sp_help is a stored procedure introduced by SQL Server 2000 which reports information about any database object. For example, executing the following SQL command in the context of Northwind will return information related to the table Customers.

sp_help Customers

SQL Server Management, the managing environment for SQL Server, allows the user to define many shortcuts, including shortcuts to stored procedures. The shortcuts are defined in the menu Tools/Options.... In the category Environment, Keyboard, each stored procedure is associated with a shortcut. By default, Alt+F1 is associated with sp_help.

You can use this shortcut in two ways. If the name of the database object is selected, using the shortcut will output information related to this object. For example, selecting the expression Customers and using the Alt+F1 shortcut will return information about the Customers table. In a sense, the selected text acts as the parameter of the stored procedure. If nothing is selected, executing the shortcut is equivalent of running the procedure without any parameters. In our case, it will return basic information of all the tables in the current database.

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