How to Use Special Characters

Some special features are provided by LANSA to enhance the display of HELP text. These consist of special characters that can be used as follows :

Special Character


% (percentage)

Display in high intensity

{ (left parenthesis)


@ (at)

Display in reverse image

~ (accent)


} (right parenthesis)

Revert to normal display mode

\ (backslash)

Revert to normal display mode



Note: These special characters may be changed when not appropriate in your language.

For example: The following text:
      The{underlined field}indicates an input

would appear as:
      The underlined field indicates an input

Notice that the "%" and "{" are replaced by blanks. Where multiple enhancement characters are used together with no spaces between them they are "consolidated" into one enhancement character. For instance "%{~" (high intensity, underline, blink) would be consolidated into one enhancement character that is used in the same position as the "~".

Note that a display enhancement cannot be continued over multiple lines. Display enhancements are considered to end at the end of the text line, even if a "revert to normal display" character ("\" or "}") is not used:

     contact the{Accounts department or 

     your supervisor for more information.

would be displayed as:

     contact the Accounts department or

     your supervisor for more information.

Also See

How to Use Special Values and
in the Technical Reference Guide, refer to:

Substitution/Control Values

Substitution/Control Values - Visual LANSA Only

Help Text Attributes,