Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 14:08:00 -0400
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Nat Wooding <Nathaniel_Wooding@DOM.COM>
Subject: A case when the location of a format statement in a data step is
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
I normally consider the location of a format statement within the
boundaries of a data step to not affect the application of the format to
variables created within that data step but I just discovered that this is
Consider the program
format d: mmddyy10.;
I have tested this under WIN NT, 8.2 and 9.1.3 as well as OS/390, V 8.2. In
all cases, the format is applied to d1 and d2 but NOT to d3. Of course, if
I were to include the complete name of a new variable in the format
statement, then it would be added to the Program Data Vector. However, it
appears from the program above, the format is applied to all of the
existing variables that begin with "D" at the time that the format
statement is parsed but the format is not applied to the rest of them as
they appear or at the end of the construction of the PDV.
Of course, the work-around is simple: stick the format at the end; however,
this may annoy those who feel that formats should go up front in a specific
area of the data step. An alternative is to list the variables explicitly
which means that I have to give up a useful, if weakly documented feature.
I just spoke to tech support and the consultant verified what I was seeing.
He did not find any usage notes and gave me a tracking number (US 6244788).
Mind you, he checked and did not find any such use of the colon modifier
listed in the Proc Format documentation.
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