SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Trick

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I just had a Tremors moment. “Everybody knows about ’em Earl, we just never told you.” Except that no one I showed it to has ever seen it before. So maybe this is something a little new.

I had a database selected in the Object Explorer window and I had the Object Explorer Details window open. I noticed a little icon at the bottom of the screen:


Then I saw that the bar above it was a moveable bar. So I moved it and saw this:


Whoa! So then I tried a table, HumanResources.Department from AdventureWorks2008:


Which caused me to check a procedure:


Each line has a little icon on the side that lets you copy it, line by line. It’s really just a way to display the basic properties about the object in a readily accessible format. It’s not going to change my life, or yours, but it sure is handy to know a quick way to access some basic information.


  • Aaron Bertrand

    F4 is also a lot more handy in SSMS these days than it used to be. My favorite is when you hit F4 after clicking on a node in a graphical execution plan. But it works for several other things as well, including tables, procedures, etc. And doesn’t make you keep object explorer details open (which causes some problems of its own, at least pre-CU3).

  • scarydba

    I know what you mean about explorer details. I only saw this because I had the window open for the first time in… I’m not sure, a long time.

    I’m not getting consistent behavior on F4. It does work well in a diagram, but it’s not bringing anything up from the Object Explorer.

  • Aaron Bertrand

    Hmm you’re right about F4, where else do I remember that working? I thought for sure it was context sensitive to something that involved objects, or maybe that was just a Connect dream I had. I guess in a query window it is useful, it tells you things like when the query started, finished and elapsed time (even if it has already finished), and a bunch of details about the connection that aren’t available in the tab or status bar.

OK, fine, but what do you think?