FILE Command: Windows

Writes the contents of the current window to an external file.

Windows specifics: valid options


Required Argument


specifies a valid Windows external file specification, such as a fileref, a file shortcut, a Windows filename that is enclosed in quotation marks, an environment variable, or an unquoted filename that resides in the current directory.

Optional Arguments


specifies the encoding to use when writing to the output file. The value for ENCODING= indicates that the output file has a different encoding from the current session encoding.

When you write data to the output file, SAS transcodes the data from the session encoding to the specified encoding.
For valid encoding values, see Encoding Values in SAS Language Elements in SAS National Language Support (NLS): Reference Guide.


specifies one or more portable options, which are documented under the FILE command in SAS Help and Documentation.



specifies the number of bytes that are physically read or written in an I/O operation. The default is 8192. The maximum is 1 megabyte.


is used in the context of I/O operations on variable record format files. When this option is specified, any occurrence of ^Z is interpreted as character data and not as an end-of-file marker.


specifies the record length (in bytes). Under Windows, the default is 32767. The value of record-length can range from 1 to 1,073,741,823 ( 1 gigabyte).


controls the record format. Under Windows, the following values are valid:

F indicates fixed format.
N indicates binary format and causes the file to be treated as a byte stream. If LRECL is not specified, by default SAS reads 32767 bytes at a time from the file.
P indicates print format.
S370V indicates the variable S370 record format (V).
S370VB indicates the variable block S370 record format (VB).
S370VBS indicates the variable block with spanned records S370 record format (VBS).
V|D indicates variable format. This is the default.


The FILE command writes the entire contents of the active window to an external file without removing text from the window.
If you do not specify a file-specification, then SAS uses the filename from the previous FILE or INCLUDE command. In this case, SAS first asks you if you want to overwrite the file and provides you with these selections:
  • Replace
  • Append
  • Cancel
If you have not issued any FILE or INCLUDE commands, you receive an error message indicating no default file exists.
In the Enhanced Editor, if the filename is eight characters or less, the file extension of .SAS is appended to file-specification. No extension is appended for a file-specification longer than eight characters.

See Also

“FILE Command” in the SAS Help and Documentation