If you try to use a SAS data file that has permanent formats but you don’t have the format library, you will get errors like this.
ERROR: The format $MAKEF was not found or could not be loaded. ERROR: The format FORGNF was not found or could not be loaded.
Without the format library, SAS will not permit you to do anything with the data file. However, if you use options nofmterr; at the top of your program, SAS will go ahead and process the file despite the fact that it does not have the format library. You will not be able to see the formatted values for your variables, but you will be able to process your data file. Here is an example.
OPTIONS nofmterr; libname in "c:"; PROC FREQ DATA=in.auto; TABLES foreign make; RUN;