The COMPUTAB Procedure

COLUMNS Statement

COLUMNS column-list / options ;

COLUMNS statements define the columns of the report. The COLUMNS statement can be abbreviated COLUMN, COLS, or COL.

The specified column names must be valid SAS names. Abbreviated lists, as described in SAS Language: Reference, can also be used.

You can use as many COLUMNS statements as you need. A COLUMNS statement can describe more than one column, and one column of the report can be described with several different COLUMNS statements. The order of the columns on the report is determined by the order of appearance of column names in COLUMNS statements. The first occurrence of the name determines where in the sequence of columns a particular column is located.

The following options can be used in the COLUMNS statement.

Option for Column Type


indicates that the columns contain character data.

Options for Column Headings

You can specify as many lines of column headings as needed. If no options are specified, the column names from the COLUMNS statement are used as column headings. Any or all of the following options can be used in a column heading:

column heading

specifies that the characters enclosed in quotes are to be used in the column heading for the variable or variables listed in the COLUMNS statement. Each quoted string appears on a separate line of the heading.


uses labels, if provided, in the heading for the column or columns listed in the COLUMNS statement. If a label has not been provided, the name of the column is used. See SAS Language: Reference for information about the LABEL statement.


specifies that the string of characters enclosed in quotes is a master title to be centered over all the columns listed in the COLUMNS statement. The list of columns must be consecutive. Special characters (+, *, =, and so forth) placed on either side of the text expand to fill the space. The MTITLE= option can be abbreviated M=.


uses column names in column headings for the columns listed in the COLUMNS statement. This option allows headings (text) and names to be combined in a heading.

Options for Column Print Control


inserts n spaces before each column listed in the COLUMNS statement. The default spacing is given by the CSPACE= option in the PROC COMPUTAB statement.


suppresses printing of columns listed in the COLUMNS statement. This option enables you to create columns to be used for intermediate calculations without having those columns printed.


suppresses printing of columns when all the values in a column are 0 or missing. Numbers within the FUZZ= value of 0 are treated as 0.


starts a new page of the report before printing each of the columns in the list that follows.


prints row titles before each column in the list. The _TITLES_ option can be abbreviated as _TITLE_.

Options for Column Formatting

Column formats override row formats for particular table cells only when the input data set is not transposed (when the NOTRANS option is specified).


specifies a format for printing the values of the columns listed in the COLUMNS statement. The FORMAT= option can be abbreviated F=.


left-justifies the column headings for the columns listed. By default, columns are right-justified. When the LJC (left-justify character) option is used, any character row values in the column are also left-justified rather than right-justified.


substitutes text when the value in the column is 0 or missing.