Overview of Messages | Command Syntax
Parameters | Default settings

Command Syntax

This manual denotes SCPI commands using the following format.


SCPI commands can be issued using the short form. The short form of a SCPI command is the section of the command written in uppercase.

SCPI commands can be sent in the long form or short form. Since SCPI commands are not case-sensitive, CURR, Curr, and curr are all accepted as the short form of CURRent. In the long form, CURRENT, Current, and current are all acceptable.

• A space is required between the program header section and the parameter section.

• Multiple parameters, when available, are concatenated using commas.

• Commands are concatenated using semicolons (compound command).


In the second command, the root node TRIGger is omitted. This is because the path is set to TRIGger by the first command TRIGger:SOURce BUS.

This compound command is the same as entering the following commands.



An error occurs if a node that is not defined in the current path is designated.

Commands of different subsystems can be concatenated using a colon and a semicolon together.

SOURce:CURRent MINimum;:INPut ON?

This compound command contains two root nodes, SOURce and INPut.

When the second or subsequent command starts with a colon, the path specified by the previous command is cleared.

• The maximum number of characters that can be transmitted in a single line is 255.

Special symbols

Special symbols used in this manual to describe SCPI commands are defined below.

• Characters and numbers delimited by "|" in braces indicate that one of the items is to be selected.
Do not include the braces in the actual program.

• The characters <> indicate program data.
Do not write <> in the actual program.

• Brackets indicate option data.
When option data is not sent with the program, the default value is applied.
Do not write [ ] in the actual program.


The device settings or status can be queried.

To make a query, add a question mark at the end of the program header section.

If a query has parameters, enter a space after the question mark followed by the parameters.


- Response

A response returned as an answer to a query. It is a message that is always sent from the device to the computer. The status of the device or measured values are transmitted to the computer.


When transmitting two queries in separate lines, read the response to the first query before transmitting the second line.

• GPIB and USB
When two query lines are sent at once, a SCPI error (-410, "Query INTERRUPTED") may occur.

• RS232C
When two query lines are sent at once, an incomplete response may be received for the first query followed by a complete response for the second query.

String termination

All commands must be terminated using a valid terminator.

The available terminators are <new line> (ASCII 0x0A) and EOI (end-or-identify). Either one can be used as a terminator.

EOI is not available on the RS232C. Be sure to use <new line>.

EOI is also not available on the USB. However, a terminator separate from <new line> is automatically added. It does not matter whether <new line> is added or not.

When a command string is terminated, the path is reset to the root level.


CR (ASCII 0x0D) is not a terminator.

Common commands

The IEEE-488.2 and SCPI standards contain a set of common commands for reset, self-test, and other functions. These common commands always start with an asterisk. The commands may have one or multiple parameters.