ISPF/PDF basics

During this course participants learn:

  • to work on-line in an MVS/TSO environment and to explore the standard ISPF/PDF environment;
  • to use the basic possibilities of the editor efficiently;
  • the different terminal manipulations (commands, function keys,...);
  • the basic utilities for manipulating data sets and members;
  • the importance of batch jobs, and how to check the output.


No public sessions are currently scheduled. We will be pleased to set up an on-site course or to schedule an extra public session (in case of a sufficient number of candidates). Interested? Please let us know.

Intended for

Every future ISPF/PDF user: programmers, analysts, job schedulers, system programmers and end users.


No specific background is required. Fill out the online selftest to determine whether you can skip this course and go straight on to our course ISPF/PDF: efficient use.

Main topics

  • Mainframe and MVS operating system
  • Overview of ISPF:

logon and logoff, call up ISPF/PDF, screen types, menu structure, action bar, help function, ISPF data set names

  • ISPF settings and PF keys
  • Finding/locating data sets and members:

member selection, scrolling, find, locate

  • View/Edit:

main commands: save, cancel, find, change, undo

line commands: copy, move, delete, repeat, insert

columns: indentation, bounds, cols

treatment of members: copy, move, create, replace, cut, paste

edit profile: caps, recovery

  • Basic data set utilities

allocation, move/copy, library utilities, dataset list

  • Batch jobs and use of the spool:

submit of Job Control Language (JCL), display of the spool with SDSF (Spool Display and Search Facility)

Training method

This is mainly a practical course. After a short theoretical introduction, a lot of time is spent on practical exercises.

The course is also organised as self-study course.


1 day.

Course leader

an ABIS instructor.