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Useful Library Reference Names

The following are some useful library reference names that provide a convenient shortcut to SAS functionality:


When using a custom, SAS will by default only search the WORK library and a library called LIBRARY for any format definitions. SAS can be forced to search other libraries using the FMTSEARCH system option as shown below:

* This will force SAS to search the FMT library
for format definitions;
libname FMT 'c:temp';
options fmtsearch = (FMT);

Creating a library called LIBRARY will remove the need for the FMTSEARCH option as in the following example:

* SAS will now automatically search the library;
libname library 'c:temp'; 


Using a library reference of USER will cause SAS use that library as the default data rather than the usual default of WORK. In the example below the new dataset "test" will be created in the USER library as no specific library has been referenced:

libname USER 'c:temp';
* This data set will be stored in the user library as this is now the default;
data test;
set sashelp.class; run;

One application of this is to redirect all of the work datasets to a permanent location for subsequent analysis, which could be achieved by simply inserting the user library at the beginning of the process.

For further information view the SAS help entries or the SAS support website (