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How to display more text in SSMS

Today’s blog post is going to be a short one but can be very helpful if you’re new to SQL Server. From time to time you may find the need to use the text result instead of the default grid result. You can change this by using CTRL-T for text and CTRL-D for grid. 

Let’s say you want to view carriage returns in your query results. Grid results may display them as a space, which isn’t all that helpful. In this case, changing to text results will display the text as text with carriage returns and line feeds just like you’d see in a document. Only there’s one problem.

To keep the results readable the maximum number of characters to display for each column has been reduced from 65536 for grid results all the way down to 256 for text results!

Changing this default is very simple and is done via the options dialog. Simply navigate to the Query Results > SQL Server > Results to Text section and you’ll see the “Maximum number of characters displayed in each column:” setting. Change it to what you desire and click “OK”.           *A restart of SSMS may be needed to complete the change.


Now more or less text should be displayed depending on what you changed the value to.


Confessions of a Microsoft Addict

Daniel Janik has been supporting SQL Server for 18 years as a DBA, developer, architect, and consultant. He spent six years at Microsoft Corporation supporting SQL Server as a Senior Premier Field Engineer (PFE) where he supported over 287 different clients with both reactive and proactive database needs. Daniel has spoken at several SQL Saturday events across the US and Caribbean and regularly speaks at PASS local chapters.


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