SQL SERVER Management Studio – ALT + SHIFT Keys Trick to Select Vertical Text

Today we are going to see a quick tip which is suggested by SQL Server Expert Nicklas Bågvinge, whom I met in the Gothenburg earlier this week during a SQL Training. He recently sent me an email about a very interesting SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) tip. Let us learn how we can select vertical text in SSMS using ALT + SHIFT keys.

It is quite common that we want to select often vertical text in SSMS and make our edits like adding spaces, deleting the text or changing the case of the text. It is very difficult to do that as there is no out of box way to select the text. However, if you hold the short cut keys ALT + SHIFT and select any highlighted text vertically they will be selected easily.

Though this is for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), it also works in notepad++ and few other text editors as well. If you know any such trick, please send me an email and I will be happy to post on the blog with the due credit to you.

SQL SERVER Management Studio – Removing Completion Time in Messages
I have researched a bit on SSMS and asked a few friends but I could not find the answer to this one. I am super glad that SQL Server Expert Oz posted the solution for Removing Completion Time in Messages.

SQL SERVER – Check for Update in SSMS
My client asked me quite a few questions about SQL Server Management Studio and also about how the execution plan works overall. During the session, I advised them to check out the latest SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which works with many of the previous versions of SQL Server flawlessly.

SQL SERVER – Generate In-Memory OLTP Migration Checklists – SSMS
First, go to SQL Server Management Studio and right-click on the database for which you want to generate the checklist. The next is to go to Tasks and select the option of Generate In-Memory OLTP Migration Checklists.

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

SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Shortcut, SSMS
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7 Comments. Leave new

  • Jonathan Roberts
    October 11, 2019 7:04 am

    Or just press the ALT key and drag the rectangle with your mouse.

  • Bob McCormick
    October 11, 2019 8:45 am

    Nice shortcut. Another way to do that is to press and then click and drag with your mouse. It will select the rectangle. When testing your shortcut, I discovered another shortcut. Just pressing only, and then pressing the up or down button will move the line that your cursor is on up or down.

  • Sanjay Monpara
    October 11, 2019 10:08 am

    Other way:
    keep pressing ALT key
    using mouse, click and drag towards right down(or any) direction as per requirement to select vertical text.

    Other use:
    This is very easy when we want to append same characters(like schema name, [, ] etc…) in all lines at same time.

  • You can just do it by holding the ALT button..

  • Jonathan Howe
    October 11, 2019 7:48 pm

    This was a great discovery after having worked on a mainframe for so long & being used to block selection. And I like it here b/c you can do it w/o using the mouse so your hands never have to leave the keyboard.
    The other way I use this trick is if I’m creating a decent-sized “IN” clause of a bunch of string values that I copied over from a spreadsheet or other file. I can ALT-SHIFT down the left-hand column to effectively create a large insertion point & add in a comma and starting tick mark & then do the same on the right side of the values. The right side can be a little less slick if the values are different lengths, but since I often work w/ fixed-width account numbers it’s not a big deal.

  • Galen R Giebler
    October 11, 2019 9:44 pm

    Works in many applications, MS Word, visual studio, notepad++…
    Can be done by holding alt, then click and drag with mouse.
    Great for inserting the same text on multiple rows too…

  • Have been using this trick on VS2010 for quite a while now.


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