Editing Data Files

There are a number of ways in which you can edit the records within formatted and unformatted data files. The types of edits available are sometimes dependent on the type of organization of the file.

A formatted data file is one that has a structure file applied to it, and therefore is being displayed using one or more record layouts. An unformatted data file does not have a structure file applied, and therefore displays its records unformatted, as one continuous string, per record.

Editing the contents of a data file must be performed whilst the file is in exclusive mode, which places a lock on the file, so that others cannot also edit its contents. Once in edit mode, you have a number of tools to aid text manipulation, such as cut/copy/paste functions, duplicate entire records, and editing using hexadecimal values.

If you open a non-indexed file with the Use temporary file for editing option selected, which is available on the Open Data File and New Data File dialog boxes, edits are made in a temporary file before you commit them to the actual data file. This allows you to revert current changes, if required. If using a temporary file, [TEMP] is displayed in the file lock status indicator, beside EXCLUSIVE; you must use the Save all changes to file or Revert all changes to file to complete your edits.[5]

Notes about cut/copy/paste: Copied records will have the same raw bytes as the original records, and maintains the encoding and data types. When pasted, record(s) will be trimmed to the maximum record length of the data file if they are too long.[3]