SSMS : More flexible tab display - by AaronBertrand

Status : 

  Won't Fix<br /><br />
		Due to several factors the product team decided to focus its efforts on other items.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.


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ID 472800 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Suggestion Repros 1
Opened 7/6/2009 11:40:59 AM
Access Restriction Public

Description

I know I have been very vocal about the tabs and what should appear on them, and while there have been some great enhancements in the 2008 version of the product, I think there are still a few things I would like to see for better usability.

Even as screens are getting bigger and people have 2 or 4 on their desk, screen real estate is still a valuable commodity -- many of us use remote desktop and often connect to remote workstations or, worse yet, servers in our data center that are not set up to support > 640x480 or 800x600.

This wastage of real estate is most noticeable when I am running Management Studio in one of these scenarios.

The main problem is that, with the default settings, if I have more than four or five queries open, there is so much space wasted on the tab that I have to scroll to see the rest.  This is really annoying because the down arrow that shows the rest of the windows (a) does not differentiate between query windows that are "visible" and queries that are not, and (b) the space there is truncated in the same useless way.  It also doesn't bother to list them in any order that relates to the order of queries in the tab strip; instead, it orders them alphabetically (and if you have > 10, SQLQuery10.sql sorts before SQLQuery2.sql, so it doesn't even maintain chronological order with the defaults).  Here you can see I have 11 query windows open, but only 7 of them are visible, and there is no indication in the dropdown which queries are visible:

http://aaronbertrand.com/voodoo/tabs_7_visible.gif

In order to make a little more room for the tabs (so I don't have to use the scroll arrow), I often end up closing or hiding Object Explorer, and this interferes with productivity as well.  Besides, this only increases the limit by 1 or 2 windows until I am in the same situation again.

Next we have the horrible defaults for new query file names (SQLQueryN.sql).  What good are these?  Can't we prevent them from displaying a name until we have saved them?  This doesn't help me identify a particular query unless I happen to know precisely which window I opened, and in which order, when I wrote that line of code I'm trying to find.

What I end up doing to resolve most of this is turning off all the options for the tab except server name.  This would allow me to fit a LOT more windows in the same space.  The same window above can now fit 10 windows in the active space, when the other details (which are available in the status bar anyway) have been removed from the tab:

http://aaronbertrand.com/voodoo/tabs_10_visible.gif

But, as it turns out, I can't disable the file name display either, because when I *have* named the file with a purpose, THAT is when I want to see the file name.  If SSMS has named the file for me, and I haven't saved it, the file name is absolutely useless to me and serves no purpose.  It is actually anti-helpful as it is stealing valuable real estate I would rather not be wasting.
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Posted by notalreadytaken on 6/10/2011 at 1:40 PM
If you ever change your minds and override the VS tab behavior, I suggest that you give the user the option of dynamically entering the tab text and/or highlighting part of the script (the key statement or part of a comment) and in the context menu (right-click) having a “Label Tab” option (or something like that) to change to tab text to that string.

It's awkward and kludgy to have to explicitly save the file in order to change the tab text into something meaningful.
Posted by Microsoft on 5/12/2011 at 7:20 AM
Hi Aaron,

This is a follow up email for connect item 472800 - flexible tab display in SSMS.

As you might know, the current SSMS is built on top of the Visual Studio shell and hence inherits the same tab behavior as VS. We evaluated overwriting this behavior in SSMS (in fact in conjunction with similar other requests regarding temporary query files etc.). Unfortunately the dev effort required does not fit into current schedules. Accordingly we are closing the issue as wont fix. We will likely take this and related issues in a next release.

thank you

Seshagiri
PM, SSMS
Posted by Rob McCauley on 2/18/2011 at 12:33 PM
Hear hear! As a database developer, need to open several files and query windows at once. As soon as I pass 5 open windows, SSMS hides the rest and makes it difficult to locate and activate the hidden windows.

Textpad has the concept of a multi-line tab area. So you can have an initial tier of 5 tabs, a second row with five more, etc.

Can we have this in the next version of SSMS please!
Posted by Microsoft on 3/11/2010 at 12:46 AM
Thanks for taking the time to submit your suggestion and I apologize for the delay in responding to this.

Your feedback is very valuable to us. During every release, we make sure to review all customer suggetsions to help guide our decision making. After taking a look at the suggestions and priorities for this release, we have decided to consider this suggestion for future release. We will keep this issue open and revisit it during our planning for future release.

If you have any other comments or feeback then feel free to contact me directly at nikhilku@microsoft.com

Thanks,
Nikhil Kumar
nikhilku@microsoft.com
Posted by Microsoft on 3/11/2010 at 12:43 AM
Thanks for taking the time to submit your suggestion and I apologize for the delay in responding to this.

Your feedback is very valuable to us. During every release, we make sure to review all customer suggetsions to help guide our decision making. After taking a look at the suggestions and priorities for this release, we have decided to consider this suggestion for future release. We will keep this issue open and revisit it during our planning for future release.

If you have any other comments or feeback then feel free to contact me directly at nikhilku@microsoft.com

Thanks,
Nikhil Kumar
nikhilku@microsoft.com
Posted by David Rueter on 9/26/2009 at 4:48 PM
This has been a problem for me as well. I often end up with a large number of tabs open, most of them with new, un-saved queries. It is extremely difficult to find the right tab when there are more than 10 or so present.

What if there were a simple convention that would allow the user to label the tab? For example, what if the first line of the query window could optionally contain something like

//##tl=Update Sales

This could be parsed by SSMS, and cause the tab to display "Update Sales". (//##tl= would be the token SSMS would watch for--tl for Tab Label)

This would be incredibly flexible: if users didn't key in such a line, SSMS behavior could remain as it is: this update wouldn't need to break anything. If the line were keyed in, the tab would be immediately labled. If the line were the first line of a saved query, the tab would be labeled upon load of the file--otherwise the filename could be displayed as normal.