The individual field method of COBOL screen handling requires that you write or generate all the code needed to control each input field individually. This method requires a series of ACCEPT statements, as shown in the following example:
ACCEPT FIELD-1 LINE 10 POSITION 40. ACCEPT FIELD-2 LINE 11 POSITION 40. ACCEPT FIELD-3 LINE 12 POSITION 40.
This approach is usually embellished with code allowing the user to select or move between input fields. Help messages, prompts, validations, and special features may also be added. However, what begins as a simple series of ACCEPT statements soon grows into unmanageable code.
The benefit of building input logic in this method is that total control is possible at the field level. The disadvantage is that all screen handling responsibility is borne by the programmer, who must produce a cumbersome amount of code to add or modify the field level logic, add or delete fields, or move existing fields on the screen.