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Date:         Tue, 1 Mar 2011 17:33:23 -0600
Reply-To:     "Swank, Paul R" <Paul.R.Swank@UTH.TMC.EDU>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         "Swank, Paul R" <Paul.R.Swank@UTH.TMC.EDU>
Subject:      Re: proc contents
Comments: To: Joe Matise <>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

I have a multivariate data set with 12749 variables. Several hundred of these variables represent observations done by 2 raters on two occasions. So there are four observations on each variable. I need to do a reliability with rater and occasion as facets of the measurement model. I use varcomp of mixed to get the variance components to use in computing intraclass correlations. The data has to be in univariate format. The variable names and there order in the data step are such that there is no way to specify a range of variables so each variable has to be typed out. I am lazy, number 1, and a poor typist number 2. I usually do a proc contents short to list the variable names to my output file. Then I copy them into the program and I can just copy and paste them into the steps I need to do. It saves a lot of typing and also cuts down on errors of mistyping the variable name. However, it seems that "proc contents short" has a limit on the number of variables it will print. Proc contents itself does not seem to but it lists all the variable names in a column along with labels and other stuff. Not very convenient for cutting and pasting hundreds of variable names. So I was hoping there was some way to get the list of the variable names that goes across the page rather than just down. But it appears that using the data definition method with proc sql has the same limitation as proc contents short. SO I am left with typing out all these variable names into a list so I can format the data the way I want. I have never had to do this with such a large data set and surprised to find that proc contents short does not work in this case. That's it in a nutshell.


Dr. Paul R. Swank, Professor and Director of Research Children's Learning Institute University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston

From: Joe Matise [] Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 5:04 PM To: Swank, Paul R Cc: Subject: Re: proc contents

Paul, what are you actually trying to do? I do hope it's not "make a keep list with 12000 variables written out in my code", if so you should use a macro variable with SELECT INTO (well, or a dataset written out into a text file, depending on whether the list is over the length limitation, I think 64k charcters if I recall correctly).

If it's not that, then what are you doing with it? Odds are you can use some sort of programmatic code to do whatever it is either using PROC CONTENTS output to a dataset or DICTIONARY.TABLES (which is essentially the table equivalent of PROC CONTENTS).

Also, SPSS should be able to give you the same list, in html or excel format. I have had to do that before in order to deal with name shortening ...

-Joe On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 4:34 PM, Swank, Paul R <<>> wrote: Someone who shall remain nameless has sent me an SPSS data set of over 12000 variables. After finally getting it converted to a .por file and bringing it into SAS I want to get a short list of the variable names so I can cut and paste them in my program. None of the filenames make any sense and are not ordered to make it easy to specify ranges of variables. I usually do this with "proc contents short;" However, while "proc contents;" will list the entire set of variable names with labels etc to the output window, "proc contents short;" will not. It truncates the list of variables. Does anyone have a clue how I can get around this problem. I'm trying not to have to type hundreds of variable names in my program nor copy and paste them one at a time.

Dr. Paul R. Swank, Professor and Director of Research Children's Learning Institute University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston

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