in reply to using strict

It is because you are using "$recno^$qno^$vtext"; in your print statement, but they aren't declared in the block.

For Example:
my $a = <STDIN>; if($a eq 'y'){ my ($fname, $lname) = ('tom', 'test'); print "$fname $lname\n"; #OK because vars declared in block } print "$fname $lname\n"; #Vars are out of scope now, will die under st +rict

Your code should look something like this, so your vars can be used between loop iterations.
#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; open (IN, "infile") or die "Can't open input file: $!\n"; open (OUT, ">outfile") or die "Can't create outfile for write: $!\n "; my ($junk,$qno,$junk2,$vtext,$recno); while (<IN>) { if (/^##recstart/) { ($junk,$recno) = split; $recno =~ s/'//g; }elsif (/^##v/) { ($junk,$qno,$junk2,$vtext) = split (/ /,$_,4); $qno =~ s/'//g; $vtext =~ s/'//g; }else { print OUT "$recno^$qno^$vtext"; } }

- Tom