SAS Tip of the Month October 2005 The COMPARE function compares two strings and notes the position of the first character (left to right) where it finds a difference – if no difference is found then a zero will result. The following example shows its use: ``` 167 data _null_; 168 length flag1 flag2 \$80; 169 string1='THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON'; 170 string2='THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON'; 171 string3='THE COW JUMPED OVER THE BLUE MOON'; 172 compare1=compare(string1,string2); 173 compare2=compare(string1,string3); 174 if compare1>0 then 175 flag1='String 1 and String 2 different starting at position ' 176 ||put(compare1,2.); 177 else flag1='String 1 and String 2 same'; 178 if compare2>0 then 179 flag2='String 1 and String 3 different starting at position ' 180 ||put(compare2,2.); 181 else flag2='String 1 and String 3 same'; 182 put string1= / 183 string2= / 184 flag1= // 185 string1= / 186 string3= / 187 flag2=; 188 run; string1=THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON string2=THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON flag1=String 1 and String 2 same string1=THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON string3=THE COW JUMPED OVER THE BLUE MOON flag2=String 1 and String 3 different starting at position 25``` ________________________________ Updated October 1, 2005