Format introduction

This section describes the format options available within QPSMR. Most of the formats affect the printing of tables. For full list of options see -

Format options full alphabetic index

Format options by category

Formats may be set in the following places:

In a FORMSPEC.STP file

On tables

In text

Formats control the way the set-up is interpreted, the way the data is handled and the appearance of the tables. The effects they control may take place during compilation, execution or printing; their values are saved and acted upon as appropriate.

There are three kinds of formats: logical, character and numeric. Logical formats are either set or unset; numeric formats have numeric values; and character formats take a character as values.

Formats have 3-character names that are mnemonic in nature.

All formats have standard values that take effect until they are explicitly assigned other values.

Logical options are set true by using the name on its own. To switch them off (set to false) use the name preceded by "n". For example, "nrtv".

A number must follow numeric options. For example "dpr2".

A single character enclosed in quotes must follow character options. For example "caz'0'".

Two or more formats can be set together provided that oblique signs separate them. For example "dpr2/cnz'E'/rth/nrtv".

Formats are set or assigned values by the F (format) command. They retain these values until they are reset or new values are assigned, by a later F command. Format settings are carried over from stage to stage within a set-up and from set-up to set-up when IDFs and ITFs are used.

Formats may be temporarily reset by T (tabulate) and MT (manipulate table) commands, on the first definition of a table.

Formats may also be reset using label control <K=>. These settings also take effect at print time and hold for the duration of the table being printed. This label control can only be used at the beginning of a set of labels and takes effect at the beginning of printing the table. Any formats set in <K=> overwrite the global format settings from F (format) commands and any formats on the T (tabulate) command. This is the best and safest method of incorporating overall formats in text. See the chapter on label controls.

Some formats may also be reset using label control <T=>. These settings also take effect at print time and hold only for the row or column of the table on which they have been specified. This is the best and safest method of incorporating supported formats for individual columns on a table. See the chapter on label controls.

Some formats may also be set in text, using label control <F=>. These settings take effect at print time when the text is scanned and hold for the duration of the table being printed. You are strongly advised to avoid this type of format setting on any tables that overflow because the top of page processing on overflow pages may differ from the first. See the chapter on label controls.