Many of our Toad users need to work with really wide tables. By ‘wide’ I mean a table with many, many columns. Oracle currently supports a maximum of 1,000 columns for a table or view. If that includes you, then we can help you. Ok, maybe you don’t have a 1,000 columns, but I’m guessing you work with more than a few tables having at least 100 columns. If you are in Toad and are scrolling left-to-right in the grid, this can get really, really annoying.

So let’s cover a few quick ‘tricks’ to make this a bit less painful.

By the way, it could be worse. I read recently of a NoSQL solution that supported as many as 1,000,000 columns in a table. Barf!

First, something that’s been in Toad a long, long time.

Fixing columns – don’t worry, your table won’t feel a thing. You can fix or pin a column so it doesn’t move when you scroll left or right (yes, just like Excel.) To do this, just right-click in your column and choose ‘Fix Column.’ You can do this as many times as you would like.

I've 'fixed' the first and last name columns. They 'stick' while I scroll.

Yes, the Other Toads Can Do This Too
A frequent complaint for my blog is that I don’t talk enough about Toad for SQL Server or Toad for ‘XYZ.’ Guilty! Ok, here’s a chance for me to brag on our other Toads. They actually give you much more flexibility for fixing columns. Instead of being limited to fixing a column on the left, I can fix to both the left and right sides of a grid.

Toad for Data Analysts, SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, & Sybase let you fix columns left and right

Now, A Couple of New Tricks for Your Toad Toolbag!

Ok the first one isn’t really new, but I just remembered it – ‘Sort Columns.’ On a mouse-right-click you can choose ‘Sort Columns.’ You can then click the nifty-gilifty ‘Alphabetize’ button. This will reorder the columns in alphabetical order. Hopefully this will make things easier to find.

However, as a developer you may need to know what ordinal position your column is. So, a brand-new feature for Toad v11 is the ability to label the column headings with numeric label. To turn this on, go to View – Options – Schema Browser – Data Tab and enable ‘Include Column ID in grid column header.’

Have the best of both worlds - find your columns and know where they belong.

Well Jeff, That Is Indeed Nifty-Gilifty, But I Hate It!

Maybe you don’t want to mess with your table and view column presentations, preferring to leave it as the good database designer in the sky intended. Have no fears, you still have relief! Also new in Toad v11, you can use ‘Ctrl+F’ to ‘find’ your column in a grid.

You already know how to use Ctrl+F to find data in your grid, now you can use the same keyboard shortcut to find columns. Once you select the column you are looking for, Toad will scroll as little as possible, so the target column can be found on the right hand side of the screen.

Ctrl+F now works for Data and Columns

I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


  1. Avatar
    arif gulzar Reply

    Any plan to develop features to manage/interact with oracle nosql db? with sqldeveloper…

  2. Avatar

    Yes, it’s right-click, and select “Reset Columns”. Thanks I thought I had broke my Toad! (Toad v 10.6)

  3. Avatar

    toad v10. how to unFix a column once a it has been fixed?

    also, no matter what column I right click on and choose fix column, the first column is always fixed.

    • JeffS

      Hey dj, I don’t support this product anymore, but try right-clicking and looking for a ‘reset’ or ‘restore’ option.

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