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Date:         Sun, 19 Oct 2008 21:52:30 -0600
Reply-To:     Alan Churchill <savian001@GMAIL.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Alan Churchill <savian001@GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Minor correction:

“Asian languages (many of them) have more than 256 words.”

A number of Asiatic languages use word based writing hence the need for more than 256 values. Unicode allows for approximately 65,000 values (2**16) which is critical for international support.


Alan Churchill Savian <>

From: Alan Churchill [] Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 11:48 AM To: 'SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU' Subject: RE: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting


Asian languages (many of them) have more than 256 characters. That requires more than 2**8 power meaning that Unicode is required. Not humor, basic mathematics.


Alan Churchill Savian <>

From: ajay ohri [] Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 5:14 AM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU; Alan Churchill Subject: Re: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting

Regarding future of RTF, perhaps the gentleman would like to check for Google Docs (word equivalent) to seek a more cutting edge solution.

The need for jokes on "Asians want to be included now with a ";)" smiley baffles me.

Is this funny ? Leave prediction of the future of domain to the data modeling /economists .

Stick to lightsabre/silver light technologies.

--- On Sun, 10/19/08, Alan Churchill <savian001@GMAIL.COM> wrote:

From: Alan Churchill <savian001@GMAIL.COM> Subject: Re: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Date: Sunday, October 19, 2008, 3:04 PM

ASCII? The world is Unicode now. We are beyond 256 bytes of happiness plus

the Asians want to be included in what is happening ;-] Try ASCII on

Kanji...not a pretty sight.

Word macros are fraught with security risks so I wouldn't advocate those as

a means of inclusion. I pointed out how InfoPath can do this inclusion

dynamically. Heck, Word can as well. No need to run a script or macro: do it

on the fly when the document is opened. That way the results are current to

the data.


Alan Churchill


-----Original Message-----

From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of


Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 3:02 AM


Subject: Re: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting

On Oct 19, 8:20 am, savian...@GMAIL.COM (Alan Churchill) wrote:

> Lou,


> I was emailing a birdie today on this subject. I am a technician and not


> analyst so my take was simply on a programmatic way to address Pharma


> The birdie explained the problem:


> - Pharma folks need to include SAS output in a Word document

> - Currently, they find it easy to cut and paste RTF into Word or, manually

> enter the results.

This simple statement can be interpreted in different ways. By

including SAS output in a Word document then is this output already in

ascii form and do they need to do this for many output tables? If so

then with a script it is a relatively simple matter to gather the

ascii output together and place a marker each time the layout changes.

This marker can then be identified using a Word macro and the layout

of the page adjusted accordingly. That way a whole mix of ascii output

can easily be incorporated into a Word document with all the

pagination correct.

I was asked to modify a script I wrote to put out this layout

information in a marker that started with the letters ÜÜ and the other

guy had a Word macro that would detect these markers and change page

layout accordingly. I just uploaded the script. Look for the -o


> Here was my take:


> - Use Microsoft InfoPath which lays out a document in a user-friendly way

> (

> - Have the SAS output to HTML, PDF, XML, whatever

> - Use tags for inclusion into the InfoPath document.


> I am not going into the ugly technical details but suffice it to say that

> creating Pharma documents that are standardized and require minimum

> intervention for results seems very doable to me. SAS 9.2 makes it even

> easier using web services but that will have to wait until 9.2's



> To simplify it for the day-to-day, perhaps there needs to be an simple


> add-in that copies a SAS dataset into a Word table? That is a trivial

> exercise.


> Alan


> Alan Churchill





> -----Original Message-----

> From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SA...@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Lou

> Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2008 11:45 PM


> Subject: Re: The Future of RTF for Clinical Reporting


> "RolandRB" <> wrote in message



> On Oct 18, 1:52 am, wrote:

> > Hi All


> > About a year ago I asked for your opinion/experience whether Clinical

> > Reporting

> > is moving forward to the RTF, PDF, XML, HTML formats etc.


> > see





> > My experience is that more and more statisticians and medical writers

> > are aware of the RTF

> > format and begining to ask for it. What are your thoughts and

> > experience on this?


> > Regards

> > Chen


> You must not go down the RTF route for clinical reporting until there

> is a clear change of policy by the SAS Institute. The last position

> they took on this that I am aware of is stated in clear terms in this

> document.




> In that document it makes it clear that RTF output is not supposed to

> be the final output and will need editing. This means that doing bulk

> reporting might never be practicable or advisable using RTF at any

> time in the future.


> PRINTER is for presentation-ready printable reports.

> RTF is designed to allow editing, not optimized for final output


> You need to give that PDF that is held on the SAS support site a

> careful read.




> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

> Back before ODS, SAS produced print image files that perhaps weren't

> intended to be editable but nonetheless could be - all you needed was a


> editor. Today, for better or worse, the counterpart is something that

> anyone can look at and/or print using Word or some similiar application.


> What's needed is something that lets programmers control the vertical


> well as the horizontal placement on the page, and is accessible to

> non-programmers, even near computer illiterates, using MS Office or


> software. And this is important - many of those who produce clinical

> output and almost all of those who use it ARE NOT PROGRAMMERS, and


> that don't take that into account end up being sub-optimal.


> At the moment, because a bunch of people at a big company were out of


> with their customers, we're stuck with half a solution in the form of



> RTF (in spite of aiming at MS RTF which has been out there for a couple of

> decades, they don't appear to even implement the full tagset), one


> seems to require almost as many work arounds and tricks to produce the end

> results as were needed before ODS was introduced.


> We're stuck with PROC REPORT (though it lacks the flexibility of the


> step) and RTF not because they're good solutions, but because the

> alternatives presently on offer are even worse.- Hide quoted text -


> - Show quoted text -

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