While some commands work only in the current work area, others allow you to specify the work area in which they perform their function. Work areas are referenced by their alias, which may take one of the following forms:

The work area number, from 1 to 225

A character string that contains a single letter from A through J, which correspond to work area 1 through 10. This is supported for compatibility.

A character string containing the name of the work area: the name of the table, or the alias assigned to the work area when the table was opened. See the USE command for information on assigning aliases.

When using a letter or work area name as the alias in a function, the alias must be a character expression, usually the string enclosed in string delimiters. In a command, the delimiters are optional and usually not used, unless the alias contains spaces or other special characters. In addition to the normal string delimiters (single quotes, double quotes, and square brackets), colons may be used to delimit aliases in commands.

The alias option is indicated by <alias> in the syntax tables. When you do not specify an alias, the command or function works on the current work area.