Compiler Commands

PREPARE’s compiler commands control questionnaire functions.

Depending on their placement, they may control the whole questionnaire or just a portion of the questionnaire. Compiler commands may be specified individually or in groups.

Many of these commands are like switches. They are turned on to perform a function, and they must be turned off afterwards. Some of them start and end command blocks (for example, a ROTATE and ENDROTATE pair).

All compiler commands start with {! and end with }; you can specify an optional label also.

Compiler commands must be placed after the study header and between question specifications and other compiler commands.

The syntax for compiler commands is:


Using a label for a command lets you skip to the command instead of having to put a dummy GOTO just before it.

NOTE: All commands may be commented out by placing a minus sign (-) before the label or “!”.

Some compiler commands may be turned off by placing a minus sign (-) immediately after the exclamation point. A reminder of this feature will appear with the specific command.

There are four types of compiler commands.

  1. Compile Control Commands – Control compile operations and the format of the files made at compile time.
  2. Compose Control Commands – Control the composing of questions.
  3. Data Control Commands – Affect the placement of the data in the data file(s). These are quite useful when using column-free data specifications.
  4. Interview Control Commands – Control operations during the interview, such as rotation of questions, keyword operation, and screen format.