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Using MISSOVER for reading records of different length

If you are reading a file that has records of different length and has missing values at the end of a record, use the MISSOVER option.

For example, if you have a file that has 4 variables in it, but several records are missing the fourth variable:

1246  22 58 66
1299  29 62 80
1345  31 77
1388  42 51 92
1402     67 

The following program will read these data correctly:

data a;
infile 'test.dat' MISSOVER;
input v1 1-4  v2 7-8  v3 10-10  v4 12-12;
proc print;
var v1 v2 v3 v4;

Without the MISSOVER option, SAS will go to the next line any time the fourth variable is missing:

V1=1402 V2=. V3=67 V4=. _ERROR_=1 _N_=4
NOTE: 5 records were read from the infile 'missover.dat'.
      The minimum record length was 11.
      The maximum record length was 14.
NOTE: SAS went to a new line when INPUT statement reached past the end of
a line.