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Trekking Through Formatting Forest on the #SQLPrompt Treasure Map

I enjoy themes, and when I ran across the SQL Prompt Treasure Island, I had to take a few minutes and go through it. I wrote about Code Snippet Cove recently, and this post continues to move across the map.

Formatting Forest

Walking through a forest can be daunting. Living in Colorado, I’ve had the chance to hike and explore the mountains of the state. If you’re near the top and can view landmarks, it seems easy. Walking through some forests, when you can’t see a peak, you get a little worried about which direction to go without a trail. It’s serious, as people die every year in my state because they get lost in the woods.

Writing T-SQL isn’t a life or death endeavor, but it can be frustrating when we see code that’s formatted in a way that we don’t expect. I’ve seen truly ugly T-SQL code (from my perspective) in the SQLServerCentral forums, and I often need to copy and paste it into SSMS to get a sense of what’s happening. I used to reformat by hand, but CTRL+K,Y is an ingrained SQL Prompt habit that lets me get code into a style that I can work with.

The part of the treasure map that talks about formatting is long and detailed, and there are lots of resources that can help you format the code better.  Likely, however, you’ll want to open the formatting dialog (shown below) and play with settings to get what you want.

2018-04-04 10_40_25-SQL Prompt - Formatting styles

One of the best features, at least for me, is that I can quickly switch styles from my own to any other, such as a corporate standard. With a right click, I can choose another style, CTRL+K,Y to get to some other format, and then reverse that later.

2018-04-04 10_41_22-

I do this before committing to Version Control, as you should. If you haven’t tried SQL Prompt formatting, get an eval and give it a try. It’s amazing. This alone saves me a ton of time when writing code.

In the next post, I’ll continue on to the Caves of Code Analysis.

The Voice of the DBA

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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