Skip to content

ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP - Reference →  Processing Internal Data →  Attributes of Data Objects →  DESCRIBE 


Short Reference

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


                         IN {BYTE|CHARACTER} MODE.


This statement assigns the difference between the starting positions of the data objects dobj1 and dobj2 to the data object dst, which expects the data type i. In the case of deeper data types, the referenced data object is not relevant but the position of the internal reference (for strings and internal tables) or the reference variables instead. It is not important in which order dobj1 and dobj2 are specified.

You must specify the addition MODE in Unicode programs. The variant with the addition IN BYTE MODE determines the distance in bytes. The variant with the addition IN CHARACTER MODE converts the distance into characters that can be stored in this length according to the current character format. In non-Unicode programs, the addition MODE can be omitted. In this case, the addition IN BYTE MODE is used implicitly. When you use this addition in IN CHARACTER MODE and the determined distance cannot be converted into a number of characters, an non-handleable exception is raised.


  • The distance between data objects should only be determined within the same structure and only the structure's components should be used, since this is the only way to guarantee that they follow each other immediately in the memory. Note that the alignment gaps are counted as well. Therefore, use the addition in IN BYTE MODE to avoid a non-handleable exception.
  • With respect to DESCRIBE DISTANCE, every substructure declared as a boxed component is an independent structure. The distance between components which are not in the same boxed component is undefined.


Non-Catchable Exceptions

  • Cause: Distance cannot be converted into characters.
    Runtime Error: UC_NO_CHAR_NUMBER


Determining Data Object Distances