Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Using alternative editors for SAS programming

5th June 2007

When it comes to writing SAS programs, most of use the tools that SAS gives us, be it Enterprise Guide, the Enhanced Editor or the Program Editor. While Enterprise Guide can work with UNIX SAS as the processing engine, it is very much a Windows tool and the Enhanced Editor functionality is provided through Windows-only programming (ActiveX, I seem to recall). However, that means that creature comforts are left behind you if you turn to writing SAS code using UNIX SAS; you have only got the good old fashioned Program Editor supplied by SAS itself. However, there is a trick that you can use to make life more comfortable: SAS does allow you to submit the contents of your paste buffer (or clipboard) using the command SUBMIT BUFFER=DEFAULT and this can be assigned to a function key for ease of use (I use the same key to clear the log and output screens at the same time). In the Windows, you may need to explicitly copy the code in order to do this but, in UNIX, merely highlighting a section of code with an editor like NEdit will do the trick and, given that NEdit is reasonably pleasant tool for code cutting (the ability to define its macros with a spot of scripting is a definite plus point), this makes life more comfortable again.

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