## questions on two string functions

Super Contributor
Posts: 328

# questions on two string functions

I encounter two interesting functions today and want to find out what they do:

1) I found it here : This can remove leading 0s from a string. But what does "+//o" do in y =prxchange('s/^0+//o',-1,x)?

``````data val;
x='000asd1234';output;
x='123'; output;
x='0009876'; output;
run;

data nozero;
set val;
y =prxchange('s/^0+//o',-1,x);
run;``````

I wanted to remove leading dashes, and it works by replacing 0 to -, but I still do not understand it well.

``````data val;
x='-000asd1234';output;
x='1-23'; output;
x='0009-876'; output;
run;

data nozero;
set val;
y =prxchange('s/^-+//o',-1,x);
run;``````

2. Another function if anyalpha:

``if anyalpha(string) then string='';``

anyalpha(string) will return 0 if there is no alphabeta found, or first position of an alphabeta character. In the above code, does

``if anyalpha(string) ``

is the same as

``if anyalpha(string) >0``

? i.e. if string contains any alphabeta characters, then set it to missing?

Super User
Posts: 13,941

## Re: questions on two string functions

For details on search and replacement with the PRX functions do a search on " PERL Regular expressions". This is a tool ported into SAS from other environments and there is lots of documentation and examples around.

The second part is how SAS treats numeric values when used as a boolean. Any missing or 0 value is considered "false", anything else is true.

See this code for simple example:

```data _null_;
input x;
if x then put x= +1 "x is true";
else put x= +1 "x is false";
datalines;
1
0
.
-5
34.577
;
run;```

So when the result of any function is > 0 then it can be used as "TRUE".

Posts: 5,626

## Re: questions on two string functions

s/<1>/<2>/ : substitute a substring matching the pattern <1> by pattern <2>

^ : match the string beginning

0+ : match the character '0' one or more times

o : suffix requesting that the pattern be compiled only once instead of on every function call

so the prxChange operation substitutes a succession of one or more '0's at the beginning of the string with nothing.

PG
Super Contributor
Posts: 328