The latter question first. There is no "reference manual." There a lot of learning material:
-- extensive context sensitive help (F1 in a task).
-- an introductory tutorial (under the Help tab).
-- two excellent books; "SAS for Dummies", first edition. and "The Little SAS Book for Enterprise Guide 4.1".
I know the "SAS for Dummies" has the answer for your first question. I currently use EGuide 4.2 and the way to apply a format changes slightly, so I won't guess at the risk of giving you wrong information. You may be able to find it in the EGuide help.
I’m not a expert but I think you do that if you go to:
Data ---> create format
Just follow the instructions
Character format names must be 31 characters or
fewer in length, while numeric format names must
be 32 characters or fewer. For both format types,
names must contain only letters, numerals, or
underscores, and cannot start or end with a
You can save a format
permanently by choosing a library other than