sa||indicates that the input file is ANSI format COBOL|
|-Sd||instructs the preprocessor to include lines marked as debugging lines ("D") in the indicator area|
|-Si||instructs the preprocessor to include lines based on pattern. The next separate argument is the pattern to match.|
|-St||indicates that the input file is terminal format COBOL|
|-Sx||instructs the preprocessor to exclude lines based on patter. The next separate argument is the pattern to match.|
|-v||do not preprocess; show preprocessor version information on standard output device|
A preprocessor should accept these options in any order. A preprocessor must honor the -e, -placePo, -help and -v options. Other options need not be honored but must be scanned if they appear on the command line.
Another command-line option is highly recommended:
|-n||indicates to the preprocessor that no preprocessor directives should be included in output. A standard preprocessor output includes directives, which may make the output very difficult to read. If you want to examine the output of a preprocessor, this option lets you suppress the directives and receive clean output. See Line and File Directives for more information on directives.|
The preprocessor should abort with an appropriate error message if a required option is missing.