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The INPUTFIELD and INPUTFIELDV statements enable entry of data from the keyboard at a specific screen position or from previously stored DATA statements. They differ from INPUT @ in that they terminate on entry of any control character not recognised as an editing key. This allows application software to capture and handle control and function keys.





INPUTFIELD @(x, y) {,} {:} var, length {, fill} {_} {:} {format} {modes}

{THEN statement(s)}

{ELSE statement(s)}


INPUTFIELDV @(x, y) {,} {:} var, length {, fill} {_} {:} {format} {modes}

{THEN statement(s)}

{ELSE statement(s)}




x, yare the screen position (column and line) at which input is to occur.


varis the variable in which the data is to be stored.


lengthis the maximum length of data to be allowed. Because of a potential syntactic ambiguity in the language, this must be enclosed in brackets if it is an expression.


fillis a Pick style fill expression. The first character will be used to fill any spare space in the input field to make the field width it clear to the user. The second character will be used to fill unused space after input is completed. If the fill string is only one character, spaces will be used. The third character, if present causes the cursor to be left at the end of the input field instead of the default action of leaving it after the last character of the entered data string. The fill option cannot be used with a format mask, PANNING or HIDDEN.


formatis the format specification to the used for initial display of var and to redisplay the data on completion of input.


modesare any combination of the following keywords:
APPENDPosition the cursor at the end of the data. Use of this keyword also implies EDIT mode.
EDITStarts in "edit" mode, suppressing the normal clearance of the input field if the first character entered by the user is a data character rather than an edit character.
HIDDENechoes characters back to the screen as asterisks for password type fields.
NO.ECHOSuppresses echo of input data.
OVERLAYStarts in "overlay" mode where data entered by the user replaces the character under the cursor rather than being inserted.
PANNINGAllows entry of an unlimited number of characters in a field width of the given length by panning the data if it is longer than the display width. Use of this option requires length to be specified and implies the presence of the underscore.
TIMEOUT waitSets a timeout period in seconds. If input is not received in this time, the INPUTFIELD terminates, leaving var unchanged. The keywords FOR or WAITING can be used in place of TIMEOUT for compatibility with other environments.
UPCASEconverts the input data to uppercase.


The comma after the cursor position is optional and has no effect on the operation of the statement.


The optional THEN and ELSE clauses used with TIMEOUT allow a program to determine whether the input timed out. Successful input executes the THEN clause. A timeout will execute the ELSE clause.


The INPUTFIELD statement reads data from the DATA queue or, if there is no stored data, from the keyboard.


The INPUTFIELD statement works similarly to the INPUT @ statement except that entry of any control character not recognised as an editing function (see INPUT @)  terminates data entry. The STATUS() function can be used to determine the key that caused exit. This will return zero for the return key and the internal key code (128 to 227) for any other key. See the KEYIN.H include record in the SYSCOM file for key values. The tokens defining these special key values are prefixed with K$.


The INPUTFIELDV statement is identical except that the value returned via the STATUS() function will be the Unicode BMP Private Use Area code for the special key that terminated input. The token definitions for these values in the KEYIN.H include record are prefixed with KV$.


When the return key is pressed to terminate input, if a format is specified, the data is redisplayed using this mask to apply format rules such as right justification.



Keyboard Input


When reading from the keyboard, the current prompt character will be displayed to the left of the given input position. No prompt is displayed if the input column position, x, is zero or if the prompt has been disabled using the PROMPT statement. The prompt character will be removed from the screen on completion of the input.


If the colon character before var is present, the original contents or var are displayed in the input area and entry commences in overlay mode. If the colon character before var is not present, entry commences in insert mode with a blank field.


The user has three options:

Pressing the return key retains the original content of var.

Typing a data character replaces the original content of var, clearing any old displayed data (unless the EDIT option is used).

Using an edit key (see below) allows the old data to be edited.


The values stored for printing characters are the ASCII characters associated with the key. Non-printing characters result in stored character values as listed under Character Values for Terminal Input.


If no length expression is included, data characters are stored until the return key is pressed.


If length is specified, up to that number of characters may be entered after which input is automatically terminated as though the return key had been pressed, any subsequent key entries being retained for the next INPUT statement. The return key is not stored as part of the input data.


The INPUTFIELD statement may not behave correctly if the length of the input field causes it to extend over multiple lines and the terminal in use does not automatically wrap from one line to the next when displaying long text output.


The optional underscore component of the statement suppresses the automatic input termination when length characters have been entered. Any number of characters may be entered but only length characters will be displayed.


The optional colon causes the carriage return and line feed output when the return key is used or on reaching the input length limit to be suppressed.



DATA Queue Input


Where the data queue is not empty, the INPUT @ statement reads the item at the head of this queue, copying it verbatim to var with no processing of any embedded control characters. The length expression is ignored. The item is displayed as though it had been typed.



See also: