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In SAS, how do I create an ASCII text file from a SAS data set?

To create an ASCII text file from a SAS data set, use the FILE and PUT statements in a DATA step.

Suppose you have a SAS data file in the c:\sasdata directory called test.sas7bdat, which contains the five variables v1 through v5. You wish to store these variables in an ASCII file called test.txt. Consider the following SAS code:

LIBNAME old 'c:\sasdata'; DATA _NULL_; SET old.test; FILE 'c:\sasdata\test.txt'; PUT v1 v2 v3 v4 v5; RUN;

The LIBNAME statement assigns a library reference (libref) to the location of the permanent SAS data set. This libref is given an alias of old. Once the library reference is set, you then open a data set in a DATA step. The SET statement reads the permanent SAS data set test from the library old. The data set (e.g., old.test) is referred in the form of, where libref is the alias set by a LIBNAME statement and name is the actual data file name without its extension.

The FILE statement declares a file in which SAS stores the output of the DATA step in the format specified in the PUT statement. For the listed format, the PUT statement is followed by a list of the variables you wish to store in the output file test.txt.

If you have questions about using statistical and mathematical software at Indiana University, email UITS Research Analytics (formerly known as the Stat/Math Center). Research Analytics is located on the IU Bloomington campus at Woodburn Hall 200, and is open for consultation by appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. For more, visit Research Analytics on the web, or call 812-855-4724 (IUB) or 317-278-4740 (IUPUI).

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Last modified on October 11, 2012.

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