Some useful DCL command strings

Some useful DCL command strings

DCL stands for Digital Command language. The DCL prompt is the dollar sign. From it you can enter DCL command strings, and run SAS. DCL command strings are composed of commands, parameters, and qualifiers. A command is an instruction to the operating system. A parameter defines what the command is to operate on. A qualifier defines how that action will occur.

Here are some useful DCL command strings:

DIRECTORY -- list the files in your directory
PRINT <filespec>-- print a file to the printer
TYPE <filespec>--display a file on the screen
LOOK <filespec>and TYPE/PAGE <filespec>-- display a file on the screen, a page at a time
DELETE <filespec>-- delete a file
PURGE --delete all but most recent version of your files
HELP -- invoke the help screens
COPY <filespec> <filespec>--copy a file
ED <filespec>--enter the EVE text editor
LOGOUT --log off the system

All DCL commands may be abbreviated. All that is needed are enough letters to make it unique. Four characters are always sufficient.

Complete file specifications <filespec> have the following form:


The device is a logical name for a disk pack. For faculty, this is FAC. For students, this is STU. The directory is your Username,or a subdirectory you have created. Note that the brackets are required.

Both filenames and types can be up to 39 letters. They may consist of letters, numbers, the underscore, the hyphen, and the dollar sign. File names may start with either a letter or a number, but not the underscore, hyphen, or dollar sign. Version numbers are not required in most instances. Usually, all that is needed is a filename and a filetype.

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