Dear Miss SAS Answers: Help me see my ODS output


Dear Miss SAS Answers,

I have a problem getting PDF, HTML, and RTF output from the Output Delivery System (ODS). It asks me to connect to a remote browser. When I try that, I have a connection failure. I am using Base SAS 9.2 software. What am I doing wrong?

Not Browsing

Dear Not Browsing,

It is funny that you should ask that question, as I just had another SAS programmer ask the same question this week!

The solution is to use the HELPBROWSER SAS system option. You can either add this OPTIONS statement at the beginning of your SAS code containing ODS statements:

options helpbrowser = sas;

or you can add this line to your sasv9.cfg file (for Windows and UNIX) or your sas.exe invocation:


The HELPBROWSER SAS system option specifies the browser to use for SAS Help and ODS output. The valid values are as follows:

REMOTE specifies to use the remote browser for the Help. The location of the remote browser is determined by the HELPHOST and the HELPPORT system options. This is the default value for the OpenVMS, UNIX, z/OS, and Windows 64-bit operating environments.

SAS specifies to use the SAS browser for the Help. This is the default for the Windows 32-bit operating environment.

To see the current value of this option, submit the following SAS code:

proc options option=helpbrowser value;

This option has been available since SAS 9.0, so I suspect people are running into it now when moving to a 64-bit Windows system, as the default value is different.

I hope this helps you see your ODS output. Happy SAS programming!
Miss SAS Answers


About Author

Miss SAS Answers

Technical Training Specialist

Linda Jolley has been a SAS software user since 1980. She has been an instructor for SAS since 1997, and is Base and Advanced SAS Programming certified and working on the Data Integration Developer certification. She has presented papers at several SAS user group venues on various SAS programming efficiency techniques and the SAS Scalable Performance Data Server.

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  1. Linda Jolley on

    Hi, Jerry. If you follow the clickable link in the blog above (HELPBROWER SAS System option -, you should see that the documentation is in the SAS(R) 9.2 Language Reference: Dictionary, Fourth Edition. As such, it applies to all operating systems. Note that the default value changed from 32-bit to 64-bit SAS 9.2, and therein lies the problem that Not Browsing ran into. He had just moved from a 32-bit machine to a 64-bit machine. I hope this answers your query.

  2. Jerry Hamilton on

    I am running on Windows Server (9.2). I see this option in the OPTIONS listing but I don't see in SAS Documentation where it is applicable to Windows.

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