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How to use the LIKE Operator and Wildcard Characters in SQL

The SQL LIKE clause is used to compare a value to similar values using wildcard operators. There are two wildcards used in conjunction with the LIKE operator. The percent sign (%) The underscore (_) The percent sign represents zero, one or multiple characters. The underscore represents a single number or character. These symbols can be used in combinations.


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Michael Esoimeme

5 months ago | 2 min read
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The SQL LIKE clause is used to compare a value to similar values using wildcard operators. There are two wildcards used in conjunction with the LIKE operator.

  • The percent sign (%)
  • The underscore (_)

The percent sign represents zero, one or multiple characters. The underscore represents a single number or character. These symbols can be used in combinations.

Syntax

The basic syntax of % and _ is as follows −

SELECT FROM table_name

WHERE column LIKE 'XXXX%'

or

SELECT FROM table_name

WHERE column LIKE '%XXXX%'

or

SELECT FROM table_name

WHERE column LIKE 'XXXX_'

or

SELECT FROM table_name

WHERE column LIKE '_XXXX'

or

SELECT FROM table_name

WHERE column LIKE '_XXXX_'

You can combine N number of conditions using AND or OR operators. Here, XXXX could be any numeric or string value.

https://youtu.be/9bOniezl7Qo video tutorial SQL LIKE CLAUSE

Example

The following table has a few examples showing the WHERE part having different LIKE clause with '%' and '_' operators −

Sr.No.Statement & Description

WHERE SALARY LIKE '200%'

Finds any values that start with 200.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '%200%'

Finds any values that have 200 in any position.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '_00%'

Finds any values that have 00 in the second and third positions.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '2_%_%'

Finds any values that start with 2 and are at least 3 characters in length.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '%2'

Finds any values that end with 2.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '_2%3'

Finds any values that have a 2 in the second position and end with a 3.

WHERE SALARY LIKE '2___3'

Finds any values in a five-digit number that start with 2 and end with 3.

Let us take a real example, consider the CUSTOMERS table having the records as shown below.

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

| ID | NAME | AGE | ADDRESS | SALARY |

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

| 1 | Ramesh | 32 | Ahmedabad | 2000.00 |

| 2 | Khilan | 25 | Delhi | 1500.00 |

| 3 | kaushik | 23 | Kota | 2000.00 |

| 4 | Chaitali | 25 | Mumbai | 6500.00 |

| 5 | Hardik | 27 | Bhopal | 8500.00 |

| 6 | Komal | 22 | MP | 4500.00 |

| 7 | Muffy | 24 | Indore | 10000.00 |

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

Following is an example, which would display all the records from the CUSTOMERS table, where the SALARY starts with 200.

SQL> SELECT * FROM CUSTOMERS

WHERE SALARY LIKE '200%';

This would produce the following result −

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

| ID | NAME | AGE | ADDRESS | SALARY |

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

| 1 | Ramesh | 32 | Ahmedabad | 2000.00 |

| 3 | kaushik | 23 | Kota | 2000.00 |

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/sql/sql-like-clause.htm source material Tutorialpoint

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Created by

Michael Esoimeme

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Sql, website developer

Am Michael is a data scientist who has received training in Python, SQL, HTML, and CSS. I enjoy teaching because it's enjoyable, and I want


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