After a recent presentation where I left a few of my audience members unable to see some demos I felt like I needed to make sure I was more prepared for future presentations.  My slide deck was quite visible and I was able to quickly zoom in  on the SQL text in the query editor window, but the results pane was an issue.

I see 2 solutions to the issue.  The first is to simply use ZoomIt, a popular tool that every presenter (except me apparently) already has installed.  ZoomIt is a free download from Microsoft and allows you to quickly zoom in on the screen and draw on the zoomed in portion of the screen.  I’m not going to cover the use of ZoomIt in this post.  It’s been covered pretty extensively by other blogs.  I’ll point you at this one.

The focus of this blog post is to talk about a way to get SSMS to look good when you aren’t zooming and to perhaps reduce the need for so much zooming.

SSMS allows us to change the font and font size of both the SQL pane and the results pane.  We’ll explore how to do each manually now.  Under the Tools menu select Options.  You’ll be presented with this window.  Upon expanding Environment and choosing Fonts and Colors.  This shot shows us the font size for the Grid Results which I have changed to 16 to show it larger than normal.


This is the same screen only I have shown the Text Editor settings to change the query pane.


The Text Editor settings will take immediate effect, but the grid results require a restart of SSMS.
This is all well and good, but I don’t feel like digging through a series of menus every time I enter presentation mode and vice versa.  The information we are changing is stored in the registry so I set about to writing a simple pair of registry scripts that would allow me to make those changes in a hurry.  I use the SQL 2014 tools so the registry key folder in question is

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SQL Server Management Studio\12.0\FontAndColors


At first we may notice that there is nothing in it that looks like a font size.  That is because the folders that store those values are only created if the defaults are changed.  I recommend using the options window as shown above to change the values just once so that you can have the keys created for you.  Notice that we get 2 new folders.  One is for the text editor and the other is for the grid results.  The easiest way to identify them is that the Consolas font is the default for the text editor and Sans Serif is the default for grid results.


Once you have identified your specific path you can create registry key files that will change both values to 16 (or higher) for presentation mode and back to 8 or 10 for normal programming mode.  You’ll still need to restart SSMS to change after running the registry scripts to allow the grid results to change.  I have attached mine here as a sample.  Simply make sure the paths match your personal install.


Reg Files


With “NormalMode.Reg”


With “PresentationMode.Reg”




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