Is TEXT a Data Type in MySQL?


Heather Bennett

Is TEXT a Data Type in MySQL?

When working with databases, it is essential to understand the different data types available for storing and manipulating data. In MySQL, one commonly used data type is TEXT. Let’s explore what TEXT is and how it can be used.

What is TEXT?

TEXT is a data type in MySQL that allows you to store large amounts of text-based data. It can hold up to 65,535 characters. The TEXT data type is often used to store long documents, blog posts, articles, or any other textual information that exceeds the character limit of other data types like VARCHAR.

Using TEXT in MySQL

To create a column with the TEXT data type in MySQL, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name TEXT

Alternatively, you can specify a length for the TEXT column:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name TEXT(length)

The “length” parameter specifies the maximum number of characters that can be stored in the column. If no length is specified, MySQL will use the default maximum length of 65,535 characters.

Differences between VARCHAR and TEXT

VARCHAR and TEXT are both used to store textual information. However, there are some key differences between them:

  • VARCHAR has a maximum length limitation (usually up to 255 characters), while TEXT has a much higher limit (up to 65,535 characters).
  • VARCHAR columns are stored inline with the rest of the row’s data, while larger columns like TEXT may be stored separately, potentially improving performance.
  • VARCHAR columns are faster to search and index compared to TEXT columns.

When deciding between VARCHAR and TEXT, consider the length of the data you need to store. If your text is relatively short, VARCHAR might be a better choice. However, if you need to store large amounts of text, TEXT is the way to go.

Working with TEXT Data

Once you have created a column with the TEXT data type, you can perform various operations on it:

Inserting Data

To insert data into a column with the TEXT data type, use the INSERT INTO statement:

INSERT INTO table_name (column_name) VALUES ('Some long text here');

Retrieving Data

To retrieve data from a column with the TEXT data type, use the SELECT statement:

SELECT column_name FROM table_name;

Updating Data

To update existing data in a column with the TEXT data type, use the UPDATE statement:

UPDATE table_name SET column_name = 'Updated text' WHERE condition;

Deleting Data

To delete data from a column with the TEXT data type, use the DELETE statement:

DELETE FROM table_name WHERE condition;


In summary, TEXT is a useful data type in MySQL for storing large amounts of text-based information. It provides a higher character limit compared to VARCHAR and is suitable for storing documents or lengthy textual content. By understanding how to create and manipulate columns with the TEXT data type, you can effectively work with textual information in your MySQL databases.

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