Is TEXT a Valid Data Type in MySQL?


Larry Thompson

When working with databases, it is essential to understand the different data types that are supported. One of the most common data types used in databases is text.

In MySQL, text is indeed a valid data type that allows you to store large amounts of textual data. In this article, we will explore the text data type in MySQL and its various uses.

Overview of the TEXT Data Type

The TEXT data type in MySQL is used to store large amounts of character-based data. It can hold up to 65,535 characters, making it suitable for storing lengthy pieces of information such as articles, blog posts, or even entire books.

When defining a column with the TEXT data type, you have several options to choose from:

  • TEXT: This option allows you to store up to 65,535 characters.
  • TINYTEXT: With a maximum capacity of 255 characters, this option is suitable for shorter texts.
  • MEDIUMTEXT: This option can hold up to 16,777,215 characters.
  • LONGTEXT: The largest option available, allowing storage of up to 4 gigabytes (4,294,967,295 characters).

Using the TEXT Data Type

To use the TEXT data type in your MySQL database, you need to specify it when creating or altering a table. Let’s take a look at an example:

CREATE TABLE articles (
    title VARCHAR(255),
    content TEXT

In this example, we have created a table called “articles” with three columns: “id,” “title,” and “content.” The “content” column is defined with the TEXT data type to store the article’s text.

Once you have created the table, you can insert data into it using regular SQL INSERT statements. Here’s an example:

INSERT INTO articles (title, content)
VALUES ('Introduction to MySQL', 'MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system.');

The above statement inserts a new row into the “articles” table, providing values for both the “title” and “content” columns. The text for the article’s content is stored in the TEXT column.

Retrieving and Manipulating TEXT Data

When retrieving data from a column with the TEXT data type, you can treat it like any other string. You can use SELECT statements to fetch specific columns or even perform string manipulation functions such as CONCAT or SUBSTRING.

For example, let’s say we want to retrieve the content of an article:

SELECT content FROM articles WHERE id = 1;

This query will return the content of the article with an ID of 1 from the “articles” table.


In conclusion, the TEXT data type in MySQL is a powerful tool for storing large amounts of textual information. Whether you need to store articles, blog posts, or any other lengthy text-based data, MySQL’s TEXT data type provides a reliable solution. By understanding how to define and manipulate columns with this data type, you can effectively manage and utilize textual information within your database applications.

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