Picture strings

The HPL uses two types of picture strings: COBOL picture strings and other picture strings.

COBOL picture strings describe a data field in a file that a COBOL program generates. For a discussion of COBOL picture strings, see COBOL records. The other picture-string type reformats and masks character data. This appendix discusses the non-COBOL picture strings.

Picture strings allow you to insert constants, strip unwanted characters, and organize the position of character data. Picture strings have three basic types: alphanumeric, numeric, and date. Each type is handled uniquely. The picture-string type is determined by the control characters that you use to specify the picture.

You specify the picture string in the Picture text box in the Mapping Options window. For information about the Mapping Options window, see Mapping options.


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