By default, the max number of characters displayed in a single column of a query in SSMS when outputting as text is 256 characters.
We can amend our query outputs in SSMS to Results to Text, rather than the default grid layout. This can be done by clicking the top bar menu button as shown in the screenshot below.
If using text output rather than grid, you may encounter issues with truncated query outputs if a column contains more than 256 chars.
The screenshot below shows an example of a truncated column, only showing 256 out of 550 characters in the column.
The demo below shows how to fix this and increase this SSMS default value to the maximum chars allowed.
Increase SSMS Maximum Characters for Results To Text
To increase your SSMS Maximum Characters for Results to Text, follow these steps.
1. Click Tools at the top menu bar and select Options.
2. Navigate to Query Results > SQL Server > Results to Text.
3. Open a new query Window and re-run your query or procedure.
That’s it, working for you now… I hope.
The reason I note this one down as a blog post is that there are rare occasions where you might need to use Results to Text as a DBA. One example, when working with MSSQL Replication, the output of sp_scriptdynamicupdproc will likely contain more than 256 characters for the procedure statement output.
Feel free to check out my SSMS Tips tag for more random Management Studio tips and stuff.