Notations and Conventions

COBOL Conventions
  • PIC X is used rather than PIC 99 with the COMP-X and COMP-5 data types. Unlike PIC 99, PIC X shows the length of the data item and so demonstrates more clearly the use of COMP-X, which is to define a binary item of the specified number of bytes.
Command Line Format
  • Words printed in italics are generic terms representing names to be devised by you.
  • Words printed in nonitalic characters are the actual words you must enter. You must type them in upper or lower case as shown.
  • Material enclosed in square brackets [ ] is optional.
  • When material is enclosed in braces { }, you must choose from the options within them. If there is only one option in the braces, the braces indicate repetition.
  • The ellipsis (. . .) follows { } or [ ] and means you can repeat the material in the { } or [ ]. The number of repetitions allowed is unlimited unless otherwise stated. If the ellipsis is used with [ ] the material can be omitted altogether.
  • If a command line does not fit across the page, it is continued on the next line; the continuation line is indented.
  • The Help may refer you to the readme for details specific to a particular UNIX platform.
  • All command line formats and examples are for the standard UNIX shell, the Bourne shell. If you are using another shell, see your UNIX documentation for the appropriate formats.
  • Where examples showing environment variables do not specifically show them being exported to the shell, it is treated as implicit that they are exported.
  • Some keystrokes using function keys or the Alt or Ctrl keys are not available on all UNIX platforms.The UNIX Key Usage Chart shows how the keystrokes shown in the Help map onto actual keystrokes.
Help System
  • F1=Help appears on every menu in character-mode Micro Focus software. It invokes a help screen describing the current menu.
Keyboard Keys
  • Key names and menu choices are emboldened within the text.
  • Enter refers to the carriage return or Enter key. Where commands to be typed are shown, the Enter key is not explicitly shown; it is treated as implicit that Enter must be pressed at the end of the line.
  • Hexadecimal numbers are enclosed in quotation marks and preceded by a lower-case "x" or "h"; for example, x"9D", h"03FF". The "x" is used when the hexadecimal number represents a character string; the "h" when it represents a numerical value.
Path Specifications
  • All path specifications are based on installation to the default installation directory. If you have installed Visual COBOL to a non-default installation directory, adjust the path specifications accordingly.
User Interface
  • Menu choices, and UI control and field names are emboldened within the text.
  • In some environments, you might notice that what appears on your screen differs in minor ways (for example, version numbers) from that illustrated in this Help. This does not affect the operation of your software.