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


    [ @objname = ] N'objname'
    [ , [ @columnname = ] N'columnname' ]
[ ; ]


[ @objname = ] N'objname'

The qualified or nonqualified name of a user-defined, schema-scoped object. @objname is nvarchar(776), with no default. 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.

[ @columnname = ] N'columnname'

The name of the computed column for which to display definition information. @columnname is sysname, with a default of NULL. The table that contains the column must be specified as @objname.

Return code values

0 (success) or 1 (failure).

Result set

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 isn't 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. Display the definition of a trigger

The following example displays the definition of the trigger dEmployee in the AdventureWorks2022 database.

USE AdventureWorks2022;
EXEC sp_helptext 'HumanResources.dEmployee';

B. Display 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;
    @objname = N'AdventureWorks2022.Sales.SalesOrderHeader',
    @columnname = TotalDue;

Here is the result set.