Help using Base SAS procedures

cntlout in SAS v8

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 12

cntlout in SAS v8

Hello all:

  I am trying to create a format dataset from proc format using cntlout. I use SAS version 8. This is my code:

proc format cntlout=myformat;

value patientgroup_f 0 = 'Case'

              1 = 'Control';


However, this is the warning I get

NOTE: The format name 'PATIENTGROUP_F' exceeds 8 characters. Only the first 8 characters will be used.

It appears that the format name is too long so SAS truncate it to 8 characters. Is there any way to disable this behavior so that the full format name will be stored.



Posts: 7,363

Re: cntlout in SAS v8

Upgrade to a newer version of SAS.  You pay the same whether using an old, outdated, or newer version.

SAS Employee
Posts: 13

Re: cntlout in SAS v8

[ Edited ]

Open Base SAS and go to TOOLS -> OPTIONS -> SYSTEM -> FILES -> SAS FILES.

There is an option called VALIDFMTNAME. Right-click on it and select Modify Value.

I'm not sure what your options will be for SAS v8, but make sure you try defining your format under every option specified.

If it doesn't work, your only solution is to upgrade.

Super User
Posts: 5,256

Re: cntlout in SAS v8

@loredana, I think the warning is because of the format name, not a variable name. And if I recall right, the 8 char long format name restriction were lifted in V9. So no option will help in this situation, upgrading will.
Data never sleeps
SAS Employee
Posts: 13

Re: cntlout in SAS v8

[ Edited ]

Thank you for pointing that out. I modified my initial post. I initially believed VALIDVARNAME would specify the length of any SAS name, not just for SAS variable names. I see now that there are slight variations of this option: SAS var names (VALIDVARNAME), members (VALIDMEMNAME) and format names (VALIDFMTNAME).

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