Dr. Alex Dong's Blog

SAS Series 2: Explore the SAS workspace


SAS is designed to be easy to use. It provides windows for accomplishing all the basic SAS tasks you need to do. Once you get familiar with the starting points for your SAS tasks, you are ready to accomplish any task that SAS can do.

When you first start SAS, the five main SAS windows open: the Explorer, Results, Program Editor or Editor, Log, and Output windows.


View the Explorer window

In the Explorer window, you can view and manage your SAS files and create shortcuts to files that are not formatted by SAS. Use this window to

  • create new SAS libraries and SAS files
  • open any SAS file
  • perform most file management tasks such as moving, copying, and deleting files
  • create file shortcuts.

You can choose to display the Explorer window with or without a tree view of its contents.


View the Editor window

You can use either of these windows to enter, edit, and submit SAS programs:

  • the Program Editor window, which is available on all SAS platforms
  • the Editor window, which is available only in the Windows operating environment.

The Editor window provides a number of useful editing features, including

  • color coding and syntax checking of SAS language
  • expandable and collapsible sections
  • recordable macros
  • support for keyboard shortcuts (Alt or Shift plus keystroke)
  • multilevel undo and redo

and much more.


The initial Editor window title is Editor – Untitledn. When you open a file or save the contents of the Editor window to a file, the window title changes to reflect that file name. When the contents of the Editor window are modified, an asterisk is added to the title.

You can have multiple Editor windows open at the same time.

View the Log window

The Log window displays messages about your SAS session and any SAS programs that you submit.

View the Output window

The Output window displays the LISTING output from SAS programs that you submit. It automatically opens or moves to the front of your display when you create LISTING output.

In the Windows operating environment, the Output window is positioned behind the Log and Editor windows until there is LISTING output to display. Use the taskbar to navigate between windows.


Unless you use an ODS statement to specify LISTING as the output, your SAS programs will not be created in the Output Window. HTML Output is displayed by default in the Results Viewer window. The Results Viewer window is the internal browser for SAS. Some programs open interactive windows. Other programs only produce messages in the Log window.

View the Results window and Results Viewer Window

The Results window lets you view HTML output from a SAS program. HTML is the default output type. The Results window uses a tree structure to list various types of output that might be available after you run SAS. You can view, save, or print individual files. The Results window is empty until you execute a SAS program and produce output. When you submit a SAS program, the output is displayed in the Results Viewer and the file is listed in the Results window.


In the Windows operating environment, the Results window is positioned in front of the Explorer window when SAS creates output. You can move between the two windows by using the tabs at the bottom of the windows.

The left pane of the following display shows the Results window, and the right pane shows the Results Viewer where the default HTML output is displayed. The Results window lists the files that were created when the SAS program executed.


View the Solutions and Tools menus

Along with windows for working with your SAS files and SAS programs, SAS provides a set of ready-to-use solutions, applications, and tools. You can access many of these tools by using the Solutions and Tools menus.


View the Help menu

As you work with SAS, be sure to take advantage of the different types of online Help available from the Help menu.


  • Using This Window is task-oriented Help for the active window.
  • SAS Help and Documentation gives you access to SAS 9 Help, which is a complete guide to syntax, examples, procedures, concepts, and what’s new for SAS 9.
  • Tutorials (such as Getting Started with SAS) are listed on the Help menu when they are available.
  • Learning SAS Programming gives you access to SAS OnlineTutor if it is licensed at your site.
  • SAS on the web provides links to information on the web, including Technical Support and Frequently Asked Questions.
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