How to Use the INFILE Statement in SAS (With Example)


You can use the INFILE statement to import data from a file into a dataset in SAS.

This statement uses the following basic syntax:

data my_data;
    infile '/home/u13181/bball_data.txt' dlm=' ' dsd missover firstobs=2;
    input team $ position $ points assists;
run;

Here’s what each line does:

  • data: Name to give dataset once imported into SAS
  • infile: Location of file to import
  • dlm: The delimiter that separates values in the file
  • dsd: Treat two consecutive delimiters as a missing value
  • missover: Assume each line in file represents one observation
  • firstobs: Which line in file to consider the first line with observations

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

Example: How to Use INFILE Statement in SAS

Suppose we have the following text file called bball_data.txt:

We can use the following code to import this file into a SAS dataset called my_data:

/*import data from txt file into SAS dataset*/ 
data my_data;
    infile '/home/u13181/bball_data.txt' dlm=' ' dsd missover firstobs=2;
    input team $ position $ points assists;
run;

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

By using the INFILE statement, we were able to successfully import the values from the text file into a dataset.

Notice how we used the following arguments:

  • infile: Specified where the file was located.
  • dlm: Specified that the values in the file were separated by spaces.
  • dsd: Specified that two consecutive delimiters should be treated as a missing value. This came in handy with the missing value in the points column of the first row.
  • missover: Specified that each line in the file represented one observation.
  • firstobs: Specified that the first observation was located on the second row of the file.
  • input: Specified the names to give to the columns in the dataset.

By using each of these arguments, we were able to successfully import the text file into a dataset with the correct format.

Additional Resources

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

How to Import Text Files into SAS
How to Import CSV Files into SAS
How to Import Excel Files into SAS

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