How to Use the FIND Function in SAS (With Examples)


You can use the FIND function in SAS to find the position of the first occurrence of some substring within a string.

Here are the two most common ways to use this function:

Method 1: Find Position of First Occurrence of String

data new_data;
    set original_data;
    first_occurrence = find(variable_name, "string");
run;

Method 2: Find Position of First Occurrence of String (Ignoring Case)

data new_data;
    set original_data;
    first_occurrence = find(variable_name, "string", "i");
run;

The “i” argument tells SAS to ignore the case when searching for the substring.

The following examples show how to use each method with the following dataset in SAS:

/*create dataset*/
data original_data;
    input phrase $1-25;
    datalines;
The fox ran fast
That is a quick FOX
This fox is a slow fox
The zebra is cool
;
run;

/*view dataset*/
proc print data=original_data;

Example 1: Find Position of First Occurrence of String

The following code shows how to find the position of the first occurrence of “fox” in each string:

data new_data;
    set original_data;
    first_fox = find(phrase, "fox");
run;

Here’s how to interpret the output:

  • The fox ran fast (First occurrence is at position 5)
  • That is a quick FOX (The lowercase string “fox” never occurs)
  • This fox is a slow fox (First occurrence is at position 6)
  • The zebra is cool (The string “fox” never occurs)

Example 2: Find Position of First Occurrence of String (Ignoring Case)

The following code shows how to find the position of the first case-insensitive occurrence of “fox” in each string:

data new_data;
    set original_data;
    first_fox = find(phrase, "fox", "i");
run;

Here’s how to interpret the output:

  • The fox ran fast (First occurrence is at position 5)
  • That is a quick FOX (First occurrence of “fox” is at position 17)
  • This fox is a slow fox (First occurrence is at position 6)
  • The zebra is cool (The string “fox” never occurs)

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in SAS:

How to Normalize Data in SAS
How to Replace Characters in a String in SAS
How to Replace Missing Values with Zero in SAS
How to Remove Duplicates in SAS

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