[Looking for Charlie's main web site?]

Have you sought a keyboard shortcut to "open table" in SQL Server Management Studio?

Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
I'm a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts, so imagine my dismay when I noticed that the new SQL Server 2005 "open table" option, available in Management Studio when you're viewing the tables in a database, had no keyboard shortcut (or Admin menu equivalent). The feature opens an editable grid of data in the table, which is a great when you need to do a quick fix of the data. But you have to right-click to see the option--I wonder how many never even notice it?

So I asked around and got an answer to my keyboard dilemma which actually is a generic windows solution. Did you know that you can get the equivalent of the right-click by using Shift-f10? Whatever you have the keyboard focus on, it will open its corresponding context menu. Very nice.

So in SQL Mgt Studio, open the database, then its tables, then select the table (all of which can be done with the keyboard), and then use shift-F10. You'll suddenly see that each context menu option shows the standard underline under the key to hit to execute that command (it's the "o" for open table).

Hope that may help others.

For more content like this from Charlie Arehart: Need more help with problems?
  • If you may prefer direct help, rather than digging around here/elsewhere or via comments, he can help via his online consulting services
  • See that page for more on how he can help a) over the web, safely and securely, b) usually very quickly, c) teaching you along the way, and d) with satisfaction guaranteed
Hi Charlie, the shift-f10 is very nice. I'm just wondering how you have found using SQL 2005? Would you say it's worth the upgrade from SQL 2000?
I'm a big fan of keyboard shortcuts but I'm also a big fan of the right click, so yeah I noticed the open table option - and like it. And Nick I think it's worth the upgrade.
Oh absolutely, Nick. There are SO many nice and new features, from those benefiting to developers, to DBAs, to ones related to performance, or productivity, or scalability, and so much more. I've already done presentations to SQL groups about the new ReportBuilder (see the presentations link off my main site) and plan to do one to CF groups on an important performance feature that should easily benefit CF developers.

As I'm sure you've noticed, there are many resources out there outlining what's new, including a MS site devoted to what's new, including a "top 30 features" list and much more:


Of course, just as with an upgrade of CF, there is often much more of interest underlying the upgrade than just the "top marketing features", so you do need to dig deep.
That'll be $3.98.

Sorry, couldn't resist Charlie ;) Just kidding.
Smart guy. :-) And I know you said you're joking, but lest anyone else have similar (sincere) thoughts, let me address that.

I'll certainly continue to offer my help for free in all sorts of ways (the blog, mailing lists, user group talks, and more--including a podcast I have planned, different from any ones current or planned that I've heard about).

Of course, the difference may seem about whether I'm "pushing" info, but as I said I mentioned mailing lists, so I'll still be participating in them (as an example) where people will freely raise questions (and expect free answers!).

The difference in the pay per minute service is just about when someone needs help right away and can't wait for those to deliver (whether from me or others), or finds that they don't deliver (and perhaps I'm not on the list to offer help for free).

Bottom line: I'm not QUITE like Lucy who charged her own brother Charlie for advice. :-) I'll still be helping my brothers and sisters for free in plenty of ways. :-)
Thanks Charlie for the Shift-F10 tip. I'm a keyboard shortcut freak myself. In fact, I still attribute my decision to start using Windows over Mac back in 1992 (or so) to the fact that I could press the Alt key to get access to menus in any application (DOS and Win 3.1 back then). Plain old F10 does this too.

Today I use a circa 1996 keyboard that Gateway distributed simply because it has the F1-10 keys to the left of the Tab/Caps Lock/Shift/etc. (in addition to the top). It is also a programmable keyboard. My only complaint about it is that it does not have a key for the context menu (as newer keyboards tend to have). But now I've learned Shift-F10 is my fix for that. And with the F-keys to the left, Shift-F10 is not even a stretch of the hand.

Thanks again.
Actually, you helped me, Matt. I forgot all about that "context menu" key on the modern windows keyboards--and I've got one! It's certainly another solution (and slightly less keyboard gymnastics!) for those who have it. Thanks

My goal originally in seeking out an answer to this dilemma was to hope to find some dedicated menu or keystroke for that "open table" option, but in learning instead to use a keystroke for the context menu, I hope to remember (and remind all) the more generic solution so as to apply it to all such dilemmas. Hope it's helpful to future readers finding this in a web search. :-)
Thanks für ur discussion about open the table - We in Germany miss that shortcut also - here after the shiftF10 You use T (as Tabelle oeffnen - so if You ever know a dedicated keystroke - pse tell here
# Posted By Dieter | 3/1/07 11:13 AM
Dieter, glad it helped. You seem to be asking for a dedicated keystroke, but other than what's been offered above I'm not sure I understand. I can tell you're struggling to speak in English, and I appreciate that. If you want to ask in German instead, I could have someone translate it and then I can offer an answer in both English and German. :-)
Thanks. If only there is a way to open multiple tables at a time, it would be easier for a lazy bum like me. =P
# Posted By Serene Joey | 11/13/07 9:47 PM

Nice post to improve usability. I have taken a different route.
I too am a keyboard fan, but to a higher extend. i don't want to go thru the tables and perform a right-click and open the table[Shift-F10+O]. I would like to do it from my new query window. :) Which i effected using a simple sp and a keyboard code associated with it.

use Master
create PROCEDURE [dbo].[sp_SelectMyTable]
   @TableName VARCHAR(200)
DECLARE @DatabaseName VARCHAR(200)
SET @DatabaseName = DB_NAME()
SET @SQL = 'use ' + @DatabaseName +
' select * from ' + @TableName

I have put ctrl+0 for this sp. Now when i type the table name, select it and press my ctrl+0 i have the full table data.

# Posted By Joe Augustine | 11/28/08 2:19 AM
Thanks for sharing, Joe. Serene, maybe this is a solution for your request, too.
I was so excited to see this tip. However it didn't work for me! Im in Sql 2k5 management studio and when I'm in the list of tables and hit F10, the "file" menu option is activated, not the flyout as though I'd right clicked. Bummer!
@Allen, it's shift-f10. :-)
Hi guys! Nice post, thanks. I've always wondered why there's no shortcut for a quick "open a table".
Another issue (at least it is for me!) is the tabs caption width. You may condiser me pretty crazy, but what's the point of having a description of something that I cannot read entirely?! I mean: when I have multiple table/query, etc. open in Management Studio I cannot see the name of the objects displayed.
The same happens when I move from one tab to the other using ctrl+tab: the active files window is so small that I do not understand what I am selecting.
I've tried to search through the options, but couldn't find anything useful.
Same in the registry: I cannot guess the meaning of all those keys.
Anyone has some suggestions?
Thanks so much!
# Posted By andrea | 4/21/09 1:45 AM
Bump on the active files area being too small.

This has always been a major annoyance of mine in management studio. I was hoping it would be fixed in studio 2008, but it's the same.
# Posted By Matt | 11/3/09 10:10 AM
Copyright ©2024 Charlie Arehart
Carehart Logo
BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.005.
(Want to validate the html in this page?)

Managed Hosting Services provided by
Managed Dedicated Hosting