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 string 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 MySQL function returns the string length in bytes.
LIKEUse this for pattern matching
LOAD_FILE()It loads the specified file.
LOCATE()Find and returns the first occurrence of a string position.
LOWER()This MySQL String function converts a given string into lowercase.
LPAD()It left pads the given string 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 function to perform a full-text search.
MID()It retunes 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 string.
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 string for the specified number of times.
REPLACE()Find and replace a string with the specified string
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 string 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 function compares two strings.
SUBSTR()Returns the substring of a given string
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 String 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 function 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);

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String Functions Example 2

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

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


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MySQL String Functions Example 3

In this example, we used CONCAT and CONCAT_WS functions to concat multiple string values. Next, we used the ELT to find the string 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');
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String Functions Example 4

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');
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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');
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String Functions Example 6

In this instance, we used this MySQL INSTR function to find the index position of the first occurrence of a substring. Next, we used the MySQL LCASE to convert the string to lowercase and LEFT function 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);
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String Functions Example 7

In this string functions 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 string to lowercase.

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

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

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MySQL String Functions Example 8

In this example, we used MySQL LPAD to append substring to the left side of a string, 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');

SELECT LTRIM('    Hi'), LTRIM('          MySQL');

SELECT RTRIM('Hello   '), RTRIM('MySQL         ');
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String Functions Example 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);
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MySQL String Functions Example 10

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

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

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

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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 string.

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

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

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String Functions Example 12

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 string.


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

SELECT SUBSTRING('tutorialgateway', 9), SUBSTRING('MySQL Tutorial', 3, 9);
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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 string 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');
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String Functions Example 14

Here, we used the MySQL UNHEX to return the string from the hex number. Next, we used MySQL UPPER to convert the string 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!');
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