Remove leading zeros with SAS


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Suppose you have a variable that contains leading zeros. You wish to eliminate leading 0s from the variable in SAS.

Example

The following program creates a sample dataset which would be used to demonstrate the trick to remove leading zeros in SAS.
data abc;
input a $;
cards;
0002255
0074
03567
000ABCD9
00ZAB74
;
run;
SAS  : Remove Leading Zeros in SAS
data abc;
set abc;
b = 1 * a;
c = prxchange('s/^0+//o',-1,a);

run;
The function PRXCHANGE() is used to perform pattern matching replacement. The pattern specified in PRXCHANGE function is a regex language,

Output

The output is shown in the image below -

Remove leading zeros in SAS
Important Points

  1. As shown above, variable b contains only numeric values. It means if you know you have only numeric values but with leading zeros, you can simply multiply the variable by 1 to convert it to numeric which would automatically get rid of leading zeros,
  2. Variable c contains all the values after removing leading zeros. This trick is more robust as it takes care of both character and numeric values with leading zeros.
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2 Responses to "Remove leading zeros with SAS"

  1. thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. please explain prxchange('s/^0+//o',-1,a)

    ReplyDelete

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