Using Microsoft Excel functions in SAS


SAS Microsoft partnershipYou might have heard about SAS - Microsoft partnership announced in June 2020 that officially joined the powers of SAS analytics with Microsoft’s cloud technology to further advance Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This partnership did not just happen out of nowhere. SAS has a long and deep history of integrating with Microsoft technologies. Examples include:

In this post we will look at a lesser known, but quite useful feature in SAS that allows SAS users to bring many Microsoft Excel functions right to their SAS programs. I hope that many SAS users (not just MS Excel aficionados) will love to discover this functionality within SAS.

Excel functions as SAS user-defined functions

SAS has a wide variety of built-in functions, however there are still many Microsoft Excel functions that are not intrinsically implemented in SAS. Luckily, many of them are made available in SAS via PROC FCMP as user-defined functions (see section PROC FCMP and Microsoft Excel). These functions are predefined for you and their definitions are stored in the SASHELP.SLKWXL data table provided with your SAS installation. You can generate a list of these functions by running the following code:

proc fcmp inlib=SASHELP.SLKWXL listall;

You can also capture the list of available Excel functions in a SAS data table using ODS OUTPUT with CODELIST= option:

ods noresults;
ods output codelist=WORK.EXCEL_FUNCTIONS_LIST (keep=COL1 COL2);
proc fcmp inlib=SASHELP.SLKWXL listall;
ods output close;
ods results;

From this data table you can produce a nice looking HTML report listing all these functions:

data WORK.EXCEL_SAS_FUNCTIONS (keep=exc sas arg);
   label exc='Excel Function' sas='SAS Function' arg='Arguments';
   set WORK.EXCEL_FUNCTIONS_LIST (rename=(col2=arg));
   sas = tranwrd(col1,'Function ','');
   exc = tranwrd(sas,'_slk','');
ods html path='c:\temp' file='excel_sas_functions.html';
title 'List of Excel functions available in SAS (via SASHELP.SLKWXL)';
proc print data=EXCEL_SAS_FUNCTIONS label;
ods html close;

When you run this code, you should get the following list of Excel functions along with their SAS equivalents:

List of Excel functions available in SAS (via SASHELP.SLKWXL)
Obs Excel Function SAS Function Arguments
1 even even_slk ( x )
2 odd odd_slk ( x )
3 factdouble factdouble_slk ( x )
4 product product_slk ( nums )
5 multinomial multinomial_slk ( nums )
6 floor floor_slk ( n, sg )
7 datdif4 datdif4_slk ( start, end )
8 amorlinc amorlinc_slk ( cost, datep, fperiod, salvage, period, rate, basis )
9 amordegrc amordegrc_slk ( cost, datep, fperiod, salvage, period, rate, basis )
10 disc disc_slk ( settlement, maturity, pr, redemp, basis )
11 tbilleq tbilleq_slk ( settlement, maturity, discount )
12 tbillprice tbillprice_slk ( settlement, maturity, discount )
13 tbillyield tbillyield_slk ( settlement, maturity, par )
14 dollarde dollarde_slk ( fdollar, frac )
15 dollarfr dollarfr_slk ( ddollar, frac )
16 effect effect_slk ( nominal_rate, npery )
17 coupnum coupnum_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
18 coupncd coupncd_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
19 coupdaysnc coupdaysnc_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
20 couppcd couppcd_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
21 coupdays coupdays_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
22 db db_slk ( cost, salvage, life, period, month )
23 yield yield_slk ( settlement, maturity, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis )
24 yielddisc yielddisc_slk ( settlement, maturity, pr, redemp, basis )
25 coupdaybs coupdaybs_slk ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis )
26 oddfprice oddfprice_slk ( settlement, maturity, issue, fcoupon, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis )
27 oddfyield oddfyield_slk ( settlement, maturity, issue, fcoupon, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis )
28 oddlyield oddlyield_slk ( settlement, maturity, linterest, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis )
29 oddlprice oddlprice_slk ( settlement, maturity, linterest, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis )
30 price price_slk ( settlement, maturity, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis )
31 pricedisc pricedisc_slk ( settlement, maturity, discount, redemp, basis )
32 pricemat pricemat_slk ( settlement, maturity, issue, rate, yld, basis )
33 yieldmat yieldmat_slk ( settlement, maturity, issue, rate, pr, basis )
34 received received_slk ( settlement, maturity, investment, discount, basis )
35 accrint accrint_slk ( issue, finterest, settlement, rate, par, freq, basis )
36 accrintm accrintm_slk ( issue, maturity, rate, par, basis )
37 duration duration_slk ( settlement, maturity, coupon, yld, freq, basis )
38 mduration mduration_slk ( settlement, maturity, coupon, yld, freq, basis )
39 avedev avedev_slk ( data )
40 devsq devsq_slk ( data )
41 varp varp_slk ( data )

NOTE: Excel functions that are made available in SAS are named from their Excel parent functions, suffixing them with _SLK to distinguish them from their Excel incarnations, as well as from native SAS functions.

Examples of Microsoft Excel functions usage in SAS

In order to use any of these Excel functions in your SAS code, all you need to do is to specify the functions definition data table in the CMPLIB= option:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;

Let’s consider several examples.

ODD function

This function returns number rounded up to the nearest odd integer:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;
data _null_;
   x = 5.9;
   y = odd_slk(x);
   put 'odd( ' x ') = ' y;

SAS log:
odd( 5.9 ) = 7

EVEN function

This function returns number rounded up to the nearest even integer:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;
data _null_;
   x = 6.4;
   y = even_slk(x);
   put 'even( ' x ') = ' y;

SAS log:
even( 6.4 ) = 8


This function returns the double factorial of a number. If number is not an integer, it is truncated.
Double factorial (or semifactorial) of a number n, denoted by n!!, is the product of all the integers from 1 up to n that have the same parity as n.
For even n, the double factorial is n!!=n(n-2)(n-4)…(4)(2), and for odd n, the double factorial is n!! = n(n-2)(n-4)…(3)(1).

Here is a SAS code example using the factdouble() Excel function:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;
data _null_;
   n = 6;
   m = 7;
   nn = factdouble_slk(n);
   mm = factdouble_slk(m);
   put n '!! = ' nn / m '!! = ' mm;

It will produce the following SAS log:
6 !! = 48
7 !! = 105

Indeed, 6!! = 2 x 4 x 6 = 48 and 7!! = 1 x 3 x 5 x 7 = 105.

PRODUCT function

This function multiplies all elements of SAS numeric array given as its argument and returns the product:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;
data _null_;
   array x x1-x5 (5, 7, 1, 2, 2);
   p = product_slk(x);
   put 'x = ( ' x1-x5 ')';
   put 'product(x) = ' p;

SAS log:
x = ( 5 7 1 2 2 )
product(x) = 140

Indeed 5 x 7 x 1 x 2 x 2 = 140.


This function returns the ratio of the factorial of a sum of values to the product of factorials:

MULTINOMIAL(a1, a2, ... , an) = (a1 + a2 + ... + an)! : (a1! a2! ... an!)

In SAS, the argument to this function is specified as numeric array name:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;
data _null_;
   array a a1-a3 (1, 3, 2);
   m = multinomial_slk(a);
   put 'a = ( ' a1-a3 ')';
   put 'multinomial(a) = ' m;

SAS log:
a = ( 1 3 2 )
multinomial(a) = 60

Indeed (1+3+2)! : (1! x 3! x 2!) = 720 : 12 = 60.

Other Microsoft Excel functions available in SAS

You can explore other Excel functions available in SAS via SASHELP.SLKWXL user-defined functions by cross-referencing them with the corresponding Microsoft Excel functions documentation (alphabetical or by categories). As you can see in the above List of Excel functions available in SAS, besides mathematical and statistical functions exemplified in the previous section, there are also many Excel financial functions related to securities trading that are made available in SAS.

Additional Resources on SAS user-defined functions

Your thoughts?

Have you found this blog post useful? Please share your use cases, thoughts and feedback in the comments below.


About Author

Leonid Batkhan

Leonid Batkhan, Ph.D. in Computer Science and Automatic Control Systems, has been a SAS user for more than 25 years. He came to work for SAS in 1995 and is currently a Senior Consultant with the SAS Federal Data Management and Business Intelligence Practice. During his career, Leonid has successfully implemented dozens of SAS applications and projects in various industries. All posts by Leonid Batkhan >>>


  1. This is yet another hidden SAS gem that I would not have stumbled upon. Thanks for revealing this to us Leonid!

  2. Hi Leonid, do you know if I can compress the size of a file that gets exported using the XLSX engine? Thank you in advance,

    • Leonid Batkhan

      Hi, Cristina! Here is an example of how you can compress (zip) your .xlsx file (or any file) on Windows:

      /* create xlsx workbook */
      libname MYXLSX XLSX "c:\temp\sashelpdata.xlsx";
      proc copy in=SASHELP out=MYXLSX;
         select AIR CARS;
      /* zip xlsx workbook */
      filename inf "c:\temp\sashelpdata.xlsx" recfm=n;
      filename outf zip 'c:\temp\' member='sashelpdata.xlsx' recfm=n ;
      %let rc = %sysfunc(fcopy(inf,outf));
      %put &=rc;

      Is that what you were looking for?

  3. Ok: neat, handy and cool, BUT! Why does SAS not implement its own functions instead if SAS believes they are so important?

    • Leonid Batkhan

      Hi Daniel, thank you for your comment. SAS is a customer-centric organization. If you as a SAS user believe these functions need be natively implemented, say it. Meanwhile, SAS made it available to the SAS user community as user-defined functions.

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