12. Report-Writer Statements : Report Setup Statements : .Break Statement--Specify Break Columns : Description
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You can use the optional .break statement to specify the break columns if no .sort statement has been specified, or to override the default break columns created by the .sort statement. The order in which Report-Writer processes the break statements is the order in which they appear in the specified break list. A break on one column in the list produces a break on all subsequent columns in the list.
If a variable is specified as the column, Report-Writer evaluates the columnname during the loading of the report specification, before retrieving the data.
If a .sort statement is not specified, all columns that have .header or .footer statements must be included in the break list.
If you specify an order by clause in a .query statement, a .break statement that lists the columns in the order by clause must also be specified. The .query statement does not create default column breaks as does the .sort statement.
Note:  When using a variable for columnname, the variable must be specified identically in corresponding .sort, .header, and .footer statements.