SQL SERVER – SSMS Tip: How to Get Larger Fonts for Results in Grid Output

A couple of weeks back, I was at the GIDS (Great Indian Developer Conference) speaking on my favorite topic of performance. Often as a speaker I make sure I attend a couple of sessions from friends or from people in the industry to learn something completely new. It is easier to learn from someone who has done all the hard work of doing research compared to investing that time all by yourself to learn the nuances of the topic. Let us learn about SSMS Tip.

This time I was in the main hall where I could find the hall was really big and the screens were really small to visualize. I saw one of the speakers was showing Management studio output and was talking. As a back bencher always, I found it almost impossible to actually read what the output was. This is when I realized that my demo’s when executed in SSMS would be the same for someone who was sitting far away from the screen. I thought I had to change the font to make it less understandable.

I did the following steps of increasing the font style under SSMS -> Tools -> Options and when I was doing the session, I asked the audience to how many knew this. Not many knew these options existed. So I thought this required a separate blog post to explain the same.

Once you have the options, make sure to select “Fonts and Colors” -> Inside the Show settings for: Select -> “Grid Results”. Choose the font size you are comfortable. At this moment, please go through the complete list of items that can be customized – I am sure you will find some of these really useful.

Some of these settings don’t take immediate effect. You will need to close the SSMS window and reinitialize the same. It would take effect from the next instance. Once I did that, you can check a sample output of my Grid output below:

It is simple to increase the font size when it comes to text / code part. Not many are aware we can do the same for Grid results too.

Do let me know if you found this interesting. As a presenter at multiple conferences, I wish the speakers use these techniques to make an effective presentation. Do let me know your thoughts. Do take a moment to let me know some of the options you used to change in SSMS.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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38 Comments. Leave new

  • andyinsdca (@andyinsdca)
    June 2, 2016 3:23 am

    I couldn’t figure out which text option makes the text in the QUERY box (where you put select * from mytable) bigger/different. But this is cool…I’ve used SSMS for a VERY long time and didn’t know this!

  • Steve Cunningham
    June 2, 2016 9:39 pm

    Our shop is currently using 2008 R2. I prefer using equal kerning fonts. Unfortunately there is a bug in SSMS that does not set the header cells widths correctly. If the contents of the data cells havea smaller width than the column names in the header cells the header cells names are truncated.

  • Thanks Pinal. Exactly what I was looking for.

  • CTRL + Scroll wheel on mouse

  • How to increase the results and messages heads/columns?

  • Hallelujah for bigger fonts in grids..

  • Nikki Parker
    July 13, 2017 9:09 pm

    Once again you have provided another very useful post! I’ve been using SSMS for years and didn’t know about this option. The grid results were showing up tiny on a new laptop…you saved me once more.

  • My connect to server box seems to be 4.. even though I put in 14.

  • I have been using ssms 2014 for some time.. but one morning when I pulled it up.. the connect box was so small that I could not read it… my old ssms 2008 worked just fine. I went into the section shown above.. and increased everything to new times roman 24, but to no effect. I later noticed that some of my other apps were the reverse.. larger than normal, and Outlook was just plain blurry.. I rebooted and it looks ok now. Wonder if IT pushed a patch out.

  • Adrian Hernandez
    January 24, 2018 10:04 pm

    I am using SSMS 2017, not matter what colors I choose for Grid Results, the only ones that work are default, black for foreground and white for background. Any other background color you select always shows white.

  • Thanks a lot!

  • This option does not exist in SQL Server Management Studio 20017. Do you have an alternative?

    • I’m having the same problem as Diego here. It burns my britches the way MS keeps deleting or hiding useful functions in their software from one version to the next, as if there were customer demand for these changes. Reading through Microsoft documentation is often a waste of time because the UI is so frequently changed that most of their guides tell you to click on options that no longer exist. It is infuriating, and MS remains tone-deaf about the level of frustration that their development process ensures.

      • Jody L Meyer
        April 12, 2019 6:31 pm

        Just found that out about SSMS 2017 not supporting changing the Grid Font and size. Looks like they took away a lot of options that were there in SSMS 2016. Augh! Very frustrating!

  • Clarence Assey
    February 2, 2019 5:11 pm

    Wow!! Just could not believe i did not know(overlooked) this. I have been embarrassed most of the time with the font size of query results to grid. Thanks a lot

  • @Diego and @Michael, they may have updated SSMS 2017 because that is what I am using and I was able to increase the grid size. Admittedly, it took 3 attempts to get it to save the changed font size, but it did work after the 3rd attempt.

  • Using SSMS 2017 I had to exit out of SSMS and restart to get the changes to become effective.

  • Hi Pinal, how to get large fonts in Project.params in SSIS 2017? Hope you can help. Thank you!

  • Setting “grid” font size is not available in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2017.
    The accessibility police need to call on Microsoft.

  • sidhu177blog
    June 21, 2019 8:12 pm

    Thanks Pinal , Perfect post for my problem.

  • Caili Bennett
    October 8, 2019 2:28 am

    Thank you so much for this – I was starting to go squint because everything was too small to read.

  • Brian Megilligan (@BrianMegilligan)
    April 13, 2020 10:24 pm

    Now that we’re all sharing our screens so much more, this tip is SO very helpful. I’m glad this blog post appeared at the top of my search results. Thank you for sharing!


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