How to delete labels and formats from SAS variables?

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written bySubhro

To delete labels and formats from SAS variables, use the PROC DATASET  procedure and attrib statement. Consider the example dataset ex with label and formats applied.

data ex;
	attrib a format=dollar10.2 label='VARIABLE A' b format=dollar10.2 
		label='VARIABLE B';

How to delete labels and formats form a variable?

To delete a variable label and format, use the PROC DATASETS procedure as below.

proc datasets lib=work memtype=data;
	modify ex;
	attrib a label=' ';
	attrib a format='';

ods select Variables;
proc contents data=ex;
ods select default;

How to delete labels and formats form a variable?

To delete labels and formats from all the variables replace the attrib statement as below.

attrib _all_ label=' ';
attrib _all_ format='';

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Subhro Kar is an Analyst with over five years of experience. As a programmer specializing in SAS (Statistical Analysis System), Subhro also offers tutorials and guides on how to approach the coding language. His website, 9to5sas, offers students and new programmers useful easy-to-grasp resources to help them understand the fundamentals of SAS. Through this website, he shares his passion for programming while giving back to up-and-coming programmers in the field. Subhro’s mission is to offer quality tips, tricks, and lessons that give SAS beginners the skills they need to succeed.

4 thoughts on “How to delete labels and formats from SAS variables?”

  1. 32 proc datasets lib=work memtype=data;
    33 ! modify ex;
    34 attrib a label=’ ‘;
    35 attrib a format=”;
    ERROR 22-322: Syntax error, expecting one of the following: a name, a format name, ;, FORMAT, INFORMAT, LABEL, LENGTH, _ALL_,
    ERROR 200-322: The symbol is not recognized and will be ignored.

    • Looking at the error, it seems there is only one quote in the

      attrib a format=”

      The correct syntax is

      attrib a format="";

      When you copy any code, it is always good to format the code, so you can see the statements and any syntax error like this. To indent the code in SAS EG select all the code and press Ctrl +i

  2. Hi,
    I copied the code given and executed the same. It throws above error.
    can we have both run; and quit; in proc dataset ?


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