select column by position

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Posts: 858

select column by position

It doesn't matter if using infile/input, proc sql or a data step.  I am interested in selecting a column by it's position and renaming it.  I will have a SAS dataset where the column names might change, one is only 2*3, very small but I have to reference it and cannot bet on the variable names being constant going forward.   Any way to select the variable names by ordinal position and rename them?

Thanks,

Mark

Respected Advisor
Posts: 3,790

Re: select column by position

In a data step you can define an ARRAY and reference the columns by their index.  Say you want to work with numeric column number 3.

data reference;
   set sashelp.heart;
   array _n
  • _numeric_;
      
    * Reference to numeric column 3;
      
    if _n[3] lt 50;
      
    run;
    Respected Advisor
    Posts: 3,790

    Re: select column by position

    Or you can rename all the variable using their column index.

    data heart;
       set sashelp.heart(obs=10);
       run;

    proc transpose data=heart(obs=0 /*keep=_numeric_*/) out=vars;
       var _all_;
       run;
    filename FT76F001 temp;
    data _null_;
      
    file FT76F001;
       set vars;
       put 'Rename ' _name_ '=Col' _n_ ';';
      
    run;

    proc datasets;
      
    modify heart;
       %inc FT76F001;
       run;
      
    quit;
    proc print data=heart;
       run;
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