It’s two helps in one!

Did you know that you can show help in two different ways from SQL Server Management Studio? Most of us like the full client of Books Online, which is actually a program called the “DExplorer”. This tool has multiple windows, a URL bar, a search feature and more. But those of you who are more familiar with the Visual Studio interface which SSMS borrows might be more comfortable not launching another tool. You can set up SSMS to use Books Online in another tab rather than launching a new tool.


Open the Tools menu and then select Options. Click on Help and then select the Integrated Help Viewer in the Show Help Using: option. You’ll have to close SSMS and restart it for that to take effect. Now you can highlight a word in T-SQL and press F1, and you’ll get a new panel that shows the Books Online Entry.


Don’t worry – you can still use Books Online if you like, either from the Windows Start menu or by changing the option back again.

Comments (2)
  1. BEACHDBA says:

    Been using SSMS for over 2 years and didn’t know this.  I like it though, especially coupled with the help toolbar.

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