TOPS-20 Commands Reference Manual


Places requests in a line printer output queue.


@PRINT (FILES) /switch(es) filespec/switch(es),...


switches are keywords, chosen from the list below, indicating your choice of PRINT command options. These switches are of two kinds: job switches and file switches.

Job switches apply to all files specified in the command, no matter where you give the switches.

File switches have different effects depending on their positions in the command file: placed before all files in the command, they act as defaults for all; otherwise they affect only the nearest preceding file.

Defaults are shown in the list of switches

filespec is the specification of a file you wish to print. You can use wildcard characters (% and *) to specify more than one file.
Summary of PRINT Command Switches (defaults in boldface)
Job Switches
(affecting the entire command)
/ACCOUNT:account Default account - your current account
/AFTER:date and/or time
/CHARACTERISTIC:characteristic value
/FORMS:forms name Default forms name - NORMAL
/JOBNAME:6-character name Default name - first six characters of first filename in request
/LIMIT:n Default n - calculated from length of files
/NOTE:12-character message
/PRIORITY:n Default n - 10
/UNIT:octal number
/USER:user name
File Switches
(affecting only the nearest preceding file, unless placed before all filespecs)
/BEGIN:n Default n - 0
/COPIES:n Default n - 1
/DELETE Default for files of type .LST
Default for files of type .DAT only
/PRESERVE Default for all files except those of type .LST
/REPORT:12-character title
PRINT Command Switches
Job Switches
(affecting the entire command)
/ACCOUNT:account specifies the account of 39 or fewer characters to charge for your printing request. This account must be valid for your user name.

Default account - your current account (check with INFORMATION JOB-STATUS)

/AFTER:date and/or time, or day of week (or TODAY) and/or time ensures that the job will not be printed until after the date and/or time specified. NOV-12-79 and 18:00 illustrate two arguments to this switch. If you give both date and time, separate them with a space. When given alone, the time may be preceded by a plus sign (+), which will delay processing by the indicated length of time from the present.

Alternatively, you can give a day of the week (such as MONDAY) or TODAY as argument; then the job will not be printed until the beginning of the following day. If you follow this argument with a plus sign and a time, the job will be further delayed by this amount.

/CHARACTERISTIC:characteristic value specifies an alphanumeric string that communicates print features, such as layout or lettering type, to the remote system for DQS remote print requests. The user can specify one or more characteristic keywords; multiple values are separated by commas. You can also specify numeric bit values, which must be separated by commas and enclosed in parentheses. The keywords to the /CHARACTERISTIC switch are defined by the SET REMOTE-PRINTING CHARACTERISTICS command. The maximum length of each characteristic keyword is 14 characters, and the name must begin with an alphabetic character.

You must use the /CHARACTERISTIC switch in conjunction with the /REMOTE-PRINTER switch not with the /UNIT switch, which applies only to local and cluster printers.

/DESTINATION-NODE:node-name specifies the remote node on whose line printer your request is to be printed. The remote node can be either an IBM remote station, a node in a TOPS-20 cluster, a DQS server node, or LATserver. Two colons (::) following the node name are optional. You can use this switch either to send output to a remote node or to redirect it from a remote node.
/FORMS:forms name specifies, in six or fewer characters, the forms (determining the number of banner, header, and trailer pages; the paper color, width, and weight; vertical format, carriage control tape, and so on) to use for the printing job. Using this switch may delay processing until the operator can mount the proper forms. Note that your installation may provide a different default argument to this switch. Default forms name - NORMAL
/GENERIC allows any printer, either upper or lowercase, and of any unit number, to be used for satisfying the request. Use this switch to override a previous /UPPERCASE, /LOWERCASE, or /UNIT switch.


/JOBNAME:name assigns a name (of six or fewer characters) to the printing job.

Default name - first six characters of first filename in the request

/LIMIT:n places a limit of n pages on the output of the printing job.

Default limits, usually adequate, are computed from the size of the files you want printed

/LOWERCASE directs the job to a line printer that can print both uppercase and lowercase characters.
/NOTE:message labels the header page of output (the page displaying the jobname) with a message or notation of up to 12 characters. The message must be enclosed in double quotation marks if it contains spaces or non-alphanumeric characters.
tells the system whether to send a message to your terminal when the request has been satisfied.

Default argument - NO

Default argument (if switch is given) - YES

/PRIORITY:n assigns a number n, reflecting the urgency of the print request. This n must be from 1 to 63, with larger numbers receiving earlier treatment. Note that for non-privileged users the maximum priority that can be specified is lower (usually 20), and that your installation may provide a different value both for this maximum and for the default priority.

The system acknowledges this switch by displaying the message [Priority has been modified].

Default n - 10

/REMOTE-PRINTER:type directs a print request to a remote destination. The destination is either a remote printer queue for DQS printers or a LATserver PORT or SERVICE for LAT printers. The type refers to an actual remote queue name or an alias of a remote printer queue name for DQS printers, or to an application terminal on a reachable LATserver. Aliases are set up with the SET REMOTE-PRINTER command.

You can use the /REMOTE-PRINTER switch with the /DESTINATION-NODE switch, but not with the /UNIT switch.

/SEQUENCE:n specifies sequence number n for the printing request, which you can use when modifying or canceling the request.
/UNIT:octal number directs your request to the line printer with the specified octal unit number. This switch only applies to local or TOPS-20 cluster print requests.
/UPPERCASE directs the job to a line printer that uses only uppercase characters.
/USER:user name specifies the user who is to be the owner of the print request. For privileged users only.
File Switches
(affecting only the nearest preceding file, unless placed before all file specifications)
/BEGIN:n starts the printing at page n of the file.

Default n - 0

/COPIES:n requests that n copies of the file be printed; n must be less than or equal to 62.

Default n - 1

/DELETE deletes the file after printing.

Default for files of type .LST

specifies that the file consists of ASCII text, or COBOL SIXBIT text; or (ELEVEN) contains four eight-bit bytes in each 36-bit word - for emulating paper tape punch only; or is FORTRAN ASCII text, where column 1 of each line is interpreted as a carriage control character.

Default - ASCII (except for files of type .DAT, for which the default is FORTRAN)

/HEADER causes header pages containing the jobname to be printed before the file itself.


designates the mode for printing the file. ARROW prints the file literally; but denotes each control character by an up-arrow (^) and the character, except for the following, which are reproduced literally (that is, the control characters perform their normal actions): carriage return, line feed, horizontal tab, vertical tab, form feed, ^P, ^Q, ^R, ^S, and ^T. ASCII prints the file literally, without omissions or substitutions, except for the escape character (^[) which is represented as a dollar sign.

OCTAL prints each word in the file as unsigned octal integers; 3 groups of 128 words (8 rows of 16 columns each) appear on a standard line printer page. SUPPRESS prints the file without any blank lines, causing all vertical format characters (CTRL/K, CTRL/L, CTRL/Q, CTRL/R, CTRL/S, and CTRL/T) to be converted to CRLFs (carriage return/linefeeds), and then interpreting multiple occurrences of CRLFs as a single CRLF.

Default - ARROW

/NOHEADER prevents the printing of header pages before the file.
/PRESERVE saves the file after printing.

Default for all files except those of type .LST

/REPORT:title scans your files and prints only those lines whose first characters are the title you give. This title may contain up to 12 characters (including the quotation marks that must enclose the title if it contains spaces). The switch is used along with the COBOL report writer.
determines the spacing between lines in the printout.

Default - SINGLE


Jobname, Request ID, Limit, Number of Files

As soon as you complete a valid PRINT command, the system responds by printing, on your terminal, the jobname, the node name (if printed on remote node), request ID number, the limit in pages of output assigned to the request, and the number of files in the request.


Ordinary Operation - No Switches

For most purposes you can use the PRINT command with just a series of filespecs for arguments.

Switch Defaults Set by System Manager

The defaults shown in the list of switches are correct for most user sites. However, your system manager can change some of those default settings. The switches most commonly affected are: /FORMS, /HEADER and /NOHEADER, /LIMIT, and /PRIORITY.



You must use the /CHARACTERISTICS switch in conjunction with the /REMOTE-PRINTER switch and not with the /UNIT switch, which applies only to local and cluster printers. If you use the /UNIT switch in conjunction with the /REMOTE-PRINTER switch, it is ignored. The /CHARACTERISTICS switch is ignored if used in a local or cluster print job.

The /CHARACTERISTICS switch does not apply to LATprinters.



If there are switches that you always or usually supply when using PRINT, give the SET DEFAULT PRINT command to establish them as defaults (at the current TOPS-20 command level) for the remainder of your terminal session. The switches will then behave as if you had typed them directly after the command name. You can supersede any of these default switches by actually supplying the switch, with another value, when you give the PRINT command. Put SET DEFAULT PRINT into a file of specification COMAND.CMD in your log-in directory if you want these default switches to be in effect for all levels of future terminal sessions as well.

Special Cases


You can give the special switch, /SPOOLED-OUTPUT, as sole argument to the PRINT command. This causes any spooled output accumulated so far during your terminal session to be placed in a line printer queue immediately, rather than at log-out time. The /SPOOLED-OUTPUT switch is useful only if the SET SPOOLED-OUTPUT DEFERRED command is in effect. Programs that you run (especially FORTRAN programs) may create spooled output for the printer, or you can create it directly by writing to device LPT: (by giving the command, COPY filespec LPT:), or giving a CREF command.

Related Commands

CANCEL for withdrawing PRINT requests
INFORMATION OUTPUT-REQUESTS for examining requests in the output queues
MODIFY for changing PRINT requests before processing has begun
SET DEFAULT PRINT for establishing default switches for subsequent PRINT commands
SET REMOTE-PRINTING CHARACTERISTICS for setting up a string to be used as input to the /CHARACTERISTICS switch
SET REMOTE-PRINTING PRINTER for setting up a string to be used as input to the /REMOTE-PRINTER switch
SET REMOTE-PRINTING SYSTEM-DEFINITIONS for setting up remote printing information for a job based on input in SYSTEM:REMOTE-PRINTING.CMD


  1. Print two of your files.
    [Printer job 4-UPED queued, request  302, limit 200, 2 files]
  2. Print three files, assigning a jobname and a note for the header page; postpone the printing. Make 4 copies of one of the files, and double-space another one.
             [Printer job COMFIL queued, request #306, limit 27, 3 files]
             Printer Queue:
             Job Name  Req#  Limit             User          
             --------  ----  -----  ------------------------------
               COMFIL   306     27  LATTA  /After:12-Dec-85  0:00
                       /Note:CONFIDENTIAL   /Seq:1865
             There is 1 job in the queue (none in progress)
  3. Print a job in a hurry, by assigning a high priority and skipping the header and first five pages. Print 10 copies of the first file, and 18 of the second.
             0 RFM.CTL, HOLMAX.CTL/COPIES:18
             [Printer job RUSH queued, request #312, limit 27, 2 files]
             [Priority has been modified]
             Printer Queue:
             Job Name  Req#  Limit             User         
             --------  ----  -----  ------------------------------
             * RUSH    312      27  LATTA    On Unit:0  /Prio:20
                Started at 15:00:11, printed 10 of 27 pages
              COMFIL   306      27  LATTA   /After:12-Dec-79  0:00
                      /Note:CONFIDENTIAL  /Seq:1865
             There are 2 jobs in the queue (1 in progress)
  4. Print a job with a P90 characteristic on a XEROX 8700 printer on a VMS system.
             [Printer job FILE4 queued, request #33, limit 1 files
  5. Print a job on LATserver printer in one of four ways. The TOPS-20 host has access to a printer service named LASER, which is attached to port LC14 on a LATserver named LAT97.
    • SERVICE name only
               [Printer job FILE queued, request #43, limit 1 files]
    • SERVICE name and SERVER name
               [Printer job FILE queued, request #45, limit 1 files]
    • PORT name and SERVER name
               [Printer job FILE queued, request #53, limit 1 files]
    • SERVER name
               [Printer job FILE queued, request #58, limit 1 files]