FORMCHAR System Option: Windows

Specifies the default output formatting characters.

Valid in: configuration file, SAS invocation, OPTIONS statement, SAS System Options window
Category: Log and Procedure Output Control: Procedure Output
Default: (see the SAS configuration file)
Windows specifics: Valid values for formatting-characters
See: FORMCHAR= System Option in SAS System Options: Reference


Required Argument


specifies any string or list of strings of characters up to 64 bytes long. If fewer than 64 bytes are specified, the string is padded with blanks on the right. The character string must be enclosed in double quotation marks.


Formatting characters are used to construct tabular output outlines and dividers for various procedures, such as the CALENDAR, FREQ, and TABULATE procedures. If you omit formatting characters as an option in the procedure, the default specifications given in the FORMCHAR= system option are used. Note that you can also specify a hexadecimal character constant as a formatting character. When you use a hexadecimal constant with this option, SAS interprets the value of the hexadecimal constant as appropriate for the Windows environment.
The configuration file shipped with SAS contains two FORMCHAR system option specifications. One is commented out. The default FORMCHAR uses the characters in the SAS Monospace and Sasfont fonts. If you use a code page other than the standard code pages, comment out the FORMCHAR system option that shipped with SAS and use the other FORMCHAR system option.
Note: To ensure that row and column separators and boxed tabular reports are printed legibly when using the standard forms characters, you must use these resources:
  • the SAS Monospace or the SAS Monospace Bold font
  • a printer that supports TrueType fonts