Context Sensitive help through the SAS Windows Editor
Using Abbreviations for Easier SAS Coding

Click here to download the .kmf file to your computer.

There are several articles, by SAS employees, on this little known feature in the SAS editor.
My favorite article on abbreviations can be found at the link below.
http://support.sas.com/resources/papers/proceedings09/077-2009.pdf

Have you ever forgotten the syntax for an infrequently used SAS command, or an obscure option on a Proc -- and wanted to quickly get a reminder
This abbrev file (the .KMF file that you can download from this page) will install context sensitive help, for many Procs and functions, into the SAS windows Editor.
This functionality is only available in the Windows and E.G. Editors

If you install the .KMF file from this webpage the editor will recognize - case sensitively - text strings and prompt you with a box asking if you want a reminder as to how the function or Proc works.
Two examples are shown below.
If you see a prompt and then hit the tab or enter key, the contents of that abbreviation will be pasted into your code.


As a warning: the reminders that these abbrevs paste in to your program can be quite lengthy,
The code pasted in almost always contains code samples that you can run.
The code pasted in often contains a discussion of the command that you typed AND OTHER RELATED commands.
Above, you can see that the entry for index is going to suggest that another command be considered - as well as giving examples of index,

Since the amount of code the abbrev can paste into the editor can be over a hundred lines,
it is suggested that you open another SAS editor window (ALT-V), and then paste/call/execute the abbreviation/hint into the new window.
You can review the code in the new window and then copy just what you want back to your program.


Installing the abbrev file so your Macro Editor looks like the one above:
        Click on the link at top of page to copy the .KMF file to your machine.
        Open SAS on your machine.
        Click Keyboard Macros Macros
        Click the IMPORT button and select the .kmf file and click OPEN.
        The abbrev files will be impoprted and are ready to use.
            Click the red X if you want to close the box.
            You can scroll up and down to see/select an abbrev and then click run to test the installation.
            Ed and I created almost 400 abbreviations.

            As you can see below, abbrevs are generally lower case and function abbrevs look for the parenthesis: e.g. substr(

I suggest you type in DOCBLOCK and SECBLOCK (two of the handful of abbrevs that are not all lowercase) and see what you get.
The standard header, created by DOCBLOCK, is read by the HeaderParser program that you can also download from this site.



I usually let the SAS editor suggest abbrevs as I type, but you can also call an abbrev (or see what are available) by going to the menu in the SAS editor and selecting: tools, KeyboardMacros macros.
This will bring up a box showing all the abbrevs Ed Heaton and I have created. Below, you see the box that SAS displays after Alt-T M M .


You can add your own abbreviations but the abbreviations feature is limited to 400 entries (sizes of individual entries do not matter - just the number of abbreviations) and I have used almost all of them. You might have to delete an entry in order to add your own entry. I typically delete one of the advanced trigonometric or statistical functions.