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:


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.


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.


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


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.


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:


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.


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.


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

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