A correspondence is established between a format specification and items in a READ, WRITE or PRINT statement's input/output list in which the edit descriptors and input/output list are both interpreted from left to right. Each effective edit descriptor is applied to the corresponding data entity in the input/output list. Each instance of a repeated edit descriptor is an edit descriptor in effect. Three exceptions to this rule are
- COMPLEX items in the input/output list require the interpretation of two F, E, EN, ES, D or G edit descriptors.
- Control and character string edit descriptors do not correspond to items in the input/output list.
- If the end of a complete format is encountered and there are remaining items in the input/output list, format control reverts to the beginning of the format item terminated by the last preceding right parenthesis, if it exists, and to the beginning of the format otherwise. If format control reverts to a parenthesis preceded by a repeat specification, the repeat specification is reused.