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SAS Tip of the Month
August 2003

In their basic form, the COMPRESS and COMPBL functions manipulate the blanks or spaces in a text string.

The COMPBL function will remove multiple blanks in a string and replace them with a single blank – it will also remove trailing and leading blanks from a string.

The COMPRESS function will remove all blank spaces from a string, including the leading and trailing blanks. The COMPRESS function was enhances a few years ago to include characters that a used specified – it was no longer restricted to blanks.

Refer to the following examples of the functions use:

   297 data _null_;
   298 TextStr='1049 Park Avenue, New York, NY';
   299 TextCOMPBL = compbl(TextStr);
   300 TextCOMPRESS = compress(TextStr);
   301 TextCOMPRESS_withoutNumbers = compress(TextStr,'0123456789');
   302 put TextStr= /
   303 TextCOMPBL = /
   304 TextCOMPRESS = /
   305 TextCOMPRESS_withoutNumbers =;
   306 run;

   TextStr=1049 Park Avenue, New York, NY
   TextCOMPBL=1049 Park Avenue, New York, NY
   TextCOMPRESS_withoutNumbers=Park Avenue, New York, NY
Updated August 1, 2003