MySQL String Functions

MySQL provides various built-in string functions to perform different operations on string data. In this article, we show you the list of MySQL string functions and an example of each one of them.

MySQL String Functions

The following are the list of MySQL String functions that are available to work with String data.

MySQL String FunctionsDescription
ASCII()It returns the ASCII Numeric Value of the first or left most character
BIN()It returns a string that contains Binary representation of a number.
BIT_LENGTH()It returns the length of an argument in bits
CHAR()Returns or converts each integer into a character.
CHAR_LENGTH()This MySQL String function returns the total number of characters in a given argument.
CHARACTER_LENGTH()Synonym for the CHAR_LENGTH() function
CONCAT()It returns the concatenated string
CONCAT_WS()WS means with separator. It concatenates strings with given separator.
ELT()It returns string at index number.
EXPORT_SET()Returns the on string for every bit set in a value set, and for every unset bit, this function returns an off string.
FILED()This function returns the Index position of the first argument in the subsequent arguments.
FIND_IN_SET()It returns the Index position of the first argument within the second argument.
FORMAT()Formats the number as per the user specified number of decimal places.
HEX()Hexadecimal representation of a string value or decimal value.
INSERT()This MySQL String function inserts a substring at specified position until it reaches to a specified number of characters.
INSTR()It returns the index position of the first occurrence of a Substring.
LCASE()Synonym of LOWER() function.
LEFT()Returns the leftmost characters specified by the user.
LENGTH()This function returns the length in bytes.
LIKEUse this for pattern matching
LOAD_FILE()It loads the specified file.
LOCATE()Find and returns the first occurrence of a word position.
LOWER()This MySQL function converts a given string into lowercase.
LPAD()It left pads the given text and returns the string value.
LTRIM()Removes the leading spaces.
MAKE_SET()It returns the comma-separated strings set that contain the corresponding bit in bit sets.
MATCH()Use this method to perform a full-text search.
MID()It returns a substring that starts at the user given position.
NOT_LIKEThis is a Negation of LIKE function (simple pattern matching)
NOT_REGEXPThis is a Negation of REGEXP function
OCT()It returns a string that contains an Octal representation of a number.
OCTET_LENGTH()Synonym of LENGTH() function
ORD()This MySQL String function returns the character code of a leftmost character in a given sentence.
POSITION()Synonym of LOCATE() function
QUOTE()It escapes the argument for use in a SQL Statement.
REGEXPWhether the string matches the regular expression.
REPEAT()This repeats the text for the specified number of times.
REPLACE()Find and replace a word with the specified sentence.
REVERSE()It reverses the given string (total characters)
RIGHT()Returns the right most characters specified by the user.
RLIKEUse this to check whether the string matches the regular expression.
RPAD()It appends text for a user-specified number of times
RTRIM()This MySQL String function removes trailing spaces.
SOUNDEX()This returns a Soundex string
SOUNDS LIKE It compares sounds
SPACE()It provides or adds a given number of spaces.
STRCMP()This method compares two strings.
SUBSTR()Returns the substring of a given
SUBSTRING()As the name suggests, it returns the substring of a given string
SUBSTRING_INDEX()It returns a substring from a given string. It uses the delimiter and the number of occurrence value to return the substring
TRIM()This MySQL function removes leading and trailing spaces from a string.
UCASE()Synonym of UPPER() function.
UNHEX()It returns a string that contains Hex representation of a number.
UPPER()This method is used to convert to Uppercase 

MySQL String Functions Examples

The following examples help you to understand these string functions.

MySQL String Functions Example 1

In this example, we are going to use MySQL ASCII, BIN, and BIT_LENGTH functions.


SELECT BIN(10), BIN(25), BIN(34), BIN(8), BIN(4);

MySQL String Functions 6

In this example, we used the MySQL CHAR, CHAR_LENGTH, and CHARACTER_LENGTH methods to find the character for ASCII code, length of a character in MySQL.

SELECT CHAR(84), CHAR(77, 121, 83, 81, 76), CHAR(72, 105);


MySQL String Functions 7

MySQL String Functions Example 3

In this example, we used CONCAT and CONCAT_WS methods to concat multiple string values. Next, we used the ELT to find the word at the specified index.

SELECT CONCAT('Hello', 'World'), CONCAT('Hi', 'All');

SELECT CONCAT_WS(',','Hello', 'World'), CONCAT_WS(',','Hi', 'All');

SELECT ELT(2, 'aa','bb','cc','dd'), ELT(4, 'aa','bb','cc','dd');
MySQL String Functions 1

In this example, we are going to use the MySQL EXPORT_SET, FIELD, and FIND_IN_SET functions.

SELECT EXPORT_SET(5, 'Y', 'N', ',', 4), EXPORT_SET(5, 'Y', 'N', '-', 6);

SELECT FIELD('abc', 'xyz', 'abc', 'Hi', 'you', 'abc');

SELECT FIND_IN_SET('x', 'a,b,c,x,d,e'), FIND_IN_SET('x', 'a,x,c,x,d,e');
MySQL String Functions 2

MySQL String Functions Example 5

In this example, we used MySQL FORMAT function to format the value, HEX to find the hex value. Next, we used the INSERT function to insert the substring.

SELECT FORMAT(98765.126349, 3), FORMAT(98765.126349, 2, 'ru_RU');

SELECT HEX('Hi'), HEX(25), HEX(255), HEX(495), HEX(1235);

SELECT INSERT('TutorialGateway', 4, 2, 'aaa');
MySQL String Functions 3

In this instance, we used this MySQL INSTR method to find the index position of the first occurrence of a substring. Next, we used the MySQL LCASE to convert the text to lowercase and LEFT to find the leftmost characters in a string.

SELECT INSTR('hiabcatabc', 'abc'), INSTR('we abc at abc in xyz', 'abc');


SELECT LEFT('tutorialgateway', 8), LEFT('tutorialgateway', 12);
MySQL String Functions 4

In this example, we used the LENGTH function to find the string length. Next, we used LOCATE to find the index position of the first occurrence of a substring. Within the last statement, the LOWER function to convert the given sentence to lowercase.

SELECT LENGTH('hello'), LENGTH('Hello world');

SELECT LOCATE('at','abcatabc'), LOCATE('abc','we abc at abc in xyz', 7);

MySQL String Functions 5

MySQL String Functions Example 8

In this example, we used MySQL LPAD to append substring to the left side of a sentence, and LTRIM to remove leading spaces. Next, we used MySQL RTRIM to remove the trailing spaces.

SELECT LPAD('MySQL', 7, 'Hi'), LPAD('MySQL', 3, 'Hi');


MySQL String Functions 9

In this example of MySQL string functions, we used MAKE_SET function, MID and OCT functions.

SELECT MAKE_SET(2, 'aa', 'bb', 'cc'), MAKE_SET(1|3, 'aa', 'bb', 'cc');

SELECT MID('tutorialgateway', 2, 5), MID('tutorialgateway', 5, 13);

SELECT OCT(15), OCT(2), OCT(255);
MySQL String Functions 10

MySQL String Functions Example 10

In this example, we used MySQL REPEAT to repeat the sentence, REPLACE function to replace the word with a new substring. Next, we used the REVERSE function to reverse the given sentence.

SELECT REPEAT('MySQL', 2), REPEAT('Hello', 5);

SELECT REPLACE('hello', 'l', 'd'), REPLACE('tutorialgateway', 't', 'AA');

MySQL String Functions 11

MySQL String Functions Example 11

In this example, we are going to use the RIGHT function to find the rightmost characters and the RPAD to append substring to the right side. Next, we used SOUNDEX to find the Soundex value of a given text.

SELECT RIGHT('tutorialgateway', 4), RIGHT('tutorialgateway', 10);

SELECT RPAD('MySQL', 10, 'Hello'), RPAD('MySQL', 3, 'Hi');

MySQL String Functions 8

In this scenario, we used the MySQL SPACE to generate empty spaces. Next, we used the MySQL SUBSTR and SUBSTRING to return the substring from a given text.


SELECT SUBSTR('tutorialgateway', 9), SUBSTR('MySQL Tutorial', 3, 9);

SELECT SUBSTRING('tutorialgateway', 9), SUBSTRING('MySQL Tutorial', 3, 9);
MySQL String Functions 12

MySQL String Functions Example 13

In this example, we used the MySQL TRIM to remove leading and trailing spaces. Next, the MySQL UCASE to convert text to Uppercase and SUBSTRING_INDEX to return substring upto index position of a specified delimiter.

SELECT SUBSTRING_INDEX('hi,how are,you', ',', 2);

SELECT TRIM(' hi '), TRIM(BOTH 'A' FROM 'AAAAhello worldAAAA');

SELECT UCASE('suREsh'), UCASE('TutoriALgatEway');
MySQL String Functions 13

Here, we used the MySQL UNHEX to return the text from the hex number. Next, we used MySQL UPPER to convert the text to uppercase. The last QUOTE statement is to skip or escape special characters.

SELECT UNHEX('4869'), UNHEX('255'), UNHEX('4D7953514C');

SELECT UPPER('Hi'), UPPER('HeLlo world'), UPPER('mysql');

SELECT QUOTE('Don\'t Worry!');
MySQL String Functions 14