2.3.1 Free Source Form

In free source form, statements are not limited to specific positions on a source line, and a line can contain from 0 to 132 characters.

Blank characters are significant in free source form. The following are rules for blank characters:

For information on statement separators (;) in all forms, see Section 2.3.

Comment Indicator

In free source form, the exclamation point character (!) indicates a comment if it is within a source line, or a comment line if it is the first character in a source line.

Continuation Indicator

In free source form, the ampersand character (&) indicates a continuation line (unless it appears in a Hollerith or character constant, or within a comment). The continuation line is the first noncomment line following the ampersand. Although Fortran 90 permits up to 39 continuation lines in free-form programs, Compaq Fortran allows up to 511 continuation lines.

The following shows a continued statement:

TCOSH(Y) = EXP(Y) + &        ! The initial statement line
           EXP(-Y)           ! A continuation line

If the first nonblank character on the next noncomment line is an ampersand, the statement continues at the character following the ampersand. For example, the preceding example can be written as follows:

TCOSH(Y) = EXP(Y) + &
          & EXP(-Y)

If a lexical token must be continued, the first nonblank character on the next noncomment line must be an ampersand followed immediately by the rest of the token. For example:


If you indent the continuation line of a character constant, an ampersand must be the first character of the continued line; otherwise, the blanks at the beginning of the continuation line will be included as part of the character constant. For example:

ADVERTISER = "Davis, O'Brien, Chalmers & Peter&

The ampersand cannot be the only nonblank character in a line, or the only nonblank character before a comment; an ampersand in a comment is ignored.

For More Information:

For details on the general rules for all source forms, see Section 2.3.

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