Get the syntax right

With your fingers poised over the keyboard and staring lovingly into the program editor, your mind goes blank. Panic sets in. Oh no.  What's the name of the statement I need ?  Oh right. The ODS Select statement. Maybe.

Lots and lots of SAS users write SAS programs every day, so I'm betting that all of us have experienced a situation like this.  Let SAS Documentation help you avoid your next syntax panic attack. Use the newly launched SAS 9.3 Syntax Index

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Go to the index.
  2. Start typing the name of  language element for which you need help in the entry field in the left column. Notice that as you type more letters, the list box under the entry field continuously changes.  This feature is really helpful when you have an idea of the element name, but you can't quite remember exactly what it is.
  3. Select an item from the display box. Notice that all kinds of great information now appears on the right. You can get lots of information that will spark your memory and help you quickly get back to the program editor and complete that project. Panic avoided.
  4. Or, you can learn more about the procedure, statement or option by selecting Open this book to this page, which appears right under the page title. You are now in the book where this item in found. You can  continue your research by paging through the complete book.

 To get more help with SAS syntax, read the post Drilling Is Not Required.


  1. Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This is fantastic! Love the predictive search query suggestions and the "Open this book to this page"... a great way for people to search for syntax and be able to see it in context easily.

    I look forward to using this nifty syntax index and showing other SAS users in future SAS programming courses I teach.

  2. Quentin
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that is amazing!!! In the past I have had 3 different bookmarks to different indexe to search for functions, statements, or formats. Now just one place to look!

    Can I make a request? Playing around a little, noticed it doesn't seem to have operators (in, IN: between, etc.) That would be nice. The more that can be searchable like this the better.

    Love It!!!

  3. Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Michelle and Quentin:
    Thank you for the comments. We love to produce content and features that are helpful to SAS users. Without your feedback, we wouldn't know when we get it right or how to keep improving!

  4. Hans-Ulrich
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanaks - useful. Nothing under
    ODS listing
    ODS rtf
    ODS html
    is there.
    Interesting to compare listing and html to rtf by themselves.

  5. Randy Dai
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    TRANSPOSE not found?

  6. Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The word from our Publications Division is that they are aware of some missing and duplicate items. They are working on newer versions that are more complete. Your comments are helpful in the update process. Thank you for taking the time to post them here.

  7. Aditya Gupta
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Wow..Its very helpful in finding out various SAS options specifically the documentation for it.
    I found it is faster and more efficient than other search options available. however if it can also show SAS 9.2 or old version documents it could be more beneficial for customers using previous SAS versions they can compare new features easily with 9.3 documents.

  8. Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for providing this search portal! I could not locate 'Proc SQL'. I assume it will be added later since Proc SQL is a big topic?

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    Welcome to the blog about SAS online support. Renee Harper (that's me) will keep you up-to-date about new and updated content on, as well as support services and software releases. I'll try to include relevant examples you can use - sample programs and information about how others use SAS. I'll be able to do this better if you join me - this is a place to share your ideas, successes, and frustrations.
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