BeOptimized - Tips and Tricks

Create and use formats in SAS

SAS formats are instruction that SAS uses to write data values. You use formats to control the written appearance of data values, or, in some cases, to group data values together for analysis. You can create format manually with hardcoded values or from datasets, you can store them in permanent library, share them and also use build-in format (etc.) every thing you want to know about SAS format should be present in this tips and tricks.


SAS formats are useful instruction which can be used in a wide range of circumstances. In this tips and tricks, we will have a look on variety of aspects on the SAS formats:

  • Create format with hardcoded values and use it on data step and procedure
  • Create format on the basis of an input dataset
  • Update format
  • View format contents
  • Create picture format to create patterns and to create date patterns
  • Find the list of SAS default formats and informats on SASHELP
  • Store the format in permanent or temporary library and view the options to select one rather than an another one
  • Apply format in statistical procedure to change classification
  • Validate data using format
  • Use format to convert physically the content of the variable
  • Create informat and use it on data step to create numeric variable.


You have some SAS experience and would like to validate your data against reference table using SAS format.

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