In a previous article, “ISPF Power Tools”, we introduced the Data Set List (DSLIST). Here we will examine some of the basic and advanced options available when using the DSLIST.

The DSLIST display generated by ISPF options 3.4 and 11 or the DSLIST command are the most commonly used and versatile options in TSO/ISPF. There are two types of commands you can use with a DSLIST: line commands, which are typed to the left of a data set name on the list, and primary commands, which are entered on the command line at the top or bottom of the DSLIST  display. There are currently 26 ISPF line commands for the DSLIST display (see Figure 1). In addition, you can execute TSO commands as line commands on the DSLIST. TSO and ISPF commands aren’t generally case-sensitive, but we will use uppercase here for emphasis.

The most common line commands for a DSLIST are:

• E indicates that the data set is to be opened in EDIT mode. This would allow authorized users to alter the data and save updates. Only one user at a time may open a file in EDIT mode.
• V opens the data set in VIEW mode. VIEW mode is identical to EDIT, but doesn’t allow changes to be automatically saved. Multiple users may open a data set in VIEW mode simultaneously.

Tool Tip: Opening a data set in EDIT or VIEW mode may display a pop-up window called the Edit/View Entry Screen. You can suppress the display of this pop-up by entering the command DSLSET on the command line of the DSLIST display and blanking out the / (forward slash) in the first option listed.

• B opens a data set in BROWSE mode, which allows you to open larger data sets, but doesn’t support the full set of commands available in VIEW and EDIT modes. Multiple users may open a data set in BROWSE mode simultaneously.
• D allows you to delete the selected data set with or without confirmation. With confirmation is the default.

These commands may be issued for a single data set or for multiple data sets on the list. For multiple data sets, the line command = (an equal sign) is entered to repeat the option. The data sets are then processed in the order they appear in the list when the <Enter> key is pressed.

In addition to the basic line commands, the following commands (again typed to the left of the data set name field) are very beneficial:

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