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Interacting with SAS under Windows

Accessing Online Help and Documentation

Using Microsoft HTML Help

SAS Help and Documentation uses Microsoft HTML Help for easy navigation, indexing, and search capabilities. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.00 and Microsoft HTML Help 1.3 or above are required. No action is required to configure SAS to use Microsoft HTML Help.

Getting Help from the Command Bar

You can get Help for the active window and SAS language elements by using the HELP command in the command bar. The following table lists the HELP command arguments and the resulting display in the SAS Help and Documentation.

Types of Help Available Using the Command Bar
Help Argument SAS Help and Documentation Displays Example
none help for the active window help
language element name and type help on the specified language element help libname statement
HELP how to use the HELP command help help

Getting Help in the Dialog Boxes

To access Help in a dialog box, click ? at the top of the dialog box, and then click the item you want information about. A pop-up window appears with a definition for the item. To close the pop-up window, click anywhere in the dialog box.

If a dialog box doesn't have the ? button, look for a Help button or press F1.

Getting Help for a SAS Product

To access help information about the SAS product associated with the currently active window, do one of the following:

Complete documentation for installed SAS products is available from the SAS Products entry in the SAS Help and Documentation table of contents.

Getting Help from the Help Menu

The Help menu is always available within your SAS session. Here are descriptions of the Help topics available from the Help menu:

Using this Window

Help information that is relevant to the active window. Selecting this topic is the same as clicking the Help button or pressing the F1 key.

SAS Help and Documentation

tutorials and sample programs to help you learn how to use SAS, comprehensive documentation for all products installed at your site, and information about contacting SAS for additional support.

Getting Started with SAS Software

opens a tutorial that will help you get started with SAS.

Learning SAS Programming

open the SAS Online Tutor, if it is installed, to help you develop your SAS programming skills. SAS Online Tutor is a separately licensed product.

SAS on the Web

provides links to useful areas on the SAS Institute Web site, including technical support, frequently asked questions, sending feedback to SAS, and the SAS home page.

About SAS System

opens the About SAS System dialog box which provides software levels for SAS and Windows, and your hardware information. You can also access SAS legal information and site information. The System Info button opens the Microsoft System Information window.

Getting to SAS Institute (and Other Web Sites) from within SAS

SAS is configured to launch your local Web browser to view HTML files. You can invoke your Web browser several ways:

Note that you can access web pages on the Internet (such as the SAS Institute home page) only if your workstation is connected to a network that allows access.

Viewing Output and Help in the SAS Remote Browser

What Is Remote Browsing?

You can use remote browsing to view the following types of HTML documents in the Web browser on your local computer:

By displaying ODS output locally with remote browsing, you have access to output that requires browser plug-ins that are not available for Windows 64-bit servers.

A software agent that is called the remote browser server runs on your local computer. When SAS needs to display HTML content, SAS connects to the remote browser server and sends to the remote browser server the URL that references the content. The remote browser server then passes the URL to your browser for display. If the remote browser server is not running on your computer, SAS displays a dialog box that contains the URL that you need to use to download the remote browser server.

Two system options are provided to configure remote browsing: HELPHOST and HELPPORT. These options specify the host name and port number of the local computer where HTML content is displayed. In most cases, these options do not need to be set. HELPHOST defaults to the host name that is specified in the X11 DISPLAY environment variable, and HELPPORT defaults to the standard port for the remote browser server.

Remote browsing is supported on Windows 64-bit servers.

Remote Browsing and Firewalls for General Users

If your network has a firewall between desktop computers and the computer that is hosting SAS, Web browsers cannot display Web pages from your SAS session. Usually, this problem is indicated by a timeout or connection error from the Web browser. If you receive a timeout or connection error, contact your system administrator.

Remote Browsing and Firewalls for System Administrators

To enable the display of Web pages when a firewall exists between desktop computers and the computer that is hosting SAS, a firewall rule must be added that allows a Web browser to connect to SAS. The firewall rule specifies a range of network ports for which SAS remote browsing connections are allowed. Contact the appropriate system administrator who can select and configure a range of network ports for remote browsing. The range depends on the number of simultaneous SAS users. A value of approximately three times the number of simultaneous SAS users should reserve a sufficient number of network ports.

After the firewall rule is added, SAS must be configured to listen for network connections in the network port range. Normally, SAS selects any free network port, but the HTTPSERVERPORTMIN and the HTTPSERVERPORTMAX system options limit the network ports that SAS selects. Add these system options to your SAS configuration file. Set HTTPSERVERPORTMIN to the lowest port in the network range. Set HTTPSERVERPORTMAX to the highest port in the network range. For example, if the system administrator defined a network port range of 8000 to 8200, the system options would be set as follows:


After these system options are set, desktop computers can display Web pages. If there is an insufficient number of ports or if the system options are specified incorrectly, a message appears in the SAS log.

For more information about these options, see HTTPSERVERPORTMIN= System Option and HTTPSERVERPORTMAX= System Option in SAS Language Reference: Dictionary.

Using Remote Browsing with ODS Output

The SAS Output Delivery System (ODS) can be used to generate graphical reports of your SAS data. Remote browsing enables you to view your output directly from a SAS session either in real time as the output is generated, or on demand from the Results window.

Remote browsing displays ODS output in PDF and RTF formats. If your browser does not have the appropriate plug-in for non-HTML data types, the browser displays a dialog box rather than the output. This dialog box enables you to download the report to your PC and view it using a local program, such as Excel for an XLS file.

The automatic display of ODS output (PDF and RTF formats) is turned off by default. You can turn on the automatic display of ODS output by issuing the AUTONAVIGATE command in the Results window.

Installing the Remote Browser Server

You can install the remote browser server directly from your SAS session. If SAS is unable to make a connection for remote browsing, SAS displays a dialog box that contains the URL that you need to download the installer. Use this URL to download and install the remote browser server. Do not exit SAS. To install the remote browser server, follow these steps:

  1. Type the URL that appears in the dialog box into your Web browser and press ENTER.

  2. After the download page is displayed, download the installer that is appropriate for your computer.

  3. Run the installer.

    • In the Windows environment, the remote browser server is added to your Startup items, so that the server will start whenever you log in. An icon is displayed in your system tray to indicate that the remote browser server is running.

    • In the Linux environment, manually add the command rbrowser to the start-up script for your windowing environment. The remote browser server will run, but will be minimized initially.

System Options for Remote Browsing

After the remote browser server is running on your computer, you can run remote browsing by specifying the HELPHOST and HELPPORT system options.

You can set these options in your configuration file, at SAS invocation, or during your SAS session in either the OPTIONS statement or in the SAS System Options window.

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