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File aid tutorial - How to browse the file

Updated on December 17, 2012

Introduction to File-Aid

File-Aid is a powerful tool which can be used to browse, Edit, copy, compare, delete the file records. File-Aid can also help to allocate GDGs, VSAM files, copy the individual members or all members in a Partitioned dataset(PDS). The following are the things which we can do through File-Aid.

  • EDIT, browse, copy the contents of a file
  • Create or delete generation data groups(GDG)
  • Create or delete VSAM files
  • Compare two files
  • view the layout of the file
  • To count the total number of records in a file
  • To copy the all or individual members of a Partitioned dataset (PDS)
  • To Convert the file from one format to other format

In this tutorial you will be learning how to use File-Aid to browse the contents of a file. Let's start with the step by step procedure of opening the file in a browse mode.

STEP1: On your ISPF/PDF start menu type F and press enter which brings the Primary option menu of File-Aid tool as shown in the below screen shot

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

STEP 2: On the Primary option menu type 1 and press enter to browse the file as shown below

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

After pressing the enter in the above screen the File-Aid tool brings up with the Dataset specification window as shown below:

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

In the dataset specification window there are couple of options which needs to filled with proper information to complete the browse operation. The following section explains each option

Browse Mode: Browse mode helps to view the file contents in different formats. The formats include F=Format mode, C=Char mode, V=Vertical Format mode, U=Un-formatted mode.

Browse Information: Here we need to specify the dataset which we are going the open in browse mode through File-Aid. If the file is a member of PDS then we need to specify both the PDS name and a member name. If the file is PS only the PS name is enough.

Specify Record Layout: File structure needs to be specified to view the contents of file. In other words layout which tells the structure of your file contents needs to specified to view the contents of a file.

Selection Criteria Information: There are some cases where in we don't want to browse all the records in a file. In those cases this option helps to view the records in a file based on the conditions.

STEP3: Fill all the above mentioned options with your file and layout details as shown in the below screen shot.

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

File name TEST.SHOP.DETAILS.FILE1 (PS file) is the file which i want to open in browse mode and the layout for this file is TSTINC which exists in the PDS INCLUDE.LIBRARY.

STEP4: Once after specifying your file details press enter then File-Aid brings up with the selection criteria menu as shown below

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

STEP 5: From the Selection Criteria Menu press F3 to view the contents of your file in browse mode as shown in the below screen shot.

(Click on the image for better view)
(Click on the image for better view)

Above screen shot shows that there 8 records in the file TEST.SHOP.DETAILS.FILE1. If your file is having more records then press PF8 to scroll down, PF7 to scroll up.

To view other columns press PF10 to scroll left, PF11 to scroll right.


Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Please leave comment for any clarifications or to improve this tutorial.



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