SAS® Functions provide amazing power to your DATA step programming. Some of these functions are essential—some of them save you writing volumes of unnecessary code. This paper covers some of the most useful SAS functions. Some of these functions may be new to you and they will change the way you program and approach common programming tasks. The majority of the functions described in this presentation work with character data. There are functions that search for strings, others that can find and replace strings or join strings together. Still others that can measure the spelling distance between two strings (useful for "fuzzy" matching). Some of the newest and most amazing functions are not functions at all, but call routines. Did you know that you can sort values within an observation? Did you know that not only can you identify the largest or smallest value in a list of variables, but you can identify the second or third or nth largest of smallest value? I hope this abstract piques your interest.