The SAS Output Delivery System and reporting techniques

ODS columns =, insufficient memory

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 80

ODS columns =, insufficient memory


I was wondering if anyone has a solution to the following error.  I have a dataset that needs to be output to RTF or PDF.  It has nearly 600k obs, but only 8 variables.  If I output with ODS PDF or ODS RTF and do not specify the columns= option, the files output fine.  Very little RAM is used in the process (~100,000K).  The resulting files are huge (over 17k pages), but they open fine.

However, when I add columns = 2 to the ODS statement, SAS rapidly consumes all available RAM on my computer (over 2,000,000k free RAM) and errors out giving the following message:

ERROR: The SAS System stopped processing this step because of insufficient memory.

If I limit my data to outputting just 2 of the 8 variables, it also rapidly consumes memory, but is able to finish before running out.  Likewise, if I only output about 150k obs, it will also finish.  Clearly, there is a problem with specifying multiple columns per page.  Under these conditions, my computer simply isn't big enough to accommodate the request.  Are there any options to help mitigate this?


Super User
Posts: 13,338

Re: ODS columns =, insufficient memory

Have tried taking and RTF version where the table is in a single column and used a word processor to make it into 2 columns? Did that take a long time?

Does the final order of the records matter? It looks like you may just be trying to same space on printing.

How are you currently creating the output?

Turn off the HTML output ( ODS HTML CLOSE) as that is trying to make a large table in memory as well.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 80

Re: ODS columns =, insufficient memory

Thanks for the suggestions.  It turns out the the RTF version with columns = 1 also eats up too much memory.  The only one that works is PDF with columns = 1.  PDF columns = 2, RTF 1 and RTF 2, all run into memory issues.  I opened up a track with support to investigate.

Ask a Question
Discussion stats
  • 2 replies
  • 2 in conversation