Automatically formatting your T-SQL code

An easy method to properly format your code with capitalization, indents, spacing, etc. using T-SQL coding in Microsoft SQL Server.

It is good business practice to format your T-SQL code in order to make it more readable to others. The accepted standard includes capitalizing keywords, applying indentations before certain clauses, using appropriate spacing, and others. However, many developers find it inconvenient to be format-conscious while trying to code, especially if they have a lot of code to type and limited time.

SQL Server 2000's Query Analyzer now includes several advanced formatting options. However, there is no single function that can take your entire script and automatically apply all these formatting standards in one easy step. If you would like an easy way to accomplish this, follow these steps:

1. Open up a table in Enterprise Manager (any table will do), and click the SQL button on the toolbar.

2. Copy/paste your code into the top pane and click the checkmark icon on the toolbar. This will parse your code, and will automatically format it with appropriate capitalizations, indentations, spacing, and parenthesis.

3. Copy/paste your newly-formatted code back into Query Analyzer and save it.

 

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This was first published in February 2005

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