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Having been blessed with an en-dash (alt + 2013) in our TFS project root, I’ve been having lots of fun getting SAS to ‘play nicely’ with non-ascii characters when running OS commands (eg tf.exe).

Storing the values in macro variables works fine for direct use (eg in an X command), but running a SAS generated .bat file was proving challenging – until I realised that the issue was actually within the windows shell, rather than SAS itself.

The solution turned out to be twofold.  Firstly, the batch file itself needed to be UTF-8 encoded WITHOUT the BOM marker.  This required the nobomfile  system option to be in place before creating the file.

Secondly, the shell needs to be configured to read UTF-8 characters.  This can be done by changing the codepage (using  chcp 65001) and chaining with an ampersand.

Sample code as follows:

options nobomfile;
%let work=%sysfunc(pathname(work));
%let file=&work/mybatchfile.bat;

         data _null_;
      file “&file” encoding=‘utf-8’;
      put “dir “”&work”” “;
      put ‘echo Nonstandard – Dash’;
    filename mypipe pipe “chcp 65001 & “”&file”” “;
    data _null_;infile mypipe;input;list;run;