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Interfaces with the Macro Facility

Using SAS Language Functions in the DATA Step and Macro Facility

The macro functions %SYSFUNC and %QSYSFUNC can call SAS language functions and functions written with SAS/TOOLKIT software to generate text in the macro facility. %SYSFUNC and %QSYSFUNC have one difference: the %QSYSFUNC masks special characters and mnemonics and %SYSFUNC does not. For more information about these functions, see %SYSFUNC and %QSYSFUNC Functions.

%SYSFUNC arguments are a single SAS language function and an optional format. See the following examples:


You cannot nest SAS language functions within %SYSFUNC. However, you can nest %SYSFUNC functions that call SAS language functions, as in the following statement:


This example returns the value of the SASAUTOS= system option, using the COMPRESS function to eliminate opening parentheses, closing parentheses, and single quotation marks from the result. Note the use of the %STR function and the unmatched parentheses and quotation marks that are marked with a percent sign (%).

All arguments in SAS language functions within %SYSFUNC must be separated by commas. You cannot use argument lists preceded by the word OF.

Because %SYSFUNC is a macro function, you do not need to enclose character values in quotation marks as you do in SAS language functions. For example, the arguments to the OPEN function are enclosed in quotation marks when the function is used alone but do not require quotation marks when used within %SYSFUNC.

Here are some examples of the contrast between using a function alone and within %SYSFUNC:

You can use %SYSFUNC and %QSYSFUNC to call all of the DATA step SAS functions except the ones that are listed in table SAS Functions Not Available with %SYSFUNC and %QSYSFUNC. In the macro facility, SAS language functions called by %SYSFUNC can return values with a length up to 32K. However, within the DATA step, return values are limited to the length of a data set character variable.

The %SYSCALL macro statement enables you to use SAS language CALL routines with the macro processor, and it is described in Macro Statements.

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