Evolution of Formatting "On the Fly"

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Executive Summary

PROC FORMAT procedure is a powerfully productive tool. It allows one to assign labels to values without having to spend time combining data sets, changing values and molding the data to take on the look a user wants. The SAS program essentially puts a mask on the data. However, sometimes those masks need to change. By formatting 'On the fly', the program saves on the maintenance of manually changing hard-coded PROC FORMAT statements, as well as the computing time of formatting more than necessary when formatting from a data set. Using a PROC FORMAT statement inside of a SAS program has its advantages, but in many cases, depending on how one uses it, the statement could be a 'Growing' problem.

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