In SQL Server Management Studio you can use the shortcut CTRL + K > C or CTRL + K > U to comment/uncomment lines in bulk.

Is there a similar keyboard function that applies single quotes across a list of values? I have 150 IDs that I have copied from an Excel spreadsheet and I would like to execute a query that uses an IN clause on this list, and I dont want to manually add single quotes and comma around each item.

For example:

SELECT * FROM tbl WHERE someValue IN (

I want to highlight the values and using a keyboard shortcut turn the list into:

SELECT * FROM tbl WHERE someValue IN (

Native tooling approach

Grab a newer copy of Management Studio (2012 SP2 and 2014 are both free, fully functional, and can co-exist with your 2008 R2 tools). Then you can do this.

  1. Put your cursor right before the first leading ABC.
  2. Hold Shift+Alt, then hit the down arrow three times.
  3. Type '.

It's subtle, but you should see a faint blue vertical line here indicating that keystrokes will actually affect all 4 lines (or 150 lines).

enter image description here

Excel approach

If you don't want to use a more modern version of Management Studio, then just add the stuff in Excel. Insert a new column, put a single-quote in the first cell where you want it, hover over the bottom right of the cell until the cursor becomes a solid +, then click and drag to the bottom:

enter image description here

Repeat for the second single-quote, commas, etc. Copy all, paste into SSMS, then do a quick replace for '<tab>, <tab>',, etc.

Regular expression approach

Your third alternative is to use a Regular Expression, valid with all versions of SSMS

  • Find what: {.+}
  • Replace with: '\1',
  • Look in: Selection
  • Expand Find Option
  • Use: Regular expression (checked)

That regular expression indicates find everything and remember what we found Replace everything we found \1 by wrapping it with with tic marks and a comma

If you have more complex requirements, the right chevron next to the drop down arrow on Find what lists the regular expression dialect SSMS/Visual Studio understands

Regex what?


It is very simple in any database:

For example, let's assume that your values are as below.

  • place your cursor on a of abc and press Shift+Alt

  • then press the arrow three times while holding Shift+Alt.

    You will see a blue line came up.

  • keep pressing arrow till you get to the value you want to update and release Shift+Alt

  • then press quote, comma or whatever you want to place there instead of all values

Similarly, place the cursor after the c of abc and apply the above process.

Now the output for the above with quotes and comma should be

  • 2
    How is this different from the first option in Aaron's answer? – Erik Darling Aug 26 at 13:32

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