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A SAS Macro Language Preview in Three Parts

by Valued Guide on ‎02-23-2018 12:43 PM - edited on ‎02-23-2018 12:52 PM by Community Manager (1,490 Views)

This is the abstract for a SAS Global Forum paper from 2014.  Original title is Before You Get Started: A Macro Language Preview in Three Parts by Arthur L. Carpenter

Using the macro language adds a layer of complexity to SAS programming that many programmers are reluctant to tackle. The macro language is not intuitive, and some of its syntax and logic runs counter to similar operations in the DATA step. This makes the transfer of DATA step and PROC step knowledge difficult when first learning the macro language. So why should one make the effort to learn a complex counterintuitive language?

Before you start to learn the syntax; where to put the semicolon, and how to use the ampersand and percent sign; you need to have a basic understanding of why you want to learn the language in the first place. It will also help if you know a bit about how the language thinks. This overview provides the background that will enable you to understand the way that the macro language operates. This will allow you to avoid some of the common mistakes made by novice macro language programmers.

First things first – before you get started with the learning process, you should understand these basic concepts.

This paper covers:

  • Macro language preview: part 1 - What the language is, what it does, and what it can do
  • Macro language preview: part 2 - It is all about the timing; why the macro language comes first
  • Macro language preview: part 3 - Creating macro variables and demystifying their scope

View the paper from the SAS Global Forum proceedings (PDF file)

Presentation slides are attached as a PDF.

 

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