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How to add quotes around a list of strings

I have been in the situation many times where I have got a long list of strings that either I need to insert into a table or use in a query. The trouble is they all need a comma and quotes around them so they can be used in SSMS. After much frustration I have come across a solution that works well for me - a macro in Notepad++ which will add the commas and quotes for me.

If you have a list of strings like:

master
model
msdb
db1
db2

And want to put quotes and commas around them all to include in a query so it looks like:

SELECT NAME
FROM sysdatabases
WHERE NAME NOT IN (
               'master'
              ,'model'
              ,'msdb'
              ,'db1'
              ,'db2'
              )

Then follow the steps below:
  • If you don't already have Notepad++ installed go here and install it
  • Run Notepad++ and paste your list of strings into the window. Next you need to record your macro in Notepad++:
    • Click at the beginning of line 1 or where the first string starts and either click on the relevant (play) button or choose Macro --> Start Recording then press the following keys:
    • comma(,)
    • single quote (') 
    • end 
    • comma(') 
    • down arrow 
    • home
    • Then from the menu choose Macro --> Save Current Recorded Macro As... and give your macro a name like Add Quotes.
Now you have recorded the macro it will only play once when you select it, which is not any good if you want to add commas and quotes to a list of many strings. So this is what you do: click at the beginning of the list like you did before but choose Macro --> Run a Macro Multiple Times... and you will see a messagebox similar to this:

Choose the macro from the list and choose Run until the end of the file and it should add quotes and commas around the strings. Some experimentation may be required but you'll work it out. It certainly save hammering away on the keyboard.



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