SQL and the ALT+Shift shortcut

Something i’ve come across recently is the number of developers out there who don’t know about one of my favourite SQL Server management studio(SSMS) shortcuts. The ALT+Shift command to select an area of onscreen real estate.

This shortcut allows you to select a cross section of lines and rows in in SSMS and add/remove text. This is very good when you want to add something simple like a comma, or a table alias to the beginning of a number of columns.  In the example below, we’ll simply add the typename function to a couple of ID’s, in reality this isn’t going to save much time but just imagine the scenarios were you’ve repetitively copied and pasted the same 2-3 letters, line after line.

My starting point:

From here I want to position my cursor between the comma and the ‘S’ on line three.  Next I simply hold ALT+Shift and then press down.

After doing this I can simply start typing, and should see my typed letters appearing on both lines:

Once that is done, I simply need to go to the end of each line and add my closing bracket.

Finally, in the last screenshot I am simply showing how I can select a range of characters over multiple lines and either delete that which is constraint to my select box or replace it with a set of alternative values.



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