SAS: How to Extract Substring from Right


You can use the SUBSTR function in SAS to extract a portion of a string.

This function uses the following basic syntax:

SUBSTR(Source, Position, N)

where:

  • Source: The string to analyze
  • Position: The starting position to read
  • N: The number of characters to read

The value for the Position argument specifies the starting position from the left of the string.

To instead specify a starting position from the right of the string, you can use the following syntax:

data new_data;
    set original_data;
    last_three = substr(team, length(team)-2, 3);
run;

This particular example creates a new variable called last_three that extracts the last three characters from the right of the string variable called team.

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

Example: Extract Substring from Right in SAS

Suppose we have the following dataset in SAS that contains information about various basketball teams:

/*create dataset*/
data original_data;
    input team $ points;
    datalines;
Mavericks 104
Thunder 99
Rockets 116
Spurs 98
Pistons 99
Pelicans 105
Warriors 119
Blazers 113
Nuggets 100
Kings 123
;
run;

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

We can use the following code to extract the last 3 characters from the team variable:

/*create new dataset*/
data new_data;
    set original_data;
    last_three = substr(team, length(team)-2, 3);
run;

/*view new dataset*/
proc print data=new_data;

Notice that the column called last_three contains the last three characters from the team column.

We can also easily change the values in the SUBSTR function to extract a different number of characters from the right side of the string.

For example, we can use the following syntax to extract the last five characters from the right:

/*create new dataset*/
data new_data;
    set original_data;
    last_five = substr(team, length(team)-4, 5);
run;

/*view new dataset*/
proc print data=new_data;

Notice that the column called last_five contains the last five characters from the team column.

Additional Resources

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

SAS: How to Replace Characters in a String
SAS: How to Remove Commas from String
SAS: How to Extract Numbers from String

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