Documentation in motion: sometimes the best way to explain something is to show it


SAS takes pride in the award-winning documentation we produce. From books to on-line help to embedded user assistance, we deliver the words that help our users understand how to use SAS software. However, as SAS applications and interfaces have become more sophisticated and interactive, it’s become more difficult to convey information using only words and graphics.

To meet this need, SAS Publications has started adding videos to the documentation we create for SAS applications and solutions. The videos are usually less than five minutes long, which is just long enough to explain a task or concept. This lets you get the information you need quickly and get back to your job. Each video provides just the right amount of information to understand the task or concept.

Just like our print documentation, you access the videos through the Product Documentation pages on When you go to the Product Documentation page for a SAS product, look for the Video heading to see what’s available. In some cases (such as with mobile applications), you can also start the videos directly from the help system in the SAS application. The videos are hosted on YouTube, which provides automatic machine translation of the video captions. Just click the CC control on the video player to see a list of the languages supported. If SAS supplies our own translations of the captions, these will also be listed under the CC control.

For an example of what we’re working on, take a look at the group of videos created for SAS Visual Analytics. You can view all of these videos from the SAS Visual Analytics Product Documentation page.


  • Overview of SAS Visual Analytics 5.2

SAS Visual Analytics 5.1

  • Creating Filters in the Explorer Interface
  • Working With Interactions in the Designer Interface

SAS Mobile BI

  • Introduction
  • Explore the Portfolio
  • Explore the Library
  • Explore a Report
  • Work Anywhere
  • Secure Data

This is just the start – look for more videos for more SAS applications in the future.


About Author

David Bass

SAS Technical Writer

As a writer in the Data and Enterprise Administration Marketing group, David has been responsible for documenting many SAS administrative tools. He has written documentation for SAS Environment Manager, SAS Management Console and SAS Enterprise Guide Explorer. In addition, he has written about SAS Grid Manager and scheduling in SAS. David has been at SAS since 1994.

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