Sourcetable Integration

Export Proc to CSV

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    Exporting data from SAS using PROC EXPORT to a CSV file is a valuable skill for data analysts and statisticians who need to manipulate and analyze their data within a spreadsheet environment. This process facilitates easier data sharing, as CSV files are widely compatible with various data analysis tools and platforms. On this page, we will delve into the essentials of PROC EXPORT, guiding you through the process of exporting data to a CSV file, exploring various use cases, and introducing an alternative method for exporting data using Sourcetable. Additionally, we'll offer practical tips and address common questions to enhance your understanding of exporting PROC to CSV and optimizing your data workflow.

    What is Proc?

    PROC is a processor that serves as a powerful tool within a specific programming environment. It enables users to streamline their work by allowing them to link TCL statements, thereby automating routine procedures. By containing its own programming language, PROC simplifies the creation and execution of automated procedures, known as procs, which are instrumental in reducing the complexity of TCL or INFO/ACCESS statements to a singular command.

    Process serving, as a type of service, is an essential function in the legal field, necessary for a lawsuit to move forward. It ensures that individuals are properly notified of legal actions against them, thus upholding the constitutional right to due notice. This service can be provided by various entities, including county sheriffs, marshals, and professional process servers like ABC Legal, which operates extensively both in the United States and internationally. ABC Legal, renowned for its proficiency and technology in process serving, is even recognized by the United States Department of Justice as the exclusive central authority for foreign service of process.

    Lastly, in the context of data, Proc refers to a suite of options within the data step of SAS software tutorials. These options include SET, DROP, KEEP, RENAME, FIRSTOBS, and OBS, which are utilized to manage and manipulate datasets effectively. Each option serves a specific purpose, aiding users in selecting, excluding, retaining, renaming, or limiting the range of data processed in any given data step.

    How to Export Data from SAS to a CSV File

    Basic PROC EXPORT Syntax

    The basic syntax for exporting a dataset from SAS to a CSV file using PROC EXPORT is as follows: proc export data=my_data outfile="/home/u13181/data.csv" dbms=csv replace;. This line of code specifies the dataset to export with the data=my_data option, the location and filename of the CSV file with the outfile="/home/u13181/data.csv" option, the file format with the dbms=csv option, and if the file exists, the replace option allows it to be replaced.

    Adjusting the Delimiter

    To change the default delimiter that separates the values in the CSV file, the delimiter argument can be used. For example, if you want to use a semicolon instead of a comma, you would include the delimiter=';' option in the PROC EXPORT statement.

    Managing Header Row with putnames

    The putnames argument controls the inclusion of the header row in the exported CSV file. To remove the header row, use putnames=NO in the PROC EXPORT statement. Conversely, to include the header row, putnames=YES can be used, which is the default behavior if the option is not specified.

    Using Labels as Headers

    When exporting data, the label option can be included to use variable labels as headers in the CSV file instead of variable names. Including this option ensures that the exported CSV file contains descriptive column headers that may be more understandable than the default variable names.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Streamline Your Data Management with Sourcetable

    With the power of Sourcetable, you can effortlessly synchronize your live data from virtually any application or database directly into a dynamic spreadsheet. This eliminates the need for the traditional method of exporting data to a CSV file and then importing it into a spreadsheet program. By using Sourcetable, you benefit from a seamless data integration process, which not only saves time but also reduces the possibility of errors that can occur during data transfer.

    Sourcetable's capability to automatically pull in data from multiple sources into one centralized location streamlines your workflow for enhanced productivity. This approach to data management is ideal for automation and business intelligence tasks, as it allows you to query and manipulate your data using a familiar spreadsheet interface without the additional steps of handling CSV exports and imports. Embrace the efficiency of Sourcetable and transform the way you work with data.

    Common Use Cases

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      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 1: Quickly sharing data with a vendor that requires CSV format
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      Use case 2: Saving dataset backups in a universally accessible format
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      Use case 3: Automating data export processes by replacing existing CSV files with updated data
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      Use case 4: Customizing the output by excluding column names for privacy or clarity
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      Use case 5: Adapting data for systems that require a semicolon as a delimiter

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is the PROC EXPORT to CSV not working?

    The PROC EXPORT to CSV may not work if the syntax is incorrect, the dataset name is not specified properly, the file path is incorrect, the dbms is not set to csv, or if the file format is not supported. Ensure that the syntax follows the proc export command structure and that all arguments are correctly specified.

    How can I export a CSV file with formatted output?

    CSV files do not retain formatted output when using PROC EXPORT. CSV files inherently store data in plain text. To include formatted output, consider exporting to a format that supports formatting, such as Excel, using different SAS procedures or tools.

    Why do CSV files not show formatted output?

    CSV files are plain text files that separate values using a delimiter, such as a comma. They do not support any text formatting, fonts, or styles, which is why formatted output is not visible in CSV files.

    How to convert a CSV file to an Excel file while showing formatted output?

    To convert a CSV file to an Excel file with formatted output, you would need to import the CSV into Excel and then manually apply the desired formatting or use a script or program that applies formatting rules during the conversion process.

    How to handle hard returns in CSV files?

    Hard returns in CSV files can be handled by enclosing the text that contains the hard returns in double quotes, or by using a different delimiter that does not conflict with the line breaks in the data.


    In conclusion, PROC EXPORT is a powerful and flexible SAS procedure that simplifies the process of exporting data to a CSV file, offering a range of options to tailor the output to your needs. The ability to change delimiters, include or exclude column headers, and control variable labels provides control over the exported data structure. While PROC EXPORT effectively facilitates data transfer to CSV format, you can streamline your workflow even further with Sourcetable. By using Sourcetable, you can bypass the export process and import your data directly into a spreadsheet, enhancing productivity and data management. Sign up for Sourcetable today to get started and elevate your data handling capabilities.

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