November 16, 2015 by Kenneth Fisher
Every time I install a new version of SSMS I make a handful of changes to the default setup. For my own notes, and in case anyone is interested in some of the things you can do with SSMS I thought I’d post a list of those changes.
- Move the Object Explorer, Solution Explorer, Template Browser and Registered Server views to the far left as tabs.
- Change the background color template
A little while back I read a post by Aaron Bertrand (b/t) about how he uses a darker set of colors for the query windows. I tried it and liked it quite a bit better. Currently I’m using Doug Holland’s version (also mentioned in Aaron’s post).
- Move status bar to the top of the window and change the information in the tab heading
- Reset the keyboard shortcuts to default.
Newer versions of SSMS don’t start out with the set of shortcuts I’m used to. This is easy enough to fix by resetting them to the default.
- Map the “Change Connection” option to Ctrl-F8
I frequently re-use the same query window, so I change connections a lot. It goes a lot faster since I mapped it to a shortcut.
- Change the At Startup setting.
This setting let’s you pick what type of connection gets opened when you first open SSMS. So you can have Object Explorer open, a New Query open, both or neither. My preference is neither.
- Modify the New Query template
I add the statement RETURN at the top of any new query that I open.
- Connect to my CMS
At work we use a Central Management Server to keep a shared list of all of our active instances. Obviously when I install a new version of SSMS I need to connect to it.
- Register any instances that don’t go in the CMS
I need to register my local instances since they aren’t going to be in the CMS.
- Change the shortcut to automatically open the project/solution that holds my scripts
I collect a fair number of scripts and write even more. Using project(s) helps me keep them organized.
- Set the scripting option to the version of SQL I most use.
I like to use the latest version of SSMS. Unfortunately these days that means I’m working with a version of SSMS that is sometimes 3 or even 4 versions ahead of the version of SQL Server I’m connecting to. If I want to use the scripts SSMS is going to generate for me I need to tell it what version of SQL I’m scripting for.
- Allow the table designer to save changes even if it requires table re-creation
By default the table designer won’t let you save changes to a table if it thinks it needs to create a new table & copy the data over. For example when you need to add a column into the middle of the table. Since this is one of the places I use the SSMS GUI by preference (over scripting) It’s nice if it works.