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Date:         Fri, 5 Mar 1999 09:01:42 -0500
Reply-To:     John Iwaniszek <jiwanisz@QCHN.QUINTILES.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         John Iwaniszek <jiwanisz@QCHN.QUINTILES.COM>
Subject:      Re: Re[2]: SAS Output to MS Word table
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

My take (based on experience and extrapolation there from) on ODS is that it provides greater access to molar units of the SAS output for a given procedure. I have used proc mixed for regression analysis because the summaries my client's want displayed in their tables are in conveniently structured data sets. I can use one of my print utilities to create a finished table. Additionally ODS provides output for further statistical processing when the client's need something exotic that goes beyond the canned procedure's capabilities.

I can not believe that SAS will provide adequate tools for producing output that will satisfy both the diverse requirements of clients and my need for table production to be automatic. I believe we will always (my lifespan providing the horizon) be engaged in producing more or less custom programs that will operate as batch command files.

There are three systems I know of that produce output in the form of RTF files. Two require programmers to write data _null_ programs and the RTF macros serve as data step primitives. The third is an integrated package that is essentially a print utility analogous to proc report.

The data step macros are described at:

I. Peszek & R. Peszek: www.sas.com <http://www.sas.com> . Look for "Automate the Creation and Manipulation of Word Processor Ready SAS Output".

Paul Wehr: http://pages.prodigy.com/paul_wehr/sugi21.htm

The integrated RTF macro is available as shareware from:

Demuth and Iwaniszek: http://members.aol.com/stattsrv/stattech.htm

Additionally, SAS harbors a very creative person (whose name escapes me) who was working on a very interesting frame application that provided a graphic interface through which the user would manipulate icons to build tables, listings and graphs from building-block like components. The application generates the underlying code that creates very attractive output. The downside is that the output is in the form of GSEG entries in a catalogue. Besides taking up extraordinary amounts of space, these files cannot be edited as one would edit a true word-processing or text file.

John

John Whittington <medisci@POWERNET.COM> on 03/04/99 06:23:55 PM

Please respond to John Whittington <medisci@POWERNET.COM>

To: SAS-L@VTVM1 cc: (bcc: John Iwaniszek/QCHN/Quintiles) Subject: Re: Re[2]: SAS Output to MS Word table

At 17:45 04/03/99 -0500, RHOADSM1 wrote:

> Getting more flexible output from SAS is the objective of the Version 7 >Output Delivery System. RTF is one of the output formats that the SI >development folks are very interested in. Version 7 actually contains early >experimental ODS drivers for RTF and several other formats, in addition to the >more-developed HTML driver (see the SI web site at >http://www.sas.com/rnd/base/topics/expv7/index.html). > Several members of the SI development team that is working on ODS will be at >next month's SUGI conference, and I'm sure they would be interested in getting >user input. Personally, RTF is high on my list of drivers that I'd like to see >move into "production" status quickly.

Mike - indeed, but as John I and I have pointed out, it not simply a question of having an RTF (or whatever) driver - everything really depends upon what it does. Merely converting 'on-screen rubbish' into 'transportable RTF rubbish' (which seems to be essentially what the present 'Save As' RTF option does, is hardly useful!

Most of us waould love to have better ouput handling/options, and the ODS seems to be a step in the direction of SI's recognition of that - but whether the ODS RTF drivers you mention would actually achieve what most of us would like is a very different question.

Currently, the proportion of my time on a project which is directly involved in the 'cosmetics' of getting SAS output into an acceptable format in a 'high quality report' is quite ridiculous.

Kind Regards,

John

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