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Ten features I really, really like in SAS Studio

Started ‎05-03-2017 by
Modified ‎08-04-2021 by
Views 7,569

For the previous ten years I've been a Base SAS programmer, I've had access to EG, been trained in EG, but could never make the switch over.


However, since SAS University Edition has been free I've been using SAS Studio a lot at home and I've been noticing there are some really handy features, enough for me to switch primarily to SAS Studio to develop rather than Base. So, I'm going to list them here to help a user decide. 


1. Auto Word Completion

The editor can either autocomplete a SAS sytnax, variable, or dataset name which is very helpful. The editor also suggests hints for the text you're about to type if you enter a feature. This can be annoying to others, so also having the option to turn this off is nice.




2. Word Highlighting

If I double click a word, all other instances of this word in the editor is also highlighted, which is great if you're checking the accuracy of a variable name or looking for everywhere to change the variable.





3. Clean Log

Tthe log is reset for every data run. This means no resetting the log. At the same time, I can get a full session log if desired. 



4. Autoexec

The autoexec is in the editor window, which means its in an easy to find place to update, change as necessary and doesn't involve IT.




5. Snippets 

I can save and customize my own snippets in the Snippets library. I currently use GitHub for this, but some things are confidential and leaving them in the snippets section is nice to organize my work. The default snippets are helpful for newbies.



6. Code Formatting

Highlight your code, click on the second last icon and you can format your code for readability or to find that extra end or missing bracket more easily. 




7. Data View

When viewing output datasets, only the first 50 or 100 rows are displayed which helps load time for viewing large datasets. Additionally, you can select/deselect variables easily to view. This is great when you're checking a new variable which is at the end of a dataset with 100 variables. 



8. Variable Lists

The variable can be listed without opening a separate dialog box, click on the triangle besides a dataset in the Library Pane. 




9. Code display in GUI

When code is shown in using the Tasks they're relatively free of 'extraneous' bits that EG was famous for adding.



10. Drag n Drop

You can drag and drop datasets/variables in from the Library Pane. If you have a large variable list and don't want to type them out, this feature alone is amazing. 




I am also sloving SAS Studio more and more. Thanks for sharing your insights, @Reeza, specially with those youtube videos as graphical explanations 🙂

Hi @Reeza,


Thanks for sharing your experiences and I agree with @JuanS_OCS, providing the video snippets are helpful resources too. It's interesting to learn that your transition from SAS Display Manager to SAS Studio was direct and not via SAS Enterprise Guide interface. Is it that you find these features (and others I'm sure) more mature, making the transition from Display Manager an easy and productive SAS coding experience?


I look forward to sharing your findings with others who may be hesitant to make the switch.


Kind Regards,


The only gripe I have about SAS Studio is that there is still no import facility for SAS Abbreviation/Keyword Macros.

Hi @Reeza...I saw your comment about using GitHub for snippets. Just wanted to see if you were aware of the snippet repository feature that was introduced in SAS Studio 3.5. It could give you visibility to your GitHub snippets and/or tasks directly from the Snippets and/or Tasks page. Let me know if you have any questions about the feature.




Hi @Stanley_SAS I am familiar with the Snippets, the 'issue' with Snippets is that they're not centralized somewhere. I use SAS in a few different places, and move jobs every few years and having access to things in a centralized place is important. Plus I can easily share my gists on GitHub. If snippets somehow synced with GitHub, that would be perfect 🙂

Let me know if you have a tab labeled "Repositories" in your Preferences dialog.

Hey @Reeza - they can!  Try it out with this project by @JenniferJeffreys_Chen -- it's a collection of tasks that emulate EG prompt types:


Thanks for the post!  I enjoyed reading it.



And I want to sincerely thank SAS Institute for SAS University Edition! It has saved me from having to learn R and Python (and probably a few other GNU packages) which I really did not want to have to learn.


I have been using SAS for more than 30 years.  I was first introduced to SAS when I was a student programmer in college way back in 1980!  As part of being a student programmer at the university data center, I had to code data analysis for graduate students working on their thesis.  After college I went to work as what is now called an IT analyst for a major oil company where I got pretty good with SAS.  The oil industry was flush with scientists looking for petroleum reserves at that time and SAS was prominent in analyzing the data for those efforts.  I later moved on to work for a very prominent travel industry leader, where I used SAS to become one of their star forecasters.  I spent more than 25 years working with SAS in the travel industry.  


Having recently retired from the IT business, I really missed having SAS to work with.  Because, well, humans like me can't afford to license full blown SAS unless they are using it to make substantial money.  But when I saw SASue was available I immediately downloaded  it and installed it on my PC.  Oh what a relief that was!  It wasn't exactly the SAS I was used to working with but it was very close.  I immediately put aside all the R books I had been working my way through in a (probably futile) effort to to satisfy my 30+ year addition to SAS.   I was home again.


Thank you SAS!


is there a button to comment out a bunch of lines?


@cellurl Yes, the same shortcut as in Base and EG.

See the common shortcuts here:

Mistake me thinks.


Quick commenting
Wrap selection (or current line) in a comment: Ctrl + /
Unwrap selection (or current line) from a comment: Ctrl + /


(it worked as a toggle for me)....



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Last update:
‎08-04-2021 01:16 PM
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