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What’s the little popup window in #SQLPrompt?

Awhile back I was working in SSMS and saw this window.

2016-11-21 16_25_51-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66)) - Microsoft SQL Ser

It threw me off since I was trying to write some code and hadn’t expected it. I clicked Escape, Enter, a few things and was getting frustrated when it disappeared.

I ignored it until I saw the window again and then investigated. I’m glad I did because I was able to answer a question from someone else recently that didn’t know how to get rid of it.

Tl;Dr CTRL will make it appear or disappear.

When I am working with SQL Prompt, it’s in the background. I usually just depend on it to pop up some code or give me information. This means when I have a cursor, there’s no sign of SQL Prompt. Notice this below.

2016-11-21 16_27_38-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

As soon as I select an area, as little as one space, I get a small SQL Prompt window in the left sidebar. As you can see in the image below, this has a down arrow on it.

2016-11-21 16_27_44-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

I can click on this, but being a keyboard person whenever possible, I accidently discovered that CTRL will expand this, as shown below.

2016-11-21 16_29_34-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

What threw me initially is that not all my snippets are in this list. Only those that have the $SELECTEDTEXT$ token inside them. These are handy snippets that I want to use to encapsulate text.

For example, let me surround a simple query.

2016-11-21 16_32_00-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

I see the SQL Prompt icon and can click CTRL to open the list. If I type “cv”, I get the Create View snippet.

2016-11-21 16_32_11-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

Once I then hit tab, I get the snippet with my query inside.

2016-11-21 16_32_22-SQLQuery1.sql - localhost_SQL2016.sandbox (PLATO_Steve (66))_ - Microsoft SQL Se

This is especially handy with things like TRY..CATCH, where I can write the TRY part and then quickly surround it with the structure.

Once you get used to this, and learn not to habitually tap the CTRL key (as I do), you’ll find this list of snippets handy. And if you don’t like them, just tap CTRL and get rid of the list.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: Redgate, SQL Prompt, syndicated

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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