ADS: Notebook Text Formatting

Azure Data Studio has a great feature in the form of Notebooks.  A notebook is a document that allows for executable code such as TSQL or Python as well as notes for documentation.  Notebooks can be utilized to help organize things such as DR runbooks and troubleshooting documents.  What I like best about notebooks is that everything needed can be located in a single file, including data.

When working in a Notebook you have two types of cells, text and code.  The focus of this post is how to format the text cell.  Of course text goes into this cell so that part is easy and of course the text can say anything you would like to say.  When we work with text in Word, there is a format tool bar that we can use to make it look like we want it.  The text cells do not have this toolbar.

You might be asking, without the format toolbar, does that mean we can’t format the text?  That answer is no….we can still format the text, we just need to do it slightly different.  Rather than use a toolbar, we need to use characters.

While not all formatting options are available in Notebooks, there are a few commonly used options that are.  These are below as well as a few others we won’t cover in this post.

        • Font Size
        • Font Weight
        • Bullet lists
        • Italics

Here is an example of what your text might look like with formatting.  Notice that there are different size fonts, bold fonts, email address, URL and a small section highlight(blue vertical bar).  We will go over each of these in this post.

First of all, in order to get to the location that allows you to format the text, you simply need to find the text you want to format and double click on it.  When you do, the box to format the data will appear just above it.  Similar to below.

The chart below has an example of each of the font options. The sample code is in the parenthesis.

 

Font Changes in a Notebook

Formatting Applied and Sample code Example
No Formatting
One #

(# Font Changes)

Two #

(## Font Changes)

Three #

(### Font Changes)

Four #, adds bold

(#### Font Changes)

Five #, adds bold

(##### Font Changes)

Six # – Makes font tiny and bold

(###### Font Changes)

Seven # – no impact at all, prints the # signs

(####### Font Changes)

Italics

The above chart shows how to change the size and weight of the text.  Well, what if I want the text to be italics.  To do this we will use the *, well actually a pair of them. One will be placed at the start of the text you want to be italics and the other will be placed at the end.

Like this:   *Font Changes*

This is what it will look like in a Notebook

If you want a larger font you can combine characters.

Using both the # and *, we can get a larger font as well as italics.

This is what it would look like:  # *Font Changes*

The image above shows a much larger font and italics.

URL

If you want to include a URL to a web site you can easily do this with out the use of any special characters, such as a # or *.  When you do, the text to the URL appear just as you type it.  For example, if I want to include a link to my blog I could type, www.davebland.com.  When I do, that is exactly how it will appear in the text, www.davebland.com.

However, what if I want different text to appear, let’s say I want “Dave Bland’s blog” to appear in the text rather than www.davebland.com.  This is also pretty easy.  You will need to utilize the square brackets, [] and a pair of parenthesis, ().

The square brackets will hold the text I want to appear, while the URL will be placed between the ().

Like this:

[Dave Bland’s Blog](http://www.davebland.com)
Here is an example of both.

 

Bold

We already talked about how you can use the # to get a bold font.  But what if I want a word in the middle of the text to be bold and nothing around it.  This is where the * comes in.  We just put two * before and two after the text we want bold.

Like this:

# I what these words to be bold: **Font Changes**
This is what it will look like.  Notice the # at the start, remember this makes the font larger.

 

Block of Text

Azure Data Studio also offers the ability to block off sections of text, similar to the text in the green box  below.  Notice the blue vertical bar and the tinted background.

This is done by placing a > at the start of the line.

This is what it will look like:

You can add more > at the front if you like, this will create blocks in a block.

This is what it will look like:

>>### “Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.” – What movie is this from?

 

And this is the result:

Bullet Lists

The final format item I would like to cover it a bullet list.  Like all the other format options, this is completed by the use of a special character.  In this case it is the plus sign, +.

This is what it will look like:

+ First Bullet
+ Second Bullet
This is the result:

Put it all together

If you use a number of these in one text box, this is what it might look like.

And this is the result:

There you have it….formatting text in Azure Data Studio notebook without the use of a format toolbar.

Thanks for visiting my blog!!!