SAS Enterprise Guide has about 150 options that you can customize in the Tools->Options window. With each release, the development team adds a few more options that have been asked for by customers, and they rarely decommission any existing options. It's getting quite crowded on some of those options windows!
Alas, the team has not yet discovered how to implement the "Read my mind" option (but believe me, it's been requested), so it remains up to you to investigate the options that are offered and select those that suit the way that you want to work.
I use SAS Enterprise Guide every day to get work done, and I've got some favorite settings that I like to run with that help me to be more productive. Here are my top 5.
Replace results: Replace without prompting
How to find it: Tools->Options->Results->Results General, under the Managing Results heading.
After you set this option, you'll never again see this message "Do you want to replace results? Yes, No, or Cancel" when you re-run a task or program. Your results will always be replaced, which is what most people almost always want.
Turn off Show generated wrapper code in SAS log
How to find it: Tools->Options->Results->Results General...about halfway down the window. This option really helps to declutter your SAS log within SAS Enterprise Guide. I've written about this option in more detail in a previous post.
Show full details when viewing SAS libraries in File Dialog
How to find it: Tools->Options->General...about 1/3 of the way down the page. Checking this option allows you to see more details about the data sets in your libraries before you add them to your project. Read more about the File Details option in an earlier post.
Turn off Show Welcome window at start-up
How to find it: Tools->Options->General...top option. Or, check the box that says "Don't show this window again" the next time you see the "Welcome to SAS Enterprise Guide" window. This tells SAS Enterprise Guide, "Hey, the honeymoon is over. Get out of the way and let's get to work."
The Welcome window does provide handy one-click access to your most recently used projects. But you can also get to those via File->Recent Projects. Bonus added in the 4.3 release: File->Recent Programs, which provides easy access to SAS program files that you've opened recently.
Change default SAS Report style to Plateau
How to find it: Tools->Options->Results->SAS Report, Appearance section.
The default ODS output style for SAS Report is Analysis. It's a nice clean style, but I prefer Plateau because it's a bit more concise and can fit more information on a screen. Here: take a look at this sample to see what I mean. There are lots of different styles: experiment and see which one you like the best.
Change Graph Format to PNG
How to find it: Tools->Options->Results->Graph, Graph Format.
The default graph format for items such as bar chart and line charts is ActiveX. ActiveX has been the default output format in SAS Enterprise Guide since 1999, when the product shipped with version 1.0 on top of SAS Version 8. Back then, the quality of the charts produced using the ActiveX graph control was pretty impressive when compared to the output produced using GIF or similar static chart types.
The ActiveX device tells SAS to generate verbose scripting code as part of the SAS Report or HTML output. Then a client-side control is used to render the graph. This allows for some interactivity in the graph, but it also comes with a limitation: if the graph contains lots of data points, the script gets larger, and that can make for a very large output file.
SAS/Graph has come a long way since the early days of SAS Enterprise Guide, and with SAS 9.2 we like to recommend the PNG device for most applications. The PNG (or GIF or JPEG devices) respect the SAS graph styles and look pretty nice. If you use ODS Graphics (or the SGPLOT procedure), you get PNG already since ActiveX isn't supported.
Whoops, that's 6 options, not 5! Once I get going it's difficult to stop. I've got some other favorites that I recommend for certain situations (working with databases, making the best of network latency, collaborating with teammates on projects); those will provide good topics for a future post.
What about you? Do you have a favorite set of options for SAS Enterprise Guide, or even SAS in general? Post back in the comments.