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The USER Library

A one-level dataset name does not have to default to the WORK library. You can use the USER option to assign your default library somewhere else.

If you do this, SAS will still use WORK for its own temporary datasets (such as those it uses during a PROC SORT), but if you want to refer to the work library, you must name it explicitly.

For example:

options user=amadeus;  
data work.vars;
  set demog(where=(upcase(gender)=M));
run;  

Here DEMOG refers to AMADEUS.DEMOG. You can also define your USER library by a physical pathname:

options user="C:Documents and SettingsNoggsMy DocumentsMy SAS Files" ;  
data vars;
  set work.vars;
run;  

This copies our VARS dataset into folder My SAS Files. Despite having been specified with a one-level name, it is a permanent data set.