LOAD device_filename or

LOAD [device_]filename (Toolkit II)


QL ROM, Toolkit II

This command looks for a SuperBASIC program held on the given device under the specified filename (a program file), reporting the error ‘not found’ if either the device or the filename does not exist. If found, it then clears any current SuperBASIC program out of memory, closes all channels with a channel number greater than #2, turns off any WHEN processing, and performs a CLS on #0, #1 and #2. Each line of the program file is loaded into memory and then parsed as if it had been entered into the command line by the user. If any lines cannot be parsed (ie. they would normally generate a ‘bad line’ error), then the word MISTake is inserted into the line after the line number and the loading process continues.

Under SMS when the program has been loaded, if there have been any errors in the program, the error ‘MISTake in Program’ is reported, or any other Interpreter error, with the line number listed.

Program files are stored on directory devices by the computer as pure ASCII files, allowing them to be imported into text editors for ease of editing (or even to be created in separate editing programs), copied direct to a printer (using the COPY_N command), and VIEWed on screen.

However, this means that the program has to be parsed each time that it is loaded, making the loading process quite slow. This can however be circumvented by using a fast loading utility - we highly recommend QLOAD from Liberation Software for this purpose.

If the program file contains some lines in it which do not have line numbers, then these are automatically executed as if they had been typed direct into the keyboard. For example, one method of software protection would be to turn off the Break key on loading and then RUN the program. This can be achieved by entering the following as direct commands, with the desired program in memory:

OPEN_NEW #3,flp1_file

This actually opens a new file, and inserts as direct commands BREAK_OFF and RUN after the body of the program (LIST in this instance is similar to SAVE except that it allows you to add further text to the end of the program file).

These two commands will be interpreted immediately that flp1_file has been loaded, thus preventing anyone from looking at the listing (the break key is disabled and the program immediately RUN).

Unfortunately though, this does not really work very well, as you cannot stop the user from VIEWing the file on screen!!

If you have Toolkit II present, then if a device is not specified, or LOAD cannot find the specified file on the given device, then Toolkit II will add the default data device to the filename. If the file still cannot be found, then the default program device is used instead.

Example 1

To load a file Test1_bas on mdv1_ (the default data device is flp1_ and the default program device is flp2_):

LOAD mdv1_Test1_bas

If Toolkit II is present and Test1_bas is not on mdv1_ (or there is not a microdrive cartridge in mdv1_), the default data device is added, equivalent to:

LOAD flp1_mdv1_Test1_bas

If the file is still not found, the default program device is used, which is equivalent to:

LOAD flp2_mdv1_Test1_bas

Example 2

Some examples showing the capabilities of LOAD:

LOAD 'n' & station & '_flp1_'&file$

Loads the given file from flp1_ on the given network station.

LOAD ser1c

Loads a file from the device attached to ser1.

LOAD neti_3

Loads a file which will be SAVEd over the network by station 3.


LOAD can leave error trapping enabled on JS and MG ROMs - see WHEN ERRor for details.


Minerva users will notice that in current versions, LOAD clears both screens even if #0, #1 and #2 are all on the same screen.


LOAD allows programs which have been created on Minerva using integer tokenisation to be loaded into any other ROM without any problems - any numbers in the program file are automatically converted to floating point tokens (or long/short integers if integer tokenisation is enabled), thus preventing any problems.


LOAD cannot be used from within a PROCedure or FuNction unless you have a JS ROM, MGx ROM, SMS or Minerva v1.83+. On other implementations, this causes the error ‘Not Implemented’.


Except under SMS, line numbers can be added to a numberless program file using AUTO - please refer to AUTO.


On Minerva v1.86, LOAD could become confused when used inside a program.


Since Toolkit II v2.22 (and on Minerva), LOAD will refuse to try and load a file unless its file type is 0 (see FTYP).


Any commands which appear on the same line as LOAD (after the LOAD command) will be ignored.


LOAD has been re-written so that it will also load files saved with the QLOAD utility from Liberation Software (which is now part of SMS). If the specified filename does not end in _SAV or _BAS, then if the specified filename does not exist, before trying the default data device and the default program device (see above), LOAD will first of all try the filename with _BAS appended and if still not found, will try the filename with _SAV appended.

So if the default data device is flp1_ and the default program device is flp2_, LOAD ram1_TEST will look for the following files:

  • ram1_TEST

  • ram1_TEST_bas

  • ram1_TEST_sav

  • flp1_ram1_TEST

  • flp1_ram1_TEST_bas

  • flp1_ram1_TEST_sav

  • flp2_ram1_TEST

  • flp2_ram1_TEST_bas

  • flp2_ram1_TEST_sav

Only if none of these filenames exist will it report a ‘Not Found’ error.


SAVE saves the current SuperBASIC program in memory. LRUN automatically runs the program after loading. MERGE and MRUN are similar commands. Also see QLOAD and RELOAD. EXEC allows you to load a multitasking program (normally a machine code program or a compiled program). LBYTES allows you to load a section of memory.