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Tibor Karaszi

Missing F8 or ctrl-N in SSMS 2008?

Short story: Turn on 2000 keyboard layout and then back to Standard layout.

Long story: 

This topic has been discussed in both the MCT (MS Certified Trainer) as well as MVP groups. Also, see, including the comments.

The mystery seems to be that in some cases you do have F8 and Ctrl-N in Standard layout, where in other cases you don't. For instance I did a check on 4 installations where one had the desired layout (with F8) and the others didn't:

  1. VPC. XP. Clean install. No prior SQL Server stuff. No F8 or ctrl-N.
  2. My laptop, XP. I have 2000, 2005 and 2008 tools as well as 2000, 2005 and 2008 instances installed. No F8 or ctrl-N.
  3. My desktop machine, Vista. I have 2005 and also 2008 instances. I have had 2005 SSMS which was uninstalled before I installed 2008 SSMS. Here both ctrl-N and F8 work.
  4. VPC. XP. Had 2005 both tools and instance which were upgraded to 2008. No F8 or ctrl-N.

I was doing training on 2008 last week and I really needed to find my shortcut keys (I couldn't keep stumbling after menus all the time - too slow). So I switched to what I'm familiar with: the 2000 keyboard layout. I recall thinking for myself that perhaps if I now switch back I will have the desired Standard layout (F8 and Ctrl-N). I forgot all about it until today reading a post in the MVP group from Craig Beere suggesting exactly this. To confirm, I tried this in both a virtual machine (1 above) as well as my laptop (2 above) and it worked indeed.

One thing to watch out for: There doesn't seem to be a way to go back to Standard layout *without* F8 and Ctrl-N. For instance when you get F8 etc, you also get a different shortcut for comment code (or was it uncomment?). So you might want to think a little bit before setting to 2000 layout and back. I'm sure in the end that somebody finds a setting somewhere to control the behavior - and then we know how to switch between the two Standard alternatives...

Published Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:22 AM by TiborKaraszi
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Johan Sassner said:

Or why not use my addin i wrote a while a go that lets you map your own keys to whatever you want?


Ps. Dags för nytt SQLUG snart?

August 26, 2008 6:42 AM

TiborKaraszi said:

Thanks for the pointer, Johan!


Jo, det är väl det. Ska snacka med Tobbe i veckan och planera datum. Som vanligt har det varit lite körigt och denna gång missade både jag och Tobbe att knyta kontakt för att planera datum...



August 26, 2008 11:24 AM

Andre Lombard said:

Great!  I was just about to scream out of frustration.  Happy I googled and found your post.  Saved my day!

November 15, 2008 2:57 PM

Kendra Little said:

Yes, thanks very much for this--- I use ctrl N all the time!

January 1, 2009 5:04 PM

Dominic said:

Was totally going crazy with the near required upgrade to SQL Server 2008 since having getting used to the 2005 Studio Management allowing for Ctrl+N to open a new query.  Greatly appreciated.

August 20, 2009 10:18 AM

Simon said:

Maybe they got rid of ctrl+n because alt+n does the same thing?

October 14, 2009 5:57 AM

Tamas Dezso said:

Simon's comment is quite useful, dontcha think?

I think that it is allright to change the shortcut, but please provide a replacement shortcut. Mouse has always been on my blacklist and I like to do things from keyboard.

Thanks, Simon.

Kösz, Tibor.

November 5, 2009 7:13 AM

anony said:

I was looking for a solution (this post) also for using CTRL-N and my convenience too, but ... you can always use ALT-N also to obtain the same purpose.

April 1, 2010 5:44 AM

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