TechTalk: Removing Control Characters

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A technique published in the May 1990 TechTalk was titled "Copy AS/400 Screens to a File." This tip was how the STRCPYSCN command would allow you to capture each new screen and place it into one large file for documentation.

What was not mentioned was what you have in this file. By using the DSPPFM command, you will notice that your file contains all the funny characters that delimit the fields. If you create a PC file on the AS/400 from your file and then download it to the PC, you are stuck with trying to get rid of these creatures so that you can print your documentation.

Even though I'm sure there's plenty of PC programmers who could write a program to eradicate these creatures, there is no need to even attempt it.

The AS/400 will automatically do this for you. Just take your original copy screen file and use CPYF to copy this file to a spool file. This will strip all the funny characters away. Then use command CPYSPLF to copy your new good file back into a database file. You can then proceed to take the good database file and create your PC file to download.

Before running the CPYSPLF command, use CRTDUPOBJ with no data on file CPYS to create file GOODFILE. When done, file GOODFILE will contain the edited file ready for documentation.

-- Greg Alvey

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