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The TEMPLATE Procedure


By default, ODS output is formatted according to instructions in various definitions that the procedure or DATA step points to. However, ODS provides ways for you to customize the output. You can customize the output for an entire SAS job, or you can customize the output for a single output object.

To customize the presentation aspects of the output at the level of the entire SAS job, use a style definition. To customize the output for a single output object, use a table definition. The TEMPLATE procedure creates and modifies these definitions, which the Output Delivery System then uses to create formatted output.

A style definition
describes how to render the presentation aspects (color, font face, font size, and so forth) of an entire SAS job. A style definition determines the overall look of the documents that use it. Each style definition is composed of style elements.

A style element
is a collection of style attributes that apply to a particular part of the output. For instance, a style element may contain instructions for the presentation of column headers or for the presentation of the data inside cells. Style elements may also specify default colors and fonts for output that uses the style definition. Each style attribute specifies a value for one aspect of the presentation. For instance, the BACKGROUND= attribute specifies the color for the background of an HTML table, and the FONT_STYLE= attribute specifies whether to use a Roman, a slant, or an italic font.

A table definition
describes how to render the output for a tabular output object. (Almost all ODS output is tabular.) A table definition determines the order of table headers and footers, the order of columns, and the overall look of the output object that uses it. Each table definition contains or references table elements.

A table element
is a collection of attributes that apply to a particular column, header, or footer. Typically, these attributes specify something about the data rather than about its presentation. For instance FORMAT= specifies the SAS format to use in a column. However, some attributes describe presentation aspects of the data.

Note:   You can also define columns, headers, and footers outside of a table definition. Any table definition can then reference these table elements.  [cautionend]

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