Split Views of Files: SSMS Still is Best

While programming, I often need to view different parts of a file at the same time. Consider a long stored procedure: the list of parameters is at the top and it may be helpful to reference them when working elsewhere in the code. I could scroll repeatedly between the top of the file and wherever I am working, but that becomes annoying rather quickly, in addition to wasting time.

Fortunately, SQL Server Management Studio, which is built on Visual Studio, has a wonderful solution to this. Each file has a splitter located in the top right corner.

File Splitter: hiding in plain sight

Simply grab the splitter and drag down to split the file. You now have two independent views of the same file! It's a huge time saver, and it's easy!

SQL Operations Studio (which at the time of this writing is still in preview) addresses this problem differently. Rather than having two different views of a file per tab, it lets you open a file multiple times. To do this, right-click on a file in the explorer window, and choose "open to the side".

This accomplishes the goal of letting you view multiple areas of a file at once, but in my opinion it's much less optimal. You need a wider window for it to work (as proven by my narrow video for this post) and depending on the width of your code, that may not be convenient.

All things considered, I prefer SSMS' implementation, and I have to imagine that anyone who has worked in SSMS or Visual Studio for a while would say the same. I have high hopes for SQL Operations Studio, especially since it is still in preview. I don't expect SSMS feature parity in this new tool, but I hope horizontal file splitting eventually makes it into the product.