What you can do with ISPF/PDF

At the beginning of this chapter, we mentioned that ISPF/PDF is a way to manage libraries of information. The libraries are made up of units called data sets that can be stored and retrieved. You can have different kinds of information in data sets. Some examples are:
  • Programs written in languages such as assembler language, COBOL, or PL/I
  • Data such as inventory records, personnel files, or a series of numbers to be processed
  • Text for memos, reports, and all kinds of documentation from recipes to a doctoral thesis

You can find more information about data sets in Types of data sets.

The ISPF/PDF Primary Option Menu offers options that you can select to do the following tasks:
  • Create a data set (option 3)
  • Browse (option 1) or edit (option 2) a data set
  • Use system utilities (option 3) to:
    • Print a data set
    • Rename a data set
    • Copy a data set
    • Delete a data set
  • Issue a TSO/E command from a special ISPF/PDF panel (option 6)

Most of these tasks are covered in Using data sets.

Like the Information Center Facility, ISPF/PDF has a tutorial that explains how to use it. The TUTORIAL option is generally displayed on the ISPF/PDF Primary Option Menu.

While reading the ISPF/PDF tutorial, keep in mind that you can:
  • Read through the tutorial sequentially by pressing the Enter key to see the next panel.
  • Skip around in the tutorial by selecting specific options.
  • Exit the tutorial at any time by pressing the END PF key (PF 3).

In addition, if you need help while doing a task on an ISPF/PDF panel, press the HELP PF key (PF 1) to see the section of tutorial that relates to that panel.


Display the ISPF/PDF Primary Option Menu. Select the TUTORIAL option (option T) by entering T on the OPTION line. Read through as much of the tutorial as you want by following the directions on the panels. The first three panels describe how to use the tutorial. When you are finished, press the END PF key (PF 3) to return to the ISPF/PDF Primary Option Menu.