# Delimiting special characters and reserved words

# Basic Method

The basic method to escape reserved words for SQL Server is the use of the square brackets ([ and ]). For example, Description and Name are reserved words; however, if there is an object using both as names, the syntax used is:

SELECT [Description]
FROM   dbo.TableName
WHERE  [Name] = 'foo'

The only special character for SQL Server is the single quote ' and it is escaped by doubling its usage. For example, to find the name O'Shea in the same table, the following syntax would be used:

SELECT [Description]
FROM   dbo.TableName
WHERE  [Name] = 'O''Shea'

# Remarks

Generally speaking, it is best not to use T-SQL Reserved Words as table names, column names, programming object names, alias etc. So the method to escape these keywords should only be applied if you are inheriting a database design that cannot be changed.

For reserved words, usage of the square brackets is not mandatory. When using a tool such as SQL Server Management Studio, the reserved words will be highlighted to bring attention to the fact that they are reserved.