THE SQL Server Blog Spot on the Web

Welcome to - The SQL Server blog spot on the web Sign in | |
in Search

Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions.

SSIS 2012 Moving and Resizing

Occasionally someone will email or post a comment about how all MVPs are Microsoft shills. I’m sure I enjoy those comments about as much as the Developer Teams at Microsoft. Let me start by saying that’s simply not true. In fact, it is completely off the mark – at least when it comes to the MVPs I know and with whom I interact. If anything, we are Microsoft’s harshest critics.

Just last week, I sent someone at Microsoft an email with the following complaint (paraphrased):

I do not like chasing down stuff on the SSIS 2012 Control Flow. I click and try to move something, and it ends up in another time zone.

The most helpful tip was to make sure everything is visible on the surface before I attempt to move stuff – especially if resizing or moving items within a container. To assist with this, there’s a helpful “Fit View to Window” button on the surface in the lower right corner:


I have tested the advice and found it sound, so I thought I would share.


Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:00 AM by andyleonard
Filed under: ,

Comment Notification

If you would like to receive an email when updates are made to this post, please register here

Subscribe to this post's comments using RSS



james said:

thanks shill

March 20, 2012 7:30 AM

Mike Honey said:

I agree - this is rubbish usability (still after SP1).  I've raised a Connect Bug for it - please vote:

January 16, 2013 1:57 AM

SHane said:

This issue makes the product almost unusable.  It does not matter 100% or 10%.  How did this product make it out of testing?  Oh wait, we are the Testers!

March 18, 2013 10:13 AM

Jimbar said:

Heres the easy way to re-align to top.

Create an empty task (doesnt matter) in the top left corner - then zoom out of ure project .. ctrl+click the new task, and the next one down - then go to format - remove - vertical spacing and it will lock everything back to the  top


April 5, 2013 9:11 AM

John said:

Jimbar - you are a life saver - nice solution to the bizare un-documented feature of spead-of-ligth travel within SSIS Control Flow panel.

May 22, 2013 7:36 PM

Adam Rutherford said:

AHA!!! Finally found a way to get everything back in the semi-kinda-sorta proper place!

Format -> Auto Layout -> Diagram

Is it intuitive? No. Does it work? Yeah baby!

June 21, 2013 3:10 PM

cswaim said:

Auto layout worked for a small project, can't vouch for a large layout though.

July 11, 2013 4:38 PM

dline292 said:

All the developers on my team are experiencing this too. Now we know why MS added to the undo feature, because you'll be using it all the time with SSIS 2012.

Please vote on the issue that Mike Honey posted on Connect:

July 31, 2013 12:35 PM

Andrey said:

@Jimbar: you are the man! Great hint!

September 26, 2013 8:23 AM

Carsten said:

This GUI is a joke. What a frustrating use of time. This is one big reason why SSIS will never compete with other ETL tools such as Informatica, Pentaho scripting....

March 7, 2014 1:58 PM

Zork said:

You can also select the object you want to move and ctrl+direction arrow to move it.  Not the best, but a helluvalot better than trial and error via drag-and-drop and ctrl+z.

April 8, 2014 7:01 PM

Zork said:

To move an object within SSIS you can use ctrl+direction arrow (2008R2 and 2012).

To resize an object within SSIS you can use alt+direction arrow (2012 only).

April 8, 2014 7:24 PM

Mukti Verma said:

Just recently started using SSDT (Visual Studios 2010) and was extremely frustrated with my first project, impossible to move or drag items to the desired location.


April 24, 2014 5:53 PM

Pillai said:

Who ships out this horrible application? In BIDS, you had a perfectly working canvas, and now, I just want to shoot the screen down in VS2010.

Seriously - did heads roll for this?

May 21, 2014 5:24 PM

SSIS Rage said:

I have been working on a package with multiple vast sequence containers, and the only way I could do it was to do a ctrl-a and then select format -> align -> tops and then move them about until it was useable.

Agreed. How this managed to ship out in a release beggers belief.

October 10, 2014 10:43 AM

LEENA RJ said:

Just use ctrl+a and use Format option. It worked for me .

April 16, 2015 12:41 PM

Valentino Vranken said:

Resizing Sequence Containers in master packages is just terrible thanks to this "feature".  Apparently this is still not solved in SSDT v11.0.5058.0.  Anyone know if there's a hotfix for this version?  The only one I found is too old (

June 17, 2015 10:31 AM

Jonas said:

Jimbars tip worked for me. Be patient. MS bought part of stock deregistered Informatica. Could mean easier Tools. Could also mean no migration path, i.e. more consultancy work to do. :)

August 7, 2015 10:59 AM

Pankaj Pandya said:

Jimber - You awesome man. What an easy way to fix this issue. :)

September 3, 2015 2:59 AM

Shannon Holck said:

Not sure it will persist forever, but I did this:

1. Open Code View (View Code)

2. Find the XML for <DTS:DesignTimeProperties></DTS:DesignTimeProperties>

3. Delete it (be careful not to delete anything else)

4. Save

5. Close and reopen

VijayJonn said he was able to do it by:

Have the focus on the control flow page. Click on Format -> Auto Layout -> Diagram

I have not tried his method yet, but will next time as it is less dangerous than my way! ;)

Andy, I do not think you are a shill.  I think most of your posts are pretty awesome.  I thank you for sharing with the community!

I did find your suggestion above did not work once this has already happened.  I work on a team and there is no telling what I will find when I go to maintain a package.  I doubt I'd remember to zoom out when I move a box if the flow is quite large, but I'll try. :)

January 14, 2016 9:38 AM

Fahim said:

Jimbar, thanks for the tip, has saved me a lot of time trying to format the tasks.

February 23, 2016 8:31 PM

Subhash Chandra said:

Jimber - awesome. What an easy way to fix this issue. :)

March 15, 2016 9:41 AM

Regan Doran said:

I've just spent 2 hours trying to move my controls back from some other time zone.   Jimbar's tip worked extremely well.  thank you.  

And Microsoft, you should be ashamed of releasing this buggy interface

March 21, 2016 11:42 PM

Phillip St Luce said:

I'm extremely frustrated with this interface. Using BIDS in 2008R2, the SSIS designer worked well and now upgrading to SQL Server 2016 and VS2015 it's USELESS to try to arrange your diagram. I'm so disappointed with this productivity blunder!

August 25, 2016 10:38 AM

Steven said:

Jimbar - Thanks so much for your tip! Last Friday I too had speed of light objects moving around on the canvas. Unfortunately, I did not immediately think of using Ctrl+Z to undo the change and wound up making things even worse by trying to arrange items using the mouse. I then thought about using Ctrl+Z, but it only remembered the last 10 changes, so I was stuck. I spent about 40 minutes trying to fix it by painstakingly moving the objects, which was so slow. I spent another 20 minutes today, then found this post.

Thanks to all the others with the other helpful tips suggested!

September 19, 2016 10:53 AM

Rory said:

Great tip for resizing the canvas Jimbar. Thank you

October 7, 2016 4:21 AM

Helen said:

Is there a fix for the way task boxes "resize" themselves if the title is multiple lines? I work on very complex packages and having sequence containers and other task boxes just resize themselves to stretch a line out into one line is making me crazy.  So far I have NO good to say about the 2012 version (which we just upgraded too).

October 18, 2016 1:53 PM

Adolf said:

Funny how people still comment on this article 4 years after it was published.

And any MVP who takes a half-assed answer from a lazy developer and then relays it to the unsatisfied public is indeed a microsoft shill.

November 22, 2016 7:50 AM

Marc said:

kudos, you mvp shill scum

November 23, 2016 7:31 AM

andyleonard said:

I appreciate almost all of the feedback submitted by the Community on this blog. Thank you, Jimbar, for your comment. Many have found it useful and have shared their appreciation.


November 28, 2016 1:23 PM

andyleonard said:

November 28, 2016 1:41 PM

sherry g said:

right click,  auto size ...worked in my case

December 19, 2016 3:17 PM

Leave a Comment


This Blog



My Latest Book:

Community Awards

Friend of Red Gate

Contact Me


Privacy Statement