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What is the best way to display an execution plan from SQL Server on SO?

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3 Answers

Screenshot sounds fine, or ASCII if you can get away with it.

Don't do what this guy did, at any rate:

http://stackoverflow.com/revisions/1535085/list

Still laughing about that one.

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Wow... Not just a screenshot of an ASCII-diagram, but a screenshot of a Word-mangled ASCII-diagram... –  Shog9 Oct 22 '09 at 18:46
    
Ah, that was what I was just looking for as a [bad] example. –  squillman Oct 22 '09 at 18:46
    
Excellent example Jeff. –  Troggy Oct 22 '09 at 18:47
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My first thought when I saw that was, "How'd he get Times New Roman" to show up, and then it was, "Why is that squiggly line there." And finally: /facepalm. –  George Stocker Oct 22 '09 at 18:54
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I would say screen cap, or a link to a page that displays it. If it's not an overly complicated execution plan you might also be able to just describe it or list the components in text.

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A screen cap with borders, drop-shadows, and hand-drawn circles. –  Shog9 Oct 22 '09 at 18:45
    
But of course. Red circles. –  squillman Oct 22 '09 at 18:51
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Don't forget the glittering unicorns! –  gnostradamus Oct 22 '09 at 18:53
    
I don't think a screen cap would cut it- the plans can get fairly large. –  Joel Coehoorn Oct 22 '09 at 20:01
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I don't know about screen shots: the plans can get large. Sql Server has an xml option for query plans. I'd go with that:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187757.aspx

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