Sunday, September 11, 2011

Add 10 buttons to enhance SAS 9.3 environment

One striking change in SAS 9.3 is that everything is HTMLized. Adding user-defined buttons to the toolbar of SAS’s windowing environment would make coding more efficient.
1. Clear log and result
The most used SAS command is now prompted by a button.

2. Clear files left by results viewer
Lots of trash (mostly HTML files and PNG-formatted images by SAS 9.3's results viewer) would permanently remain in the current folder after each SAS session (the current folde is indicated on the Window Bar at the bottom). To avoid the possibility that someday the hard disk is jammed, clearing them out at times may be a good habit.

gsubmit "options noxsync noxwait;x 'del *.htm';x 'del *.png';"
3. Clear work directory
Everything in the WORK directory can be cleared out during a SAS session by such an approach.

gsubmit "proc catalog c=work.sasmacr kill force;proc datasets kill nolist;quit;"
4. Turn off ODS graphics
This code line closes ODS graphics for the statistics procedures if needed, and then saves resource expense.

gsubmit "ods graphics off;"
5. Separate html
SAS 9.3 stores all results in a very long html file that is what we see in the results viewer new html files. Ken Kleinman mentioned that running this code would generate a new html file.

gsubmit "ods html close; ods html;"
6. Listing on
One click to go back to the listing output if with output-intensive job.

gsubmit "ods _all_ close; ods listing;"
7. Increase DPI
The original image resolution in SAS 9.3 is set at low level for processing efficiency. Actually DPI (dots per inch) in SAS can be raised as high as 600. Graphs with 300 dpi would be decent for regular paperwork.

gsubmit"ods html image_dpi=300;"

8. Change style
The default style in SAS 9.3 is htmlblue, which is an elegant and smooth html template. However, it has weaknesses: while it draws scatter plots, the overlapping dots tend to be indistinguishable. My favorite for scatting plots is 'harvest'. Aligning them together would see the difference. SAS 9.3 has many other styles. I like 'navy' or 'money' for pictures that need high contrast. The styles 'journal/2/3' may be considered for publishing purpose.

gsubmit"ods html style=harvest;"
9. Recover formchar
If you see tables on listing separated by weird charaters, it is time to click this button.

gsubmit "options formchar='|----|+|---+=|-/\<>*';"
10. Community help
Searching the key words in SAS-L is probably the most efficient way to find answers for any SAS question. Another option is Lex Jansen that searches from total 15925 SAS conference proceeding papers.

wbrowse ''

Those user-defined buttons can be exported and imported by PROC CATALOG.

proc catalog;
   copy in=sasuser.profile out=work.backup;
   select sasedit_main / et=toolbox;
proc catalog;
   copy in=work.backup out=sasuser.profile;
   select sasedit_main / et=toolbox;

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