Need it now, find it quick -- the new SAS online doc


With the release of SAS 9.2, the SAS documentation that accompanies the software has never been more accessible. See for yourself: check out the product documentation for SAS 9.2.

Type in a few keywords in the search pane. I just tried "filename http" -- the top link, describing the FILENAME URL access method, was just what I was looking for.

This is the culmination of years of work to transition SAS' primary documentation medium from printed books to electronic documentation. I am proud to have played a small part in the early days of this -- it was about 12 years ago that I smuggled the SAS Companion for Windows into the online help system for SAS on the PC -- that was in the late days of version 6, early version 7. I've been out of that biz for a long time, but the progress has continued steadily.

The new library of online documentation is a huge leap. I talked to someone last night who still keeps the version 5 manual on his shelf because it contains the whole of SAS documentation as it was at that time. I appreciate the nostalgia, but I think from now on I'll keep my documentation in my web browser.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.


  1. Alexander Hemedinger on

    Congradulations Chris on the book! I read it, good stuff. By the way, this is one of your relatives back in south Florida. I hope all is well buddy.

  2. Jonathan Goldberg on

    In the previous format clicking "Macro" on the left opened the macro documentation. In the new format clicking "Macro" opens a list of 27 documentation topics with Macro on the second page, all the other items being irrelevant. This is not easier access.

    In general, at a first glance, there are far more clicks and waits between and actual information than in the old style. I haven't tried the search facility yet. However, my first take is that the change is a disaster.

    I've alway liked the way SAS puts complete documentation on the Web. I still do, but it's going to be more trouble to use than before.

  3. Jonathan, thanks for the comments. I've passed your comments on to the folks in charge of the online doc; they might be in touch with you to gather some more feedback.

  4. Dwight Galster on

    I got EG 4.3 installed instead of EG 4.2 and now I no longer have any SAS documentation in the help menu, what gives?

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      In EG 4.3, the program editor contains most of the syntax reference help you'll ever need. Just hover over a keyword or navigate with the keyboard and click F1. That being said, many people miss the more detailed help. So in the next release of EG (5.1), you'll be able to jump from this syntax help in the editor to the SAS syntax on the site, using provided links.

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