# SAS: Convert Numeric to Character with Leading Zeros

You can use the following basic syntax to convert a numeric variable to a character variable with a specific amount of leading zeros in SAS:

```data new_data;
set original_data;
employee_ID = put(employee_ID, z10.);
format employee_ID z10.;
run;
```

This particular example converts the numeric variable called employee_ID into a character variable with enough leading zeros to make employee_ID have a length equal to 10.

The following example shows how to use this syntax in practice.

## Example: Convert Numeric to Character with Leading Zeros in SAS

Suppose we have the following dataset in SAS that shows the total sales made by various employees at some company:

```/*create dataset*/
data original_data;
input employee_ID sales;
datalines;
4456 12
4330 18
2488 19
2504 11
2609 33
2614 30
2775 23
2849 14
;

/*view dataset*/
proc print data=original_data;
``` Now suppose we would like to convert the variable called employee_ID to a character variable with enough leading zeros to make each value in the column have a length of 10.

We can use the following syntax to do so:

```/*create new dataset with employee_ID as character with leading zeros*/
data new_data;
set original_data;
employee_ID = put(employee_ID, z10.);
format employee_ID z10.;
run;

/*view new dataset*/
proc print data=new_data;
``` We can see that the employee_ID variable in the new dataset contains enough leading zeros to make each of the values have a length of 10.

To add a different number of leading zeros, simply change z10 to a different value.

For example, we could use z15 to add enough leading zeros to make each of the values in the employee_ID column have a length of 15:

```/*create new dataset with employee_ID as character with leading zeros*/
data new_data;
set original_data;
employee_ID = put(employee_ID, z15.);
format employee_ID z15.;
run;

/*view new dataset*/
proc print data=new_data;``` Each of the values in the employee_ID column now have a length of 15.