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Continuation lines in COBOL

If you want to continue a literal such that the continued lines and the

continuation lines are part of one literal:

o Code a hyphen in the indicator area of each continuation line.

o Code the literal value using all columns of each continued line, up to

and including column 72. (Do not terminate the continued lines with a

single quotation mark followed by a space.)

o Code a quotation mark before the first character of the literal on

each continuation line.

o Terminate the last continuation line with a single quotation mark

followed by a space.

In the following examples, the number and size of literals created are

indicated below the example:

¦…+.*..1….+….2….+….3….+….4….+….5….+….6….+….7..

000001 “AAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEE

– “GGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIJJJJJJJJJJKKKKKKKKKK

– “LLLLLLLLLLMMMMMMMMMM”

o Literal 000001 is interpreted as one alphanumeric literal that is 120

bytes long. Each character between the starting quotation mark and up

to and including column 72 of continued lines is counted as part of

the literal.

¦…+.*..1….+….2….+….3….+….4….+….5….+….6….+….7..

000003 N”AAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEE

– “GGGGGGGGGG”

o Literal 000003 is interpreted as one national literal that is 60

national character positions in length (120 bytes). Each character

between the starting quotation mark and the ending quotation mark on

the continued line is counted as part of the literal. Although

single-byte characters are entered, the value of the literals is

stored as national characters.

¦…+.*..1….+….2….+….3….+….4….+….5….+….6….+….7..

000005 “AAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEE

– “GGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIJJJJJJJJJJKKKKKKKKKK

– “LLLLLLLLLLMMMMMMMMMM”

o Literal 000005 is interpreted as one literal that is 140 bytes long.

The blanks at the end of each continued line are counted as part of

the literal because the continued lines do not end with a quotation

mark.

¦…+.*..1….+….2….+….3….+….4….+….5….+….6….+….7..

000010 “AAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEE”

– “GGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIJJJJJJJJJJKKKKKKKKKK”

– “LLLLLLLLLLMMMMMMMMMM”

o Literal 000010 is interpreted as three separate literals that have

lengths of 50, 50, and 20, respectively. The quotation mark with the

following space terminates the continued line. Only the characters

within the quotation marks are counted as part of the literals.

Literal 000010 is not valid as a VALUE clause literal for non-level-88

data items.

To code a continued literal where the length of each continued part of the

literal is less than the length of Area B, adjust the starting column such

that the last character of the continued part is in column 72.

 

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