The USAGE Clause

General Format


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Syntax Rules

  1. The USAGE clause can be written in any data description entry.
  2. If the USAGE clause is written in the data description entry for a group item, it can also be written in the data description entry for a subordinate elementary item or group item.
  3. The USAGE clause for a report group item can specify only USAGE IS DISPLAY.

General Rules

  1. If the USAGE clause is written at a group level, it applies to each elementary item in the group.
  2. The USAGE clause specifies the manner in which a data item is represented in the storage of a computer. It does not affect the use of the data item, although the specifications for some statements in the Procedure Division can restrict the USAGE clause of the operands referred to. The USAGE clause can affect the radix or type of character representation of the item.
  3. The USAGE IS DISPLAY clause indicates that the format of the data is a standard data format.
  4. If the USAGE clause is not specified for an elementary item, or for any group to which the item belongs, the usage is implicitly DISPLAY.