TN3270 Shortcuts

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This section identifies a few "shortcuts" for typical 3270-type operations that can be performed using Hummingbird's HostExplorer TN3270 product. Some features described here may be offered by other PC-based 3270 emulators, as well.


Cursor Position & Enter

Many modern 3270 applications support a "point and shoot" approach to screen updates performed by 3270 users. For instance, you move the cursor to some item of interest on the screen, and hit Enter. The application senses the cursor location and performs some action. TSO is the good example of the use of this technique. Virtually all "selection" panels support this "point and shoot" technique, though IOF is a notable exception.

Shortcut: Instead of moving the cursor and hitting Enter, use the mouse to position the mouse pointer over the field in question and press the right mouse button. The right mouse button is usually set to first move the cursor and then hit Enter. If your emulator does not exhibit this behavior, check your HostExplorer configuration by choosing: Options->Edit Session Profile->Terminal->Mouse.

Cut and Paste

Be aware that there are many options that determine how cut and paste (particularly paste) behave. The default is "Block Mode" where pasting does not cross 3270 attribute fields. A sometimes more desirable choice is "Block Overlay Mode" where pasting does cross 3270 attribute fields. These options can be set by choosing: Options->Edit Session Profile->Editing->General.

Selecting Words & Other Keyboard Shortcuts

Double-clicking a word automatically "selects" that word as if you had "mouse-swiped" it. Once double-clicked, it is ready for CUT or COPY. That and some other commonly used keyboard shortcuts:

Action                                                       Shortcut
------------------------------     ----------------------------------------
Select Word                                               Double-Click
Extend selection one character                 Shift-Right arrow
Extend selection one word                        Ctrl-Shift-Right arrow
Cut                                                            Ctrl-X
Copy                                                          Ctrl-C
Paste                                                          Ctrl-V
Toggle Ruler (follows cursor)                     Ctrl-T (1st Ctrl-T turns it on, 2nd off)
Back Tab                                                    Shift-Tab 


3270 Terminal Revisited

It seems that most users limit themselves to one of the five 3270 models available. Moreover, we tend to use either a single mod 2 or a single mod 5 terminal. In this day and age, with powerful PCs and capable operating systems, we do not need to limit ourselves to just one terminal type or just one terminal.

For review, the 3270 terminal comes in five models:

                 Primary           Alternate
    Model    Screen Size     Screen Size
    1            12 X 40          12 X 24
    2            24 X 80          24 X 80
    3            24 X 80          32 X 80
    4            24 X 80          43 X 80
    5            24 X 80          27 X 132 

CICS, for the most part, only uses the primary screen size. TSO is where most of us programmers tend to live, and that's where the most benefit can be obtained. We obviously need mod 5 terminals to view printed output. When it's time to edit our code, we could just use the mod 5 we use to view the compile runs, or we could crank out another terminal dedicated to editing.

The following chart illustrates the real estate available to TSO edit for the various terminal types.

    Model     TSO Edit Lines (Maximum)
    1           20
    2           20
    3           28
    4           39
    5           23

The benefit from the use of the mod 4 terminals is obvious. The main drawback in the use of multiple terminal sessions is the need for multiple Logon IDs. This may be a small price to pay, though, for the increased productivity.