Joined: 06 Jun 2008 Posts: 8195 Location: East Dubuque, Illinois, USA
ashcall, actually the compiler recognizes and uses all columns 1 through 72. Columns 1 through 6 can hold a sequence number which the compiler recognizes. Column 7 can contain an asterisk or a compiler directing code such as D or / (for debugging and page eject respectively), and COBOL statements can be between columns 8 and 72 (depending on the statement, some can only start in column 12 or later). The compiler also recognizes columns 73 through 80 but treats anything in those columns as a comment.