sp_helptext (Transact-SQL)

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance

Displays the definition of a user-defined rule, default, unencrypted Transact-SQL stored procedure, user-defined Transact-SQL function, trigger, computed column, CHECK constraint, view, or system object such as a system stored procedure.

Transact-SQL syntax conventions


sp_helptext [ @objname = ] 'name' [ , [ @columnname = ] computed_column_name ]  


[ @objname = ] 'name' Is the qualified or nonqualified name of a user-defined, schema-scoped object. Quotation marks are required only if a qualified object is specified. If a fully qualified name, including a database name, is provided, the database name must be the name of the current database. The object must be in the current database. name is nvarchar(776), with no default.

[ @columnname = ] 'computed_column_name' Is the name of the computed column for which to display definition information. The table that contains the column must be specified as name. column_name is sysname, with no default.

Return Code Values

0 (success) or 1 (failure)

Result Sets

Column name Data type Description
Text nvarchar(255) Object definition


sp_helptext displays the definition that is used to create an object in multiple rows. Each row contains 255 characters of the Transact-SQL definition. The definition resides in the definition column in the sys.sql_modules catalog view.


The system stored procedure sp_helptext is not supported in Azure Synapse Analytics. Instead, use OBJECT_DEFINITION system function or sys.sql_modules object catalog view for equivalent results.


Requires membership in the public role. System object definitions are publicly visible. The definition of user objects is visible to the object owner or grantees that have any one of the following permissions: ALTER, CONTROL, TAKE OWNERSHIP, or VIEW DEFINITION.


A. Displaying the definition of a trigger

The following example displays the definition of the trigger dEmployee in the AdventureWorks2022database.

USE AdventureWorks2022;  
EXEC sp_helptext 'HumanResources.dEmployee';  

B. Displaying the definition of a computed column

The following example displays the definition of the computed column TotalDue on the SalesOrderHeader table in the AdventureWorks2022 database.

USE AdventureWorks2022;  
sp_helptext @objname = N'AdventureWorks2022.Sales.SalesOrderHeader', @columnname = TotalDue ;  

Here is the result set.




See Also

Database Engine Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)
sp_help (Transact-SQL)
sys.sql_modules (Transact-SQL)
System Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)