- Each line is considered to be made up of 80 columns.
- Columns 1 to 6 are reserved for line numbers.
- Column 7 is an indicator column and has special meaning to the compiler.
Hyphen ( -) indicates continuation
Slash ( / ) indicates form feed
- Columns 8 to 11 are called Area A. All COBOL DIVISIONs, SECTIONs, paragraphs and some special entries must begin in Area A.
- Columns 12 to 72 are called Area B. All COBOL statements must begin in Area B.
- Columns 73 to 80 are identification area