The Properties Window in SSMS seems lame to me. All it shows is the current connection properties. I would like to be able to click on an object in the Object Explorer (e.g. a table or a column) and instantly see the corresponding properties displayed in the Properties Window. Is there some setting in Options that would make this possible?

Now, if I switch to a database diagram and select a box (Table) or field (Column), the Properties Window updates accordingly. But I rarely interact with DB diagrams. I want this functionality while I am working in the Query Designer. Is there anyway to do this?

1 Answer 1


There's nothing out of the box that will let you do this.

This is kind of confusing... because the Properties window never shows properties about anything in Object Explorer. If you right-click | Properties on anything in Object Explorer, you always get a pop-up dialog box. The Properties window only shows properties for objects that appear in select MDI-style windows, such as query windows.

Having said that, even though there's no way to do this, I'm not even sure it's such a good idea.

In order to return that kind of information to the UI, SSMS has to hit the server with a metadata query. SSMS is a data-driven application; it's just special in that it operates on SQL Server itself. IntelliSense works the same way. If you're on a production server, you probably don't want this kind of thing enabled because every time you touch a different node in Object Explorer (which is very frequently), it will have to hit the server to retrieve the data. And then you get into a debate about how to turn it off, and ......

  • some good points. thanks. (I still wish it was at least an option -- especially while working on a dev server. It would be super useful for getting aquainted with a new database.)
    – kmote
    May 30, 2012 at 14:08
  • I think kmote may have been thinking of something more along the lines of some functionality that i know of that exists in Oracle SQL Developer. In Oracle SQL Developer, if you highlight an object name, such as a table name, function, or procedure, and press SHIFT+F4, you are presented with a popup of the objects properties. This saves the effort of navigating the object tree. Unfortunately i'm not aware of similar functionality in SMSS.
    – user11208
    Aug 28, 2012 at 19:41
  • @msMask: There are dedicated Properties windows for most objects in SSMS, as I mentioned. What's under discussion is populating that same information in a context-sensitive way within one of the main UI windows.
    – Jon Seigel
    Aug 29, 2012 at 1:13

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