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Customizing SSMS – Bigger Queries

March 21, 2013

This is a short series on some customizations in SSMS to make it visually more appealing.

As a presenter, I’ve learned how to change the way Management Studio (SSMS) looks to make it easier for people to see the screen on a projector. I had wrongly assumed that so many people knew many of these tricks, which is a poor attitude on my part. That should be especially apparent as I saw a presentation recently where the speaker didn’t know how to make things easier to see.

Here’s another item I saw someone struggle with recently, the query font size.

The Default View

When you install SSMS, this is what you often get, and how your queries look:

ssms_f

Not easy to read, especially for these old eyes. When someone uses the default settings in SSMS and presents on a big screen, I am usually struggling to see, sometimes even when I sit in the front row.

Customizing

You can make SSMS easier to read for yourself in a couple ways. The first is the quickest, but it’s a change for only the current SSMS execution. If you close and re-launch it, things will return back to the previous settings.

If you look below the query and above the results, there’s a drop down that says 100% in it.

ssms_g

If you click that, you’ll get a drop down of some percentages you can choose.

ssms_h

These percentages will change the size of the query pane. For example, if I choose 200%, you can see things are much easier to read. The query pane is much better than the results. This is great for quick changes when you are presenting.

ssms_i

For permanent changes, this is what I quickly do. Go to the Tools menu at the top of SSMS and select Options. You will get this dialog:

Capture_002

I’ve selected “Fonts and Colors” from the left already, but once you do that, there’s a “Size” drop down on the right. Choose that.

Capture_003

I usually set that to 14 and it looks good for me. A balance of large size, but still being able to get lots of code on the screen.

Capture_004

This make it easier to read your code. In another post I’ll talk about results.

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