A CDE Definition
In programming, a pattern that describes the type of data allowed in a field or the way the data should be printed. The pattern is made up of a character code for each character in the field; for example, 9999 is a picture for four numeric digits. A picture for a telephone number could be (999) 999-9999. Three alphanumerics followed by three numeric digits might be XXX999. Pictures are similar, but not identical, in all programming languages. See also graphics and graphics formats.
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