On the heels of the release of the popular SAS macro variable viewer from last month, I'm providing another custom task that I hope will prove just as useful. This one is a SAS options viewer, similar in concept to the OPTIONS window in SAS display manager.
You can download the new task from this location. (The download is a ZIP file with a DLL and a README.pdf that explains how to install it. In fact, it's the same download package as the macro viewer task; I've packaged them both in the same DLL, so if you install one, you get them both. You're welcome! Both tasks require SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3, with a SAS 9.2 or 9.3 environment.)
If you've tried the macro variable viewer, then the user interface for the Options viewer will look familiar. It shares many of the same features: the window "floats" as a toolbox window so you can keep working while it's visible, you can filter the results (important, given the hundreds of options!), you can view options as a straight list or grouped by category. In addition, there are important features specific to SAS options, such as the ability to see details about how each option was set and where it is valid. Here is the complete set of features:
Always-visible window: Once you open the task from the Tools menu, you can leave it open for your entire SAS Enterprise Guide session. The window uses a "modeless" display, so you can still interact with other SAS Enterprise Guide features while the window is visible. This makes it easy to switch between SAS programs and other SAS Enterprise Guide windows and the options viewer to see results.
Select active SAS server: If your SAS environment contains multiple SAS workspace connections, you can switch among the different servers to see options values on multiple systems.
One-click refresh: Refresh the list of option values by clicking on the Refresh button in the toolbar.
View by group or as a straight list: View the option values in their group categories (for example, MEMORY, GRAPHICS, EMAIL, etc.) or as a straight list, sorted by option name or current value. Click on the column headers to sort the list.
Set window transparency: You can make the window appear "see-through" so that it doesn't completely obscure your other windows as you work with it.
Filter results: Type a string of characters in the "Filter results" field, and the list of options will be instantly filtered to those that contain the sequence that you type. The filtered results will match on option names as well as values, and the search is case-insensitive. This is a convenient way to narrow the list to just a few options that you're interested in. To clear the filter, click on the X button next to the "Filter results" field, or "blank out" the text field.
Show option details: The "About" pane at the bottom of the window shows details about the currently selected option, including the current value, its value at session startup (SAS 9.3 only), where the option can be set (in OPTIONS statement or startup) and how the current value was set. You can show or hide this pane by clicking a toggle button at the top of the window.
I can imagine several more features that might be useful, but I decided that these were enough for a first version. Try it out and leave feedback for me in the comments here. (That worked pretty well with the macro viewer task; in fact, this options viewer was one of your suggestions!)
- Inspecting SAS macro variables in SAS Enterprise Guide
- Download the macro variable viewer and the options viewer task (ZIP file)