Mouse-Clicking in TSO

Mouse-Clicking in TSO

You want to double-click the mouse to select your choices in TSO/ISPF ?

Yes, you can also set it up so you can click on a URL in TSO, and connect to the website.

If you are using IBM's PC 3270 emulation, here's how you do that.

Move the cursor up to the PC 3270 "Menu Bar" (above the similar ISPF bar).   If the "Menu Bar" is not there — if it isn't showing — you can get it by pressing ALT-E (That is, holding the ALT key while you press the letter E), and then selecting "Show Menu-Bar" from the selection list.

Click Edit in the Menu Bar to get a drop-down menu.  From there:

select:            Preferences >
select:                   Hotspots >

Find "Point-and-Select commands" about halfway down,
Under that, click the box next to "ENTER at cursor position"

click the [OK] box

To save your settings, again move the cursor to the Menu Bar, and select File, then Save.

With the Hotspots setup as shown, You can now double-click on the choices in the ISPF action bar.

If you also check-mark the "Execute URL" box while in the "Hotspots Setup", that will enable you to click on a url  in any text, and assuming you have an Internet connection and so on you should be magically transported to the destination.  Okay, not magically.  It happens because of the “Execute URL” setting in Hotspots.

(If you want to click text like "F1" and "F9" etc, to  execute F-keys by clicking the text, you will find how to do that  at the end of this article, under Addendum 2: Clickable Function keys (F-keys).  It is included because someone is sure to want it, but I don't recommend it generally, as also discussed in the same addendum)

SO, If you like selecting things by double-clicking the mouse, and if you set up the Hotspots settings as decribed above, you now have a bonus.  On the ISPF main menu (the primary options menu), notice where it says "2 Edit", and double click on the word "Edit" there.  It should take you straight to the edit screen, unless somebody's messed up the primary options menu so that it doesn't go there (It works as distributed by IBM, but a lot of sites change that initial menu).

Go back and double-click on "Utilities" in "3 Utilities".   Doing that should put you on the "Utility Selection Panel".   Notice how the Utility Selection Panel is set up in a similar way to the primary menu?  It has "1 Library",  "4 Dslist",  and so on.   You see where this is going, right?   Double-click on the word "Dslist".

Yes, it works for any panel set up that way, provided of course the panel was set up correctly in the first place, and nobody messed it up.  On panels distributed by IBM, double-clickable selection fields are generally turquoise. or If not turquoise — maybe your colors are set up differently than mine — at least they should all be the same color, just because IBM happened to set up their screens so that attribute would be the same color on all the IBM screens.  Also the screens will have a general look and feel similar to the two we just discussed.  This means that generally you should be able to recognize clickable selection fields on sight, once you're used to them. So, if you like double-clicking the mouse to select things, now you're laughing.

Sort of a footnote here.  a warning really: If you are not in the habit of modifying your 3270 settings, and hence have not modified your keyboard setup; and if, at the same time,  you ARE in the habit of using a mouse option to do cut-and-paste, then you might lose your cut-and-paste ability when you turn on your mouse-clicking ability.  What to do?  Remap your keyboard so that you set CTRL+C to copy (copy selected text to the clipboard),  CTRL+X to cut rather than copy, and CTRL+V to paste.

So here is a re-run of directions on how to set those keys:

Addendum: How to set your Cut-and-paste keys

This method can be used to set almost any of your 3270 keyboard keys in general (provided you're using IBM PC 3270 emulation).  For example you can tweak the meaning of the End key, assign F7 and F8 to Page Up and Page Down, and so on.  We focus here mainly on setting Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, and Ctrl+V, to get copy, cut, and paste — though there are a few other minor suggestions included ?

Move the cursor up to the PC 3270 "Menu Bar" (above the similar ISPF bar) at the very top of your TSO (3270 emulation) window.    If the "Menu Bar" is not there — if it isn't showing — you can get it by pressing ALT-E (That is, holding the ALT key while you press the letter E), and then selecting "Show Menu-Bar" from the selection list.

Click Edit in the Menu Bar to get a drop-down menu.  From there:

select:            Preferences >
select:                   Keyboard >

That should show you a map of the keyboard.  You can click on an individual key within the map, and then the  lower-right hand corner of the screen will show you a box with the current values for that key as well as its combination values when pressed in conjunction with SHIFT,   CTRL , or ALT.

You can overtype the values shown, or select new values from one of the lists shown near the bottom left of the screen.   You want to map  CTRL+C to copy text, CTRL+X to cut text, and CTRL+V to paste text.

To save what you've just done, click File in the upper left corner of the keyboard mapping screen and then select Save from the drop-down to save your changed keyboard map into the same .kmp  file on the PC.  There is also a Save As choice,  though if you change the name of the .kmp file you'll need to make sure your main configuration file specifies the name of the modified .kmp file.

While you're still there, on the keyboard mapping screen, you may as well map the "Page Up" key to F7.
(Rather than F7, it might be called  PF7, or Program Function Key 7 – you can hunt for the value in the selection list near the bottom left, or you can temporarily select the actual F7 key long enough to see what it says there to indicate the meaning F7.   Then you just copy the value from the display of the value on the F7 key.  Select the Page Up key, and paste in the value that you copied from F7.   That done, you should find it easy to set "Page Down" to F8.

Also while you're still  there, you might want to map some key to PA1.   And surely you can use a PA2 key.  Maybe PA3 as well.

Under TSO, as mentioned in other write-ups,
PA1  works like ATTN,
and you press PA2 to redisplay a garbled screen.

For PA1, I use Alt+Delete (or Ctrl+Delete), with Delete in this case being the key that is below Insert and left of End, at the far left of the small block of six keys that contains Page Up and Page Down.   I make this choice of position partly because it bears a vague resemblance to the position that an actual PA1 key held on an actual 3270, last time I used one. That little block of six keys  does not appear on all keyboard configurations, of course;  Obviously your own selection will depend partly on the layout of your own keyboard, as well as your personal preference.  Ctrl plus the digit 1 is another possible choice for PA1.   Or ALT+1.  You'll figure something out.  It should be something easy to remember and easy to reach but not too easy to reach — you don't want to hit PA keys accidentally. 

Similarly I assign PA2 to be ALT+End (or Ctrl+End), using  the End key that sits between Delete and Page Down.   Hence PA2  sits to the right of PA1 .  You might prefer ALT+2 (the digit 2), or if you've got that in use for PF14, then maybe you'll use CTRL+2 for PA2. Whatever you like — it's your keyboard.

Did I mention that  you press PA2 to redisplay a garbled screen?

Digression paragraph about the use of PA2:
Say for example some TSO command goes wrong and starts spewing pages and pages of stuff onto your screen, and you want to make it stop.  You press PA1, or ATTN.   Maybe that stops it,  but leaves the screen mostly blank, or junky-looking anyway.  (Or Maybe you get impatient and press the attention key more than once, and maybe then you get thrown out of ISPF into READY mode, and in that case you try pressing the Enter key — what's to lose? — and maybe conditions are such that it puts you back into ISPF (yes that can happen),  right where you were before, and the TSO command gone mad has stopped.  Great, you say, but the screen looks a mess.)  In either case, the screen is in bad condition.  So you press PA2, or whatever key combination you've assigned as PA2.  The screen is restored to a plausible appearance.  More prosaically, maybe you've been editing something and made some changes that you have not yet saved, and then by some mishap you mistakenly overtype some of the data on the screen.  As long as you realize the error of your situation before you hit Enter, you're probably okay — you just press PA2 instead of Enter, and the screen will be redisplayed as it was at first, before you overtyped anything.
Enough about PA2.

If, besides TSO, you also use IMS, you want the full set of PA keys, so (since you're right there setting up keys) set PA3.   If you followed my suggestions on PA1 and PA2, then put PA3 to the right of PA1 and PA2, so they'll all be in a row and hence easy to remember:  Assign Alt+PageDown  (or Ctrl+PageDown ) to PA3.  and you will have PA1, PA2, and PA3 next to each other in a neat row, making them easier to remember.   Or if you selected some other key choice pattern, well, obviously you'll want to follow through with your chosen pattern.

There are a few other key setting choices that might interest you.  There are several options for the End key.  It can be set to move the cursor to the end of the command line, for example, or it can be set to blank out the command line.  You can experiment with different End key settings until you find the one you like.  If you want more than one option, you can set the Alt or Ctrl combination with End to perform your second choice.   The action performed by the End key is a big deal to some people's comfort level in TSO, so just thought I'd mention it to  you, that you do have options on that.

Another thing that matters to some people is cursor speed.  You can set the Alt or Ctrl combination with the four arrow keys that move the cursor so that Alt + right-arrow will perform FAST cursor right, and so on for all four cursor movement arrow keys.

As long as you're setting up keyboard changes, set up keys to do every function you find important to your comfort level.  Find the functions by scrolling through that list in the box near the bottom left of the screen.  You might be surprised at some of the possibilities for alternate interpretations of things like Backspace.

Even the Enter key is subject to choices.  Probably you keyboard has more than one key marked Enter, right?  RIght.  Some people who started out using real 3270 terminals like to set the right-hand Ctrl key to mean Enter, because that's where the Enter key was/is on actual 3270 terminals.  The  key just above the right-hand Shift key, usually labeled Enter, is sometimes labeled with an odd-looking left-pointing arrow, but sort of a crooked arrow, so the tail of the arrow is bent upwards.  I think that symbol is/was intended to suggest a carriage return on a typewriter.  Most people have that key set to Enter, and Enter is usually the default for it.  But old users of real 3270 terminals tend to set that key so it  just moves the cursor down to the next line — a function actual 3270 terminals had in that key position, called New Line.   . . .  Now you know about New Line; in case you ever happen to use somebody else's TSO screen, if it seems like the Enter key doesn't work,  Try pressing the right-hand CTRL key instead — they will probably have it set up as the Enter key.

When you’re done setting up keys, click File in the upper left corner of the keyboard mapping screen and then select Save from the drop-down to save your changes in the same .kmp (keyboard map) file on the PC.  There is also a Save As choice.   if you change the name of the .kmp file you'll need to make sure your main configuration file specifies the name of the modified .kmp file.

End of Addendum on setting Cut-and-paste keys (and reassigning meanings of keyboard keys generally)

Addendum 2: Clickable Function keys (F-keys)

In the Hotspots setup under Preferences you also find options for clickable Function keys. This lets you turn on the ability to mouse-click text like "F1" or "F3" when it appears anywhere on the screen, and have the mouse-clicking produce the same effect as if you actually pressed the corresponding key.  It even makes the F1 text look like a PC-style raised-looking button.  

The problem with this feature is that once you turn it on, any text such as  F1 or F9 becomes clickable anyplace it appears. This can get unnerving if you deal with a lot of text, listings, dumps, data tables and so on that often happen to contain the letter F followed by a digit, but for other reasons; and now all that embedded Fn text looks like a sprinkling of F-keys across whatever you're looking at.  It is fun at first, but it gets old fast if you're doing development.

However, not everyone does development.  If you are developing transactions to run under CICS or IMS, and the users of the transactions only look at transaction screens, those users might be made a little happier if you set up their 3270 emulation settings so the F-keys that are offered as choices appear as PC-style clickable buttons.  Now you know how to do that.





This main part of this post was mostly excerpted from a previous post on multiple split screen sessions, because I noticed people were searching online using search terms like "double-clicking in TSO" and finding the (fairly long) post on multiple split screens.  So this is a shorter post with just that part, to save such people from frustration looking for the fairly small and somewhat hidden passages about mouse use within that longer post.  The  addendum on setting cut and paste keys is mostly taken  from a digression in the How to Write a CLIST   post.  The second addendum, on CLICKABLE FUNCTION KEYS, was added just for this post — again because I saw that people were getting routed to that split-screen post based on searches for mouse-clicking function keys.  The point of this blog is to make the obscure stuff easy (easier) to understand, so it makes sense to do this.


3270 Emulator User’s Reference (The 3270 emulator is the part of your TSO connection that runs on the PC).
Personal Communications for Windows, Version 5.7

This post updated slightly 2016-June-6th, because of a typo ("he" appeared in one place for "the").  Then just revised a few other things a bit since I was here anyway;  Nothing substantive.