Macro Quoting Functions, Other Special Character Masking Tools, and How to Use Them

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Abstract

Quoting functions allow the user to pass macro arguments while selectively removing the special meaning from characters such as &, %, ;, ', and ". Most of these functions are not commonly used and are even less commonly understood. Although they are powerful and can even be necessary, usually programming solutions are available that do not require the use of the quoting functions. When are quoting functions needed? When needed how are they used? Which one should be selected? This paper will discuss when to use and when to avoid quoting functions. In addition the discussion will include solutions that avoid the use of quoting functions. Fortunately there are several ways to mask special characters within the macro language. These include quoting functions, %DO blocks, restructuring of statements, and the character mask (%).

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