![I need to use the "Diagram Pane" in SQL Server Mgmt Studio for SQL Server 2012 (it is the ONLY way I can design queries) but it is grayed out and I don't know how to fix it. In the past, I would just return some data from a table by right clicking it and selecting "Select top 100 rows" and then click the "Show Diagram Pane" icon on the toolbar and vioala! But it is grayed out and I don't know how to fix it. (see print-screen)] : /storage/temp/2584-diagrammissing.png
How are you attempting to access the tool? Those toolbars will only activate when you're in the right window. To create a query using the design tool, you need to follow the steps here -
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187937(v=sql.110).aspx * navigate to the table in the database * right-click, and select "Open Table" That should allow you to carry on with the query designer.
I think you might be confusing the table and query designers. In my SSMS I can right click on a table and select Design. That opens the table designer. If I right click in a query text window I can select Design Query in Editor to load the query editor. These designers make it easy enough to do simple things but anything more complicated just baffles me. I strongly advise you to pick learn the basic SQL syntax if you plan to work with databases. It's pretty simple compared to programming languages. There's a book called Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, published by SAMS, that will get you up and running really quickly. (The title is a bit misleading. They mean 10 minute chunks, not 10 minutes altogether. I'd love to have a book like that!)