Fixed-Length Record Formats
The size of fixed-length (format-F or -FB) records, shown in Figure 1, is constant for all records in the data set.
The records can be blocked or unblocked. If the data set contains unblocked format-F records, one record constitutes one block. If the data set contains blocked format-F records, the number of records within a block typically is constant for every block in the data set. The data set can contain truncated (short) blocks. The system automatically checks the length (except for card readers) on blocked or unblocked format-F records. Allowances are made for truncated blocks.
Format-F records can be used in any type of data set.
The optional control character (a), used for stacker selection or carriage control, can be included in each record to be printed or punched. The optional table reference character (b) is a code to select the font to print the record on a page printer. See Using Optional Control Characters and Table Reference Character.