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Searching in SAS Help is hopeless. This is the main reason I recommend my students use Stata rather than SAS. Some features that would help include:

- Not listing items for products not installed

- Putting commonly searched items at the top. Eg Base SAS first, followed by SAS Stat etc.  (eg if I search for 'means' I want proc means to be at the top rather than the myriad of other ways in which this keyword appears in SAS products)


Also, there often cross-references in the text help to other parts of the help system - but these are not hyperlinked.

Diamond | Level 26
Diamond | Level 26

Havent used the inbuilt SAS help for many years, agree its a bit naff but then the editor is also naff.  If I need to look anything up then

Google SAS <term>

is far simpler.  Mind you, same goes for most things nowadays, for most topis I would Google (or one of the private ass through ones anyways) for results, even before looking at manuals and such like.  They may be part of SkyNet, but their search is better than most.

As for learning material, there is so much out there.  Anything with LexJansen, Phuse if your Pharma orientated, Sanjay's blog at:

For graphing etc.

Lapis Lazuli | Level 10

Great recommendations by @RW9. I also highly recommend Google is optimal for searching for documentation. To complement this, the wiki has daily tips, many pages that link to documentation and conference papers/presentations, and guides written by users. Plus, you are welcome to contribute.


See also Planet, a landing page with links to a plethora of blogs.

Lapis Lazuli | Level 10

I also use Google and various forums (including this one) - but surely the inbuilt help should also work effectively. Particularly when looking for straightforward syntax guides. (Curious also that Google always goes to the 9.2 manual rather than 9.4).

SAS Moderator

You’re right, @BruceBrad.  Those are not optimal search results.  We test our Search to ensure that it retrieves relevant links but there’s more room for improvement to prioritize and optimize search results as you’ve suggested. I’ve taken the feedback you’ve provided here, as well as those you emailed me separately, to our development team.  We’ll investigate more ways to improve the ranking of search hits from our help systems.  Thanks for the feedback!


As for hyperlinking cross-references, we can work to address these as well. We do have some hyperlink limitations based on the different delivery schedules and deadlines of various documents as different times. However, we can work to make sure all possible hyperlinks are activated.


I agree that Google’s ranking of SAS 9.2 content higher than SAS 9.4 is frustrating. The SAS web team has been looking into it for a while.  There are a number of factors that cause this. One reason is that the more hits a page gets, the higher it is ranked by Google. Our older content has been read more often than our new content so it gets prioritized higher.  The SAS web team is mitigating some of these issues so hopefully we will all see an improvement soon.


Thanks again for all of this great feedback! Suggestions like yours help us improve our products and therefore help all SAS users.



SAS Documentation Development

Jade | Level 19

I couldn't agree more.  I often would rather get the documentation that was installed with my PC-SAS.  For one thing I know it pertains to the version of SAS I'm using.  But the builtin help display is daunting for new SAS users, who will revert to google, and sometimes miss useful information.  Also google will put old versions of a given document at the top of the results display, presumably because that's was the first version exposed to google tracking.