TN 5 (01-24)

NL 00702.001 Manage Text (AURORA) - General

A. Introduction

This subchapter describes the basic operating functions and content of the Manage Text (AURORA) processing system and provides instructions for using it to prepare beneficiary notices and other types of correspondence.

The instructional material in this subchapter is primarily intended for the personnel who prepare notices, but will also be of benefit to reviewers and managers who oversee notice preparation.

For more information about the usage of the notices contained in the data base, refer to the POMS subchapter that discusses that particular type of notice and/or the appropriate subject area subchapter.

B. Background

AURORA is a text processing, text management and document producing system available to Program Service Centers (PSCs) and linked to the mainframe computer located in the National Computer Center (NCC). In the current notices environment, notices that are processed by object programs such as T2R and MADCAP in central office are transmitted electronically to the PSC's (including the Office of Disability and International Operations) location where the documentation folder is maintained. Notices that were completed by the object programs are printed in the PSC and mailed. Notices that were incomplete and any dictated or non-object program notices require manual intervention prior to release. The processing vehicle for this manual intervention is AURORA.

AURORA allows users to electronically complete systems generated notices as well as completely dictated notices and other documents. Currently, notices from the following systems are transmitted to AURORA for completion and/or review: MADCAP, T2R, MCS, IRMAA, EPE and REACT.

C. Description of equipment

1. Hardware

Each PSC has its own AURORA system that resides on a central processing computer (mainframe) in the NCC. Typists will perform correction or completion activities by accessing the electronic notice via a video display terminal. Printing will be done on laser printers. In special instances, such as drafts and folder documentation, notices may be printed on terminal acquisition project (TAP) printers located in each processing module.

2. Software

Incomplete, review and alert notices from selected systems programs will be routinely loaded in AURORA and electronically distributed to the typist for further processing. AURORA software will handle all notice text entry, manipulation, correction, completion and assembly functions. Additionally, software will provide coding to permit AURORA completed notices to be processed by automated mailing equipment. Although each PSC has its own system residing on an NCC mainframe, existing software allows all systems to be updated simultaneously.

D. Glossary

1. Buffer

A buffer is temporary storage used when copying or moving text.

2. Command line

A command line is any line where a line command is entered.

3. Continuous text

AURORA divides continuous text entry into FIX and STREAM mode. Line commands cannot be used in these two entry modes.

4. Control

A control is an instruction to format text. Enter them on separate lines, flush left. All control instructions begin with a dot.

5. Department

A department is a group in a section.

6. Dictated text

Dictated text is language that is added to a document or model.

7. Document

A document is a text with control instructions, model calls, and/ or typographic instructions. Documents are assigned to groups.

8. Editing

Editing creates and modifies text.

9. Fill-in

Fill-ins are storage places for text.

10. FIX mode

Enter FIX mode by means of the line command .FIX or by entering F in the line edit margin. This mode is useful for entering text that is long or of undetermined length. InFIX mode you can use control instructions for formatting text. You must press the return key to start a new line. After you press ENTER, the text remains exactly as you entered it. After either of the control instructions .STR or .STF and ENTER, AURORA switches to STREAM mode.

11. Group

A section is divided into groups. Each group contains documents. Sections and groups are coded this way: W700 10I. The W700 represents ODO, the 10 represents the component and the I represents the Work Queue.

12. Head command

Head commands control the AURORA session or affect the contents or presentation of a document.

13. Help

There are two help commands, passive help and active help . The passive help is either a head command or a line command while the active help is a head command or a control instruction. The PF10 key is used to leave the passive help.

The passive help consists of windows with explanations of AURORA functions. The active help will help generate head commands and help with control instructions.

14. Line

A line in the raw text of a document can contain any of the following: a control instruction, model call, or head command procedure or any combination of the following: text, fill-ins, control characters, typographic instructions, line tabs.

A line can contain up to 250 characters. A line with a model call can contain up to 970 characters.

15. Line command

Line commands process the contents of documents, either as single lines or blocks of lines (block commands). Enter a line command starting at line edit margin (column 78) at the end of the document line which you want to process or where you want processing to begin. Press ENTER to execute it.

Certain line commands are used in directories to process entire documents (LIB line commands). Use them to display or edit members.

16. Line mode entry

Enter line mode by means of the head or line command ADD. You can enter text and control instructions in this mode. Line commands can also be executed in line mode. You must watch for the end of the line on the screen and press the return key to start a new line.

17. Line Tabulator

Use a line tab within a line of text to specify the exact column where text is to begin.

18. Locally authored language

Locally authored language is developed by a PSC and approved by Policy. This language is entered into AURORA and can be used by any PSC.


An M/SPELL dictionary can be used to verify spelling of dictated text.


AURORA is a word processing system that is accessed by TAP terminals and housed on a mainframe computer in the National Computer Center (NCC). AURORA is used to process notices and other documents that cannot be completed by other programs.

21. Member

Members are the elements of the AURORA library. Amember can be a model or a document. A member consists of lines, which can be control instruction lines, model lines and/or data lines. Data lines contain text, fill-ins, and/or constants and can be up to 250 characters long.

22. Menu

A menu is a list from which an item can be chosen for further action.

23. Mini-spec

Each model contains a mini-spec that explains how the model works. It explains the edits built in to each fill-in and has other useful information.

24. Model

A model is a member where text is stored (with or without fill-ins). The text represents stock paragraphs, form letters, exhibit letters, letterheads, signatures and forms. Models control the input, processing, or formatting of text.

Data can be passed to a model via a mask. The mask for these data insertions is called a model prompt screen.

Each model is given a name called a Universal Text Identifier (UTI). Model UTIs are always preceded by a pound sign (#).

25. Model prompt

The model prompt screen prompts the typist screen for fill-ins needed to complete models.

26. National text

The national text file generally has all file models that have been determined to be used by all of the program service centers and/or have their text in POMS or some other national instruction.

27. Object program

An object program is one such as MADCAP or T2R.

28. PF keys

Program function; PF keys numbered from PF1 through PF24 are designated for special functions such as PF17 that shows a document in print image on the screen. (See NL 00702.200 for more information.)

29. Print image

A print image occurs when text rather than UTIs and fill-ins are shown on the edit screen.

30. Queue

A queue is a group of documents or models.

A work queue contains documents for processing by the typist. A work queue is identified by I.

A review queue contains documents for review. A review queue is identified by IR.

A print queue contains documents awaiting printing. A print queue is identified by IP or IF.

An archive queue contains documents that are held for possible reprinting due to notice formatting issues.

A print error queue contains documents that were recirculated to components from the print queue because of error messages. A print error queue is identified by PE.


31. Section

The AURORA library is divided into sections and groups.

32. Shell

A shell is a document containing identifying information.

The shell has the name, address, SSN and BIC and is incorporated in a letterhead on AURORA for use by the typist on notices. Using a shell can save time for the typist and improve accuracy. The shell may also contain models that should not be part of the final notice and should be deleted.

33. Stream mode

Enter a stream mode by means of the line command STREAM. Stream mode is useful for entering text that is long or of undetermined length. In this mode you can enter control instructions for formatting text. You do not have to watch for the end of the line on the screen because the text automatically wraps around.

Using the #AAA031 model is the preferred way to enter stream mode.

After you press ENTER, AURORA automatically rejoins words that have been split at the ends of lines. After you enter one of the following control instructions and press ENTER, AURORA automatically switches to FIX mode: .BOX, .CEN, .SYN, .TAB.

34. TAP

Terminal Acquisition Project; TAP terminal, TAP printer; identifies hardware used by AURORA in the components.

35. Text (raw)

The raw text of a document is its contents (text, model calls, control instructions) before formatting and printing occur.

36. Tie breaker

Tie breaker refers to the automatic assignment of a unique name when two or more documents have the same SSN and BIC.

37. Typographic instruction

Typographic instructions format text. They produce, for example, boldface, italics, or underlining.

38. UTI

A universal text identifier (UTI) is a name for a model. Whenever possible the UTI is the same as the identifier shown in POMS or other source and is preceded by a pound sign (#) when used for calling up models in M/ TEXT.

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NL 00702.001 - Manage Text (AURORA) - General - 01/03/2024
Batch run: 01/03/2024