The JCL Editor

To use the JCL editor double-click a file that is associated with the JCL file type. Alternatively, right-click the file you want to edit in the COBOL Explorer or Project Explorer view and click Open With > JCL Editor.

In addition to a standard text editor, the IDE offers a JCL editor that contains a number of features for efficient JCL editing. The JCL editor provides the following features:
Note: The VSE dialect is not supported in this release.

Block Selection

Enables you to select or deselect specific blocks of text from your code. You can toggle the selection using the Toggle Block Selection Mode button on the toolbar or shortcut keys Alt+Shift+A.

Breadcrumb Navigation

Context breadcrumbs are enabled by default. You can use the Toggle Context Breadcrumbs button (Toggle Context Breadcrumbs) on the toolbar to switch the functionality on and off. The breadcrumbs navigation bar displays at the top of each JCL editor tab, and lets you quickly view and open JCL files and include files along the trail of files for the current file. You can also use the breadcrumb navigation for quick context switching between include files.

Code Templates

The JCL editor provides a means of inserting code templates, also referred to as snippets. The use of code templates accelerates the creation of well-formed code. A template gives you an outline of a statement or construct syntax, leaving you to fill in the parameters. Press Ctrl+Space in the editor to access the code template list using the content assist pop-up.

Available templates are displayed at the bottom of the statement list. Use the scroll bar in the content assist pop-up to find the template that you require. Click once on the template to view the full code template in a pop-up. Double-click the chosen template name to insert the code template into the editor at the current cursor location. This gives you the outline of the syntax, so you can fill in its components.

You can add more templates using the templates preference page by clicking Window > Preferences > Micro Focus > JCL > Editor > Templates. You can create new templates, edit and delete existing templates, as well as import and export templates as .xml files to share with other users.

Content Assist

Content assist in the JCL editor supports JCL language statements. Content assist provides editing features to help you write syntactically correct code and constructs. You can use content assist to complete words and lookup the required parameters for statements.

Press Ctrl+Space to trigger content assistance that is contextually appropriate to the code you are typing. For example, if you are typing a JCL statement and press Ctrl+Space, the list of applicable items appears in the pop-up list, with the best matches at the top and highlighted in the content assist pop-up. Related keywords and templates using the highlighted statement also appear in the pop-up list.

Content assist only offers assistance for the statements that are in scope, based on the current cursor position. There are no JCL content assist settings in the preferences.

Dynamic Help

Dynamic help in the JCL editor provides contextual help for the JCL statements in your code. Highlight the desired statement in your code and press F1. To open the Help view and display reference information for the highlighted item, click Help > Dynamic Help.

Find References

Enables you to find all references of an item declared in all included JCL files. Place the cursor on the item, right-click, select Find References. Alternatively press Ctrl+Shift+G. The Search tab displays all the references found in any included JCL files. You can explore the results returned, double-clicking on the item in the Search tab will move the cursor to the position in the relevant file.


Clicking on the positive and negative icons in the left margin of the JCL editor reveals and hides code blocks respectively. Jobs, procedures and steps are all folded if they span multiple lines. You can hover over a folded section to show its content expanded in a pop-up.

Go To Definition

Enables you to navigate to where an item, declared in all included JCL files, is defined. Place the cursor on the item you want to find the definition of. Right-click and select Go To Definition. Alternatively press F3. The cursor moves to the location of the definition; it also highlights the item in the Outline view.

Horizontal Rule

The horizontal rule runs along the top of the JCL editor window. It marks the columns with a tick and numbers them into groups of 10. This is helpful when column alignment is required in JCL code.

You can configure Eclipse to hide or show the horizontal rule. To do this, click Window > Preferences > Micro Focus > JCL > Editor and check Show horizontal ruler. Showing or hiding the horizontal rule affects all files open in a JCL editor tab.

Line Numbering

Line numbers help you to improve code navigation. Standard JCL line numbers are inserted immediately to the right of area B, in columns 73 - 80, starting at 00001000 at the first line, and incrementing by 1000.

To number or renumber the lines in a JCL source file, right-click the source code in the JCL editor, and click Renumber. Alternatively, click Renumber on the Eclipse toolbar.

To remove the JCL line numbers from source code right-click the source code and click Unnumber Alternatively, click Unnumber on the Eclipse toolbar.

Outline View

Shows the structure of the program you are editing which is useful for navigating large programs. Double-click on a statement to reposition the cursor to the respective line of code. You can also right-click an item in the outline and click Find References to display matches in the Search tab. You can hover over items in the outline to display a pop-up containing the item's respective parameters.

Program Outline View

Similar to outline view, but displays the structure for all included JCL files.

Quick Outline

Right-click in the JCL editor and click Quick Outline or press the shortcut keys Ctrl+O. This shows a pop-up containing the structure of the code similar to the outline view. When you type while quick outline view is displayed you filter the list of displayed elements for easier navigation.

Show/Hide Whitespace Characters

Click the Show Whitespace Characters button (Show Whitespace Characters) on the toolbar to toggle between showing and hiding whitespace characters in the editor. Whitespace characters include spaces, carriage returns, and end-of-line markers. Showing or hiding whitespace characters affects any JCL editor window you view.

Syntax Error Reporting

The code you type is parsed continuously to identify errors. The errors are underlined with red squiggly lines, and warnings are underlined with yellow squiggly lines. You can hover over an error to see information about the error in an error message tool tip.


You can manage tasks by adding TODO or FIXME markers in the JCL code comments. Eclipse visualizes these tasks in the Task tab. Any text that follows the TODO or FIXME markers appears in the task description. To view the Task tab click Window > Show View > Tasks or Windows > Show View > Other, expand General, click Tasks, then click OK. Double-clicking on the line in the Task tab takes you to the highlighted line in the editor.

Both TODO and FIXME task lines are marked on the left margin of the editor with a clipboard icon (). Rows in the Task tab that are marked FIXME are highlighted with an exclamation point ().