What Is TEXT Data Type in MySQL?


Heather Bennett

MySQL is a powerful relational database management system that allows you to store and retrieve data efficiently. One important aspect of MySQL is its ability to handle different data types, including the TEXT data type. In this article, we will explore what the TEXT data type is and how it can be used effectively in MySQL.

What Is TEXT Data Type?

The TEXT data type in MySQL is used to store large amounts of text data, such as paragraphs, documents, or even entire books. It is designed to handle strings of variable length with a maximum storage limit of 65,535 characters.

Creating a Table with TEXT Data Type

To create a table with a column of the TEXT data type, you need to specify the column name and the data type as TEXT. For 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 has been defined with the TEXT data type.

Benefits of Using TEXT Data Type

Using the TEXT data type offers several benefits:

  • Flexibility: Unlike other fixed-length string types like CHAR or VARCHAR, the TEXT data type allows for variable-length storage. This means that it can accommodate large amounts of text without wasting unnecessary storage space.
  • Efficient Storage: MySQL automatically optimizes storage for columns defined as TEXT by storing only the actual content and not any additional padding or trailing spaces.
  • Easy Manipulation: With built-in functions and operators specifically designed for manipulating text data, working with columns of the TEXT data type becomes straightforward.

Working with TEXT Data Type

Once you have created a table with a column of the TEXT data type, you can perform various operations on it. For example, you can insert text into the column, retrieve and display the stored text, or update the content as needed.

To insert text into a column of the TEXT data type, you can use an INSERT statement like this:

INSERT INTO articles (title, content)
VALUES ('Introduction to MySQL', 'MySQL is a powerful database management system..');

To retrieve and display the content stored in a TEXT column, you can use a SELECT statement:

SELECT content FROM articles;

You can also update the content of a TEXT column using an UPDATE statement:

UPDATE articles
SET content = 'MySQL is an open-source relational database management system.'
WHERE id = 1;


The TEXT data type in MySQL provides a flexible and efficient way to store large amounts of text data. It offers benefits such as variable-length storage, optimized storage space usage, and easy manipulation through built-in functions and operators. By understanding how to create tables with TEXT columns and perform operations on them, you can effectively utilize this data type in your MySQL databases.

Additional Resources

If you want to learn more about working with different data types in MySQL, check out these resources:

Remember, mastering data types in MySQL is essential for building efficient and scalable database systems. So keep learning and exploring the vast possibilities of MySQL!

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