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HOW CAN I GET SPECIAL GREEK CHARACTERS INTO MY TABULAR OUTPUT?

You can add special characters such as the Greek character symbols to your ODS RTF output by using the appropriate fonts that have these symbols. For instance, the Alpha, Beta, Lambda symbols are available in the Windows Symbol font. Below is an example of specifying these special symbols along with other Greek characters in your tabular output.

First of all we have to determine the hex values for the Greek symbols you wish to use. These can be determined with the Character Map windows utility. Under Windows 7, this can be found in the Start menu, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and Character Map. You need to find a font that has the symbols you require in the first 255 characters. We'll use the Symbol font. Select the symbol(s) you want and make a note of the character code(s) you need, e.g. lower case alpha (α ) is 0x61. We can now use this hex value in SAS ('61'x).

Now we can create a user defined format GREEK to apply when formatting values and displaying them using the Windows Symbol font.

proc format library=work ;
    value greek
             1 = '61'x /* Lowercase Alpha  */
             2 = '62'x /* Lowercase Beta   */
             3 = '63'x /* Lowercase Chi   */
             4 = '6c'x /* Lowercase Lambda  */
             5 = '71'x /* Lowercase Theta  */
      other = 'A5'x /* Infinity        */ ;
    value greekx /* Used to help understand the results */
             1 = 'ALPHA'
             2 = 'BETA'
             3 = 'CHI'
             4 = 'LAMBDA'
             5 = 'THETA'
    other = 'INFINITY'  ;
run ; quit ;

Beginning with Release 8.2, The ODS ESCAPECHAR= statement greatly enhances the ability to add formatting and text in the RTF destination. For example, you can insert hexadecimal values of commonly used special characters using the switch assigned to the Escapechar= statement.
NB: This will only effect RTF destinations.

ods escapechar = "?"  ;

Next we'll create a sample table with a simple counter (from 1 to 6) and a new variable, Special_Var, to show how to insert special Greek symbols into data values. We'll use the escape character to change the font within a variable.

data work.test ;
    do Unformatted = 1 to 6 ;
        * Insert the Greek symbol into a variable value, along with escape character and the font required ;
      Special_Var = 'Special character '       !!
            trim(put(unformatted,greekx.))       !!
            ' "?S={font_face=symbol}'             !!
            trim(put(unformatted,greek.))        !!
            '?S={ }" in Data Values' ;
       output ;
    end ;
run ;

Close the listing and open an RTF destination.

ods listing close ;
ods rtf file = 'c:\temp\Special_Characters.rtf' ;

In the example below we are inserting the special symbol Infinity into the title statement using the Symbol font and hexadecimal value.

title font="Times New Roman" 'Special character Infinity "'
    font="Symbol"     'A5'x
    font="Times New Roman" '" in Title' ;

Tabular output generated by Proc Report and Proc Tabulate showing Greek symbols in variable labels and within the data values.

proc report data=work.test nowd ;
   column unformatted unformatted=Greekx unformatted=Greek Special_Var ;
   define unformatted / 'Unformatted/Value' ;
   define Greekx / 'Symbol' format=greekx. ;
   define Greek / 'Greek/Character' format=greek.
      style(column)={font_face=Symbol} ;
* To insert a symbol into a label, the LABEL statement must be used, rather than a DEFINE statement. The label must be one continuous string and should not contain any line breaks, but it may appear that it does in this document ;
label special_var='Special character /Infinity "?S={font_face=Symbol}'"A5"x'?S={ }" /in Variable Label' ;
run ;
proc tabulate data=work.test ;
   class special_var ;
   var unformatted ;
   table special_var,
       (unformatted='Greek Symbol' * [style=[font_face=symbol]]
             * f=greek. * sum=' ') ;
* The label must be one continuous string and should not contain any line breaks, but it may appear that it does in this document ;
label special_var = 'Special character Infinity ?S={font_face=symbol}'"A5"x'?S={ } in Variable Label' ;
run;
ods rtf close ;
ods listing ;

Click here to view output.

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