SQL SERVER – Vertical Select Mode feature in SQL Server Management Studio

During last SQL Bangalore user group meeting, Balmukund presented a surprise session of tips and tricks with SQL Server Management Studio. Even though I was not able to attend the event due to travel abroad, I contacted Balmukund to share what he presented. Please note that this feature only works with SQL Server 2012 and onwards.

He was kind enough to give me a list. One of the things which I didn’t know was the usage of vertical block select mode.  I have been using block select mode to cut the text by selecting it. This needs a mouse and I found that there is no keyboard shortcut.

Here is what I knew before. To use this, you need to hit the ALT key on the keyboard and then with the help of a mouse, we can select a region in block mode.

SQL SERVER - Vertical Select Mode feature in SQL Server Management Studio SSMS-Block-01

Here is what I didn’t know. After choosing a block, we can use the keyboard to type and all rows would have same keys getting typed. It is difficult to explain by words so here is the quick screen capture of what I meant.

SQL SERVER - Vertical Select Mode feature in SQL Server Management Studio SSMS-Block-02

Did you know this earlier? Are there any other SQL Server Management Studio tips which you want to share with other reader? User comments section to do that. I am sure there are enough and more we can learn from each other more this way. Every time I have a conversation with friends and attend a session in the UG, I always feel there is something I take back as learning. The experience cannot be expressed in words – trust me.

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

SQL Server, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server Management Studio
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13 Comments. Leave new

  • Hareesh Gottipati
    June 6, 2016 7:40 am

    I used to do this in Notepad++ before and tried in SSMS once and it worked. I wish SSMS brings in other features that are in advanced text editors like Notepad++

  • vaibhav Shukla
    June 6, 2016 11:09 am

    You can use these shortcuts of above trick : ALT+Shift+ Up/Down Arrow

  • Lovely !

    but it doesn’t work with SQL 2008. Works only with 2012.

  • Very nice feature. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have used this. You can use these shortcuts of above trick : ALT+Shift+ Up/Down Arrow

  • Madhivanan Shanmugam
    June 6, 2016 5:48 pm

    Yes is a very good feature, we can apply same feature in MS-Word (any version) also

  • nakulvachhrajani
    June 7, 2016 12:57 am

    Yes, I use this a lot for various quick edits. It is a feature of the Visual Studio shell that SSMS uses. All Visual Studio based IDEs have this feature.

  • SSMS is lacking al lot of features any regular dev editor has, good block select being one of them. I write my sql outside SSMS (sublime most of the time, will look into Visual Studio Code some time). The only thing missing is autocomplete with names etc.

  • Abdul Raheem
    June 23, 2016 4:22 am

    pls anayone share video represention of this i did not get this

  • I see this trick working in SQLServer 2008 R2!! Anyone else checked in R2!!?

  • Excuse…i was so quick!! :(
    The kinda selection works with atleast one character column or more…but NOT for the following 2:
    1). Selecting without any column with character (screen capture# 2)
    2). while typing, the same applying for all the rows

  • Cntrl + Shift + u for converting string to Upper case
    Cntrl + Shift + l for converting string to Lower case

  • This is excellent, Pinal! I didn’t know this before but just now when I really need to add ,’ in front of a long list of string values copied from a spreadsheet column (in an In list :) I want to see if anything available in SSMS so that I don’t have to construct the query in Notepad++. And, here you go…you short post saved my bacon:)

    Many thanks again!


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