The default settings are not good enough

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Today, I came across this article that discusses how software users rarely change the settings in the applications that they use.  Users assume that the software vendor sets the default values as they are for a reason, and who are they to set them otherwise?

I'm a software developer (and all-around-computer-geek), so I'm forever tweaking the settings in applications that I use to suit the way that I work.  As a long-time developer for SAS Enterprise Guide, I know that the "defaults" for certain settings are something that we debate with every release.  Our objective is to have default settings that create the best experience and results for the largest percentage of users.

But SAS Enterprise Guide users (and SAS users in general) are so varied in their backgrounds and job roles that there is no such thing as a "typical" user.  Therefore, I can promise that some of the default behaviors in the application are not optimized for your experience.  Which options need tweaking?  That's up to you.

Some settings are meant to provide the best experience for new users.  Well, being a "new user" is a temporary occupation, isn't it?  Once you graduate to "somewhat experienced user", it's your task to tweak your options to match your new familiarity with the application.

In the past, I've shared my favorite 5 options to tweak when using SAS Enterprise Guide.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore these and other options, and see how you can make the tools work better for you as a result.

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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.

4 Comments

  1. Possibly the first option I learned to change in EG was what some of my geeky friends would call the "idiot check" it does ... something like "Do you want to replace your results?" Yes ... that's the kind of risk taker I am ... I'll just hit F8 and replace my results, data sets and all ... woo hoo!

    Since I started working with such huge datasets - I've also learned that I want it to check if I'm an idiot before it opens one. Yes, EG - please prompt me before opening that 2.8 million row dataset that I just double-clicked by accident. Yikes!

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      "Replace results" - that's #1 on my fav five.

      "Tiptoe gingerly around big data sets" - well, it's not called that, but there are a couple of options about automatically opening data when added to the project.

  2. Cath of Canberra on

    I love these settings; and I also liked the ctrl-I you demonstrated in Canberra to format code. I never knew you could customise that or apply it to just a selection. Since then I've been using it a lot.

    The one I'm struggling with now, though, is how to make the log write immediately - in the old command line you could set LOGPARM="WRITE=IMMEDIATE" but I can't find an EG setting for that.

  3. Pingback: The case for XCMD privileges in SAS Enterprise Guide - The SAS Dummy

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