Introduction to Terminal Commands

This document covers the following topics:

Purpose of Terminal Commands

A complete functional overview of Natural terminal commands is given in the section Terminal Commands Grouped by Function.

Changing the Terminal Command Control Character

You can define another special character as control character; this is done with the session parameter CF.

When the control character is changed, all terminal commands which have been assigned to function keys will be adjusted accordingly.

Issuing Terminal Commands

Terminal commands can be used in a Natural runtime environment. The following rules apply:

  • You can enter a terminal command in any unprotected field on the screen (including the message line if it is unprotected).

  • A terminal command must be entered in one field, except the control character which may be entered in a preceding field.

  • It is recommended to enter a blank after a terminal command, or to delete the remaining content of the field in which you enter the command. Otherwise, Natural might misinterpret the field content as part of the terminal command.

  • If you enter multiple terminal commands on the same screen, only the first command encountered will be executed, and all others will be ignored.

  • Terminal commands which have been entered incorrectly are ignored, but you will not receive a corresponding error message.

  • If you enter a terminal command and at the same time data in other fields on the screen, only the terminal command will be executed; the data will not be processed.

Using Terminal Commands in Programs

Terminal commands may also be issued from within a program by using the SET CONTROL statement. When a terminal command is specified with a SET CONTROL statement, the control character is omitted.

Terms Used in the Terminal Command Descriptions

In the descriptions of several terminal commands, the terms "screen" and "window" are used with the following meanings:

Term Meaning
Screen Depending on the operating system under which Natural is running, "screen" refers either to the entire terminal screen as such, or to the operating-system window in which the Natural session is running, or to the Natural main output window.

However, for the sake of convenience, the term "screen" is used in all these instances.

Window Always refers to the Natural window (as explained with the terminal command %W).

%? - Help for Terminal Commands


This terminal command displays help information on the Natural terminal commands.