Are you new to SAS and wondering how to write SAS programs?

Most SAS programmers use the built-in SAS enhanced editor for their daily works. Sometimes, this editor is replaced by the code editor of SAS Enterprise Guide which provide other features like the Log tab, Output data tab and Results tab. However, some SAS users like their text editor to be very customizable and full of features which may or may not be in the enhanced editor.

If you find that your current editor is insufficient in handling your work you are not alone. We have found some alternative editors and below are some of the text editors I have come across that you can use instead of the pre-built SAS editor:

TextPad: is a full-featured text editor offering a spelling checker, macros, and powerful formatting and file-storage options from Helios Software Solutions.

This is a great program – it’s a powerful text editing tool that’s really comfortable to use. Textpad has a very clean, simple interface that deals only with text – that is, it doesn’t let you change font halfway down the page, or make text underlined or italic; it’s built purely to deal with the content, and does that job EXTREMELY well.

These features are excellent for SAS macro programming and SCL programming. Besides these, Textpad has a built-in compiler for Java which allows for rapid switching to Java coding that is occasionally required.

Below is a screen shot of the editor:

Textpad has many macro features that allows for repetitive actions to be recorded and recycled easily.

Crimson Editor is a professional source editor for Windows Open source from Ingyu Kang and one of the most popular editor available for programmers to use.

This editor also allow programmers to install schematics (define tools) that will highlight sections of your SAS programs.

Below is a screen shot of the editor:

In summary, there are my options to help a SAS programmer increase efficiency, write cleaner code, or make SAS life easier. There are other popular editors such as Emacs but I don’t have a lot of experience using it thus I cannot comment on it properly. Your style of programming will influence the type of editor you will use.

Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica Open Source and Oracle Clinical.