Dec 152008

I’m planning this “Quick Tip” section just to throw out any tips that I think might come in handy.  A lot of you may already know them, but I’m sure over time I’ll find something that has escaped your notice!

Management Studio 2005 and 2008 (and Query Analyzer, but no-one’s still using that out of choice, are they?) provide three shortcut keys that run T-SQL commands, and allows you to customise up to 12 different commands.  The defaults are:

  1. Alt-F1, runs sp_help.  If you have an object name highlighted, it will run sp_help on that item.  Very useful for seeing the columns, constraints and indexes on a table.
  2. Control-1, runs sp_who.  If you highlight a login name, the output will be for that single login.
  3. Control-2, runs sp_lock.  If you highlight a number, sp_lock will be run for that session ID.  If you highlight two numbers separated by a comma (e.g. “51, 52″, without quotes), you’ll pass both parameters into sp_lock.

Additionally, you can customise these commands in Management Studio from the Tools | Options | Environment | Keyboard dialog.  For example, you could set Control-F1 to be “sp_helptext”, or modify sp_who to be sp_who2.  Note that any changes will only apply when you open a new query window.

A good example of a custom Query Shortcut would be the following query:

SELECT TOP 10 * FROM AdventureWorks.Sales.SalesOrderHeader 

If you assign it to a shortcut key, say Control-3, every time you press Control-3 you’ll see the 10 most recent SalesOrderHeaders. 

Personally, I don’t customise the shortcuts, as I deal with many different systems, and am constantly using different installations of Management Studio, so it’s not worth configuring the environment.  However, if you use a single installation of Management Studio, custom query shortcuts could save you lots of time.

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