Getting started with the JCL Editor

To open a file in the JCL Editor, select the file and click Open With > JCL Editor.

To set the JCL Editor as the default editor for JCL file types, click General > Editors > File Associations. When you make this association, you can double-click a file to open it in the JCL Editor.

If one of the following conditions is true, the file opens in read-only mode:
  • If you open an MVS™ file that is locked on the MVS Files subsystem, the editor opens it in read-only mode and issues a locked file warning. A file might be locked because it is already open by another user or process.
  • If an MVS file contains characters that cannot be correctly converted from one encoding (code page) to another and then back to the original encoding, the file is opened in read-only mode and the characters that cannot be converted correctly are highlighted.
  • If the Browse action is used to open the file.
Note: Saving an MVS file when some of the line lengths exceed the record length limit opens a file truncation warning. Continuing with the save results in truncated lines.

Customization of the editor

To customize the JCL Editor to suit your preference, select Window (on Windows) or IBM Developer for z Systems (on macOS) > Preferences > JCL.

Editor presentation toolbar

You can control several aspects of the appearance of files in the editor by using the editor presentation toolbar:

  • Toggle block selection mode Toggle Block Selection Mode enables block selection of text. Enabling block selection changes the editor font to a fixed-width font.
  • Show white space characters Show Whitespace Characters displays a small dot for white space characters and a paragraph mark for end-of-line markers.
  • Display text in hex Toggle Hex Editing displays the currently selected text element in hexadecimal characters at the bottom of the editor page. The hexadecimal text can be modified.
  • Show source of selected element only Show Source of Selected Element Only displays only the current highlighted range of code.

Status Bar

The status bar is at the bottom of the workbench and provides the following information about files that are open in the editor:
  • The read/write indicator displays Writable or Read-Only.
  • The edit mode indicator displays Insert or "Overwrite.
  • The line:column indicator displays the line and column position of the edit cursor.
  • The toolbox icon displays the status of tooling.
    • Tooling enabled - blue toolbox indicates that tooling is enabled. All editor functions are enabled.
    • Tooling disabled - gray toolbox indicates that tooling is disabled. These functions can be disabled by user preference, because a file is unavailable, or because of an invalid file extension. The following editor functions are unavailable when tooling is disabled: hover information, Open Declaration.
    • tooling out of sync - blue toolbox with warning icon indicates that tooling is out of sync because of a syntax error in the file. This warning is displayed when syntax errors are introduced into an open file. This warning icon is subject to change frequently as you edit a file. The following editor functions are unavailable or have limited function: hover information data might be out of sync; Open Declaration might work, but the location you jump to might be out-of-sync.
    • Tooling failed - blue toolbox with error icon indicates that tooling is still initializing or failed to initialize because of a syntax error. This error occurs when a file that contains syntax errors is opened. The following editor functions are unavailable: collapse/expand code elements, hover information, Open Declaration.