BookmarkSubscribeRSS Feed

How to get fast, helpful answers

Started ‎09-17-2015 by
Modified ‎01-13-2022 by
Views 51,223

1  -   Search our communities (or Google). Someone may have already answered your question! Search returned nothing? Proceed to next step…


2  -   New to SAS? Start a new topic on the New SAS User Community by clicking the orange Start A Topic button. (If you're a student, the SAS Software for Learning Community was created just for you.)


Start a topic on New Users forum.png


More experienced with SAS? Choose a forum from the homepage menu:


New menu.gif





  • Don’t post a new question on an old discussion thread. NOBODY who can help is looking for new questions on old threads.
  • Avoid posting attachments. Some members' employers prohibit opening them.
  • Avoid attaching data sets. Let helpers see what you've tried. Copy/paste your data program into the post from SAS Enterprise Guide or SAS Studio. Or copy/paste a table from Excel. See KurtBremser's comment below this article for more detail.
  • Click the running man icon in the editor tool bar to add code to your post:


Running-man icon in editor tool barRunning-man icon in editor tool bar



3  -  Write a descriptive subject line. Be specific. "How Do I Extract a Submatrix?” is better than “Newbie Question.”


4  -  Use simple language with all relevant details, including:


Important: Do not include any confidential data in your posts or anybody’s personal information.


Here’s an example of a question worded so that a quick answer is more likely:


 Well-worded SAS Support Communities question.png



The above question is ideal because it mentions everything relevant. Notice that it includes code to illustrate the problem. It attracted this complete, helpful answer:


Fast answer to a well-worded question.png 



Encouragement and a plea


We encourage you to:


  • Ask questions even if English isn’t your first language. Sometimes posting a bit of code explains your problem better than a thousand words. If context is needed, post in your native language. Fellow users or the community managers will figure it out.


  • Mark your questions “solved” and “like” community threads and articles you find helpful. This makes the best content rise to the top of community searches so that other users can easily find them…and rewards those who help you.


If you’d like more detail, here's an excellent SAS Global Forum paper on this topic. (The communities platform has changed since the paper was published, but the principles still apply.)

We’re here to help you increase your SAS knowledge. Help us help you by asking the best question you can!



Also, if there is an error message, don't say "I get an error".


Show us the relevant portions of the SASLOG, the code that is in error and the error itself.

Good point, @PaigeMiller!

How do I use the sample data sets for SAS base programmer? I dont see any assignement that work with data. I am just wondering if the data are just provided like that?

Hi @ablo, are you just beginning to learn SAS? If so, post your inquiry in the Analytics U Community, where lots of helpful experts can see it and respond.



I am a SAS programmer / data manager at Heidelberg National Center for Tumor Diseases (nonprofit organization), and I want to use some SAS code that was posted in a community forum.


How do I find out about copyright and the correct way to acknowledge the author?


Thanks in Advance,





Hi @DorotheaBeck,


If the code was posted on this community, I suggest you send a private message to the author of the code/article and start there. 


Good luck and best wishes,


Hi Shelley,

thanks for the answer. I had thought of doing that but did not dare at first because it said everywhere, do not write private messages...



The advice to not write private messages is that you shouldn't ask for help solving a problem in a private message, these ought to be public in the Communities so anyone can read the answers and anyone can join the conversation.


If you have a question about permission to use code, this is something that belongs in a private message.

Thanks for the info. I had somehow suspected that but was not sure...

It would be great if you could include a link to the post that shows how to convert a dataset to a data step for posting example data.

Great suggestion, @Kurt_Bremser. Since @BeverlyBrown is out this week, I've edited the article and included that link.

While one would think it would be obvious, obviously it isn't! I'd begin the article with "Never, ever post a new question to an existing or someone else's thread .. and, if it's your thread, create a new thread if you've already marked the question as solved."


Art, CEO,


Good point, @art297. I'll work that in!

%macro statut_client(data,clientid);
proc print data=&data;
var clientid duration purpose savings_status class;
where clientid=&clientid;
%if class="good" %then %do;
proc print data=&data;
var clientid duration purpose savings_status class;
where clientid=&clientid;
%put "bon client";
%else %if class="bad" %then %do;
%put "mauvais client";
proc print data=&data;


Trying to run this macro but it's not working properly. I need clientid duration purpose and savings_status when class=good and I want a message to appear "bad client" when class=bad.

Can someone help me, pls?

Hi@IliyaGB, you'll get an answer faster if you post your question on one of our discussion boards. Go to and choose from the list of boards under "Find a Community." Click the + under SAS Programming to see a list of forums. All the best to you!

Why do we want example data in a data step?


Compare the three methods for posting example data most commonly found:


  • taking a screenshot. Basically the WORST option by a mile. It consumes the poster's time by having to upload a picture and inserting it in the post, and forces everyone else to type letter-by-letter off the screen. Actually considered rude by many long-time members here.
  • doing a copy-paste from a viewtable window or similar. Much better, as it is quick to post, and data can be copy-pasted into program code, but if posted in the main window (not one of the code windows), content can be changed. And the delimiter is not always obvious. And people still need to write a wrapper program around it to get the dataset, while having to guess for column attributes like lengths and formats.
  • writing a data step with datalines, or using the macro mentioned, and posting the code in a code window. Everybody can recreate exactly the same dataset with a copy/paste and submit. While this takes some effort from the poster, it makes solving issues a breeze in most cases, as testing the suggested code is just a mouse-click away.
    And for a newbie, writing such a datalines step can be a great first learning experience in itself. It was (and sometimes still is) for me.

I am struggling to understand probability data association algorithm(PDA) and joint probability data association algorithm(JPDA). Also I want matlab code for JPDA algorithm. Please Help with this.

Thank you in advance

@Aaradhya Your post is a very clear illustration for how to NOT get a helpful answer:

  • hijacking another thread
  • no example data, no expected result
  • unspecific question; wide topics like this are why you go to school/university, they are not suited for a "quick help" forum
  • wrong forum anyway, this is SAS, not matlab

Hi Team,


By Using 


proc contents data=sashelp.class;


In results window third table first column "#"  is there. Is there any particular reason why we are giving "#".PROC CONTENTS.png


Thanks in Advance.


@svasu611 Don't hijack threads that deal with completely different issues.


The "#" is often used in written English to signify "number".

In the example given: "Here’s an example of a question"

Could you please state and show to post code into a code window (running man) and not just as normal text.


Really silly problem: I am trying to post my first question and get an error message saying "Please select a board to continue.".

I don't know what this means.

Someone suggested trying a different browser but no luck on chrome, firefox or edge.


How do I actually submit a question?

Hi @AliRKM,


It's not a silly problem if you are having difficulty posting your first question.


The board that you are being referred to is the area within the Forum you are posting your question. This is so that your question is posted in the most appropriate category to get a response. Looking at the animation above, what Forum are you posting your question in? Within the Forum there may be different Boards (these mean areas or sub-forums) so pick the one that is appropriate for your question.


Follow the instructions above to submit your question.


Kind Regards,


Thanks Michelle. I posted under Learn/New SAS user. Is there a document/post that explains which question are most appropriate for which forums /boards?

Hi @AliRKM, I'm updating all of our "getting-started" info, so will add a post about which questions belong where.


The titles of most SAS forums/boards align with product names, such as SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Visual Analytics and so on. Or solution type, such as Customer Intelligence. Or geographic area, such as SAS Japan. Or your role using SAS, for example the Administration and Deployment forum for SAS admins. The New SAS User board, where you posted, is for anyone new to using SAS or is familiar with one part of SAS software but learning some new aspect. Thanks for joining and posting!

@AliRKM Very often you will notice that your post suddenly appears in another forum. This means one of the moderators or superusers (like me) has moved it to the proper community. With time, you will get a feel for navigating the community. Using the New User board first (until you know where to go) is not a bad idea at all.

Thank you for this information, very helpfull

Welcome to the SAS Communities, @MaryJK. And thanks for your comment! If you or others here see ways to improve this post, please let me know. 

Hi, I am not sure who to ask about this, but I am a new SAS Community user.  I have used SAS for over 30 years, but I have not been involved in the online community until now.


My question/problem is that twice now a question I have posed/posted on this community site has been marked as "Solved", when it is not solved.  The first time I thought maybe I clicked the wrong button (even though I was sure I did not) but now the second time it happened, I was not even on the page when it was marked solved.


This is a concern for me because the question has not been answered yet and there is an ongoing discussion, but people will think I have solved my problem and no longer look at or post responses for this question.


Can you help?  🙂     (FYI, here is the second posting of my question:


Hi @MarkATremel, thanks for using SAS for so many years! Good to have you in here. I "unsolved" the post you linked in your comment. When I checked the log on our platform, looks like you maybe inadvertently marked it solved. When reading community email notifications, especially on a mobile device, it's easy to click the wrong link by mistake (clicking "mark solved" instead of "reply", for example.)

Hi Beverly,
Thank you for your reply and your assistance. I definitely did not click the solve button but I updated my Chrome browser in case it was something to do with my browser. Also, I definitely know what you mean about clicking the wrong thing on my phone - phones are terrible for anything like that!!

@MarkATremel what a mystery! Well, if it happens again, post back here. (Know what you mean. My cellphone touchscreen is not my friend... 😉)

Helpfull information! 👍

It's important to implement an autocomplete for the client. And consuming an API of GenAI to classify which help issue can be acessed for more explanations.

Because if the client encounter one of them that matches its requirements so provide a topic with the relative question/asking is more affordable and fast. Then, the client arrives in their own the answer or possible answer.

Version history
Last update:
‎01-13-2022 09:47 AM
Updated by:

Ready to join fellow brilliant minds for the SAS Hackathon?

Build your skills. Make connections. Enjoy creative freedom. Maybe change the world. Registration is now open through August 30th. Visit the SAS Hackathon homepage.

Register today!
Article Labels
Article Tags