In my last tip Displaying the Object Explorer Details Pane in SQL Server Management Studio, you learned how to bring up the Object Explorer Details pane. In this tip, you’ll see how to use the “Filter” item in the Object Explorer Details window, to show a specific list of tables that contain a specific string of characters.
In order to use the filter item, first bring up the Object Explorer Details pane for the tables in the WideWorldImportersDW database. I do this by selecting the “Tables” item under the WideWorldImportersDW database and then use the keyboard shortcut F7. Doing this brings up the following Object Explorer Details pane:
You can now see the Object Explorer Details pane on the right. Currently, all the different tables in this database are being displayed. To filter this list of items that only contain a specific string, you first need to click on the filter icon that is pointed to by the red arrow in the above screenshot. When you click on this item the “Filter Settings” window is displayed:
You can now see that you can filter on a number of things: Name, Schema, Owner, Durability Type, Is Memory Optimized, and Creation Date.
Suppose you wanted to display only those tables that have the character string “Staging“ in their name. To enter that filter criterion you would enter the value “Staging” under the “Value” column for the property “Name” and then click on the “OK” button.
When you do this the following is displayed:
Here you can see that only the tables that contain the string “Staging” are displayed. Also note that the “Tables” item in the Object Explorer window now says “filtered”, indicating that the list contains only a filtered list of tables.
By using the filter item, you can quickly remove the items you know you are not interested in. If you have a database with 1000s of tables using the filter feature in the Object Explorer Details window, then it will be really useful to restricting the list of tables you might want to view. It beats browsing down through 1000s of items just to find those few tables that contain a specific string!
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