SSMS Trick: Edit Large Procedures with the Splitter Bar

SQL Server

Here’s a SQL Server Management Studio trick that comes in super handy when you’ve got long pieces of code. I almost never see anyone use this, and I think the reason is that few people know about it.

When I’m working on a stored procedure, sometimes I want to add in a new variable or a temp table. I declare ’em all at the top of the procedure, but I’m working much farther down in the proc than that.

SSMS Need to add a temp table!
If I scroll up to add the temp table at the top, I have to find my way back here. And I’m *lazy*.

I don’t have to lose my place. I can split the window using a cool, but hard to see feature known as the “splitter bar”.

Finding the splitter bar icon in SSMS
This tiny icon is the “splitter bar”

Drag the splitter bar down. I now have two synchronized views into my procedure.

Dragging down the splitter bar
Dragging down the splitter bar opens up two work “zones” in the same document.

Voila, I can add my temp table in the right area without losing my place.

Editing two zones in SSMS
A great reason to justify that huge monitor you need for productivity.

This feature isn’t specific to SQL Server Management Studio– it exists in lots of other products. (Including Word!) But the feature is hard to spot and most folks just never seem to learn about it. (I had no idea it was there myself until Jeremiah showed it to me a while back, and now I’m addicted to it.)

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