Techniques to Develop Readable Code

The language SAS is a free formatted with statements delimited by semicolons. Statements in SAS are divided into two kinds of steps: DATA steps and PROC steps.

To expedite coding and code debugging the visual separation of Data Steps and PROC steps is important. DATA and PROC statements should start at column 2 with the statements following starting in column 7. Leaving column 1 open has many usages. One use is to inactivate the line by making the line to a comment. Choosing to limit the number of columns used by SAS to the number of characters view on the screen removes the obstacle of extra characters causing SAS syntax errors. Columns 73 to 80 are usually not visible but can be view by moving the orientation of the screen. A SAS option to allow source from columns 1 through 70 is available and recommended. The SAS Fifth Dimension code modules and macros follow these Structured Coding Techniques.

%INCLUDE SASCODE(member with selected code) ;
DATA NEW_FILE                    ;
     SET OLD_FILE                ;
     END                         ; 
PROC PRINT                       ;