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If I save a table in Management Studio's Table Designer for example, I believe it runs DDL SQL in the background. Is it possible for me to grab this SQL so that I can save it to a file?

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In SQL Server 2012, once you've changed a table in the designer, you can go to Table Designer > Generate Change Script. Not sure if that option is there on previous versions. – Aaron Bertrand Oct 17 '12 at 0:44
Ah, excellent and its in 2008. Please write this up as an answer. – Ian Warburton Oct 17 '12 at 0:50
The long term answer is to become well-versed with T-SQL so you don't rely on GUI. – Thomas Stringer Oct 17 '12 at 0:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Modern versions of SSMS (2008+ at least) allow you to generate a change script once you have made changes to a table using the graphical designer. You go to the menu item Table Designer > Generate Change Script.

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That said, I agree with Thomas. In the long term, you should be proficient at T-SQL so that you can write ALTER TABLE scripts without the help of the wizard / graphical designers. They often do things you don't want to do.

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Yes.. hopefully seeing the scripts will help reduce my dependence on the designer. – Ian Warburton Oct 17 '12 at 1:08

You can just go to the table after it is created in SSMS and right click and then select the Script options in the menu.

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I don't think you can get ALTER statements like that, say, if I add a new column. – Ian Warburton Oct 17 '12 at 0:36

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