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':' in input statement

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

':' in input statement

data temp;

input  skill_set : $50.  @ ;

--------------

---------------

run;

 

 

hi,  

what do we mean by the above input statement, what is the meaning of ':' and '@' in the above statement.

Super User
Posts: 11,343

Re: ':' in input statement

Posted in reply to anushagandla

The : is used to indicate that the format reading the data starts reading at the next non-blank column until it reaches a blank column in the data. If the : then a format may force reading more characters than you intend when the length of values vary. Note the value of x in the first data set and the error message in the first example step below. Then the behavior with the :

 

data example;
   input x $10. y;
datalines;
short 23
longer    19
;
run;

data example2;
   input x : $10. y;
datalines;
short 23
longer    19
;
run;

 

 

The @ holds the input pointer on the same line. One use is conditionally read data depending on the values of something read before the @ sign.

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