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SSMS Tip – Tab Groups

A few months ago as I came across tab groups in SSMS and once I found them I was very happy to have found this feature, so I thought I’d pass it along.

The way I access a tab group is to right-click on the tab header (for lack of a better term) and the bottom 2 choices in the context menu are:

  • New Horizontal Tab Group – great for comparing execution plans
  • New Vertical Tab Group – great for comparing scripts side-by-side.

I mostly use the horizontal tab groups when I want to compare execution plans because I can usually use a tool like RedGate SQL Compare to compare scripts, but I don’t have or know of a tool that does execution plan comparison.  Here are some screen shots that show what I mean.

Here’s how thing look normally in SSMS:

SSMS Normal You can see I have 2 tabs open and in order to compare execution plans I’d have to switch between tabs, but if I right-click on one of the Query tabs like this:

RightClick

When I select “New Horizontal Tab Group” this is the result in SSMS, which is MUCH better for comparing Execution Plans:

Horizontal Tab Group

I’m sure other people knew about this long before I did, but it is a feature I have found VERY useful so I thought I’d pass it along.

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