How to Use LIKE in PostgreSQL: A Beginner’s Guide with Practical Examples

Rate this post

Are you new to PostgreSQL and looking to enhance your database management skills? Look no further! In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of using the ‘LIKE’ operator in PostgreSQL. This powerful tool allows you to search for specific patterns within your database, making it a crucial skill for anyone working with PostgreSQL.

Understanding the ‘LIKE’ Operator

Before diving into the practical examples, let’s first understand what the ‘LIKE’ operator is and how it functions within PostgreSQL. The ‘LIKE’ operator is used to perform pattern matching on text values. It allows you to search for specific patterns or substrings within a column, providing a flexible and versatile way to query your database.

The syntax for using the ‘LIKE’ operator is straightforward. You simply include the ‘LIKE’ keyword followed by the pattern you want to search for. Additionally, ‘LIKE’ supports the use of wildcard characters to further refine your search. The ‘%’ character represents any sequence of characters, while the ‘_’ character represents a single character.

Basic ‘LIKE’ Queries

Now that we have a grasp of the ‘LIKE’ operator and its syntax, let’s dive into some basic ‘LIKE’ queries with practical examples. These examples will help you understand how to search for specific patterns within a column using ‘LIKE’.

Let’s say we have a table called employees, and we want to find all employees whose names start with “J”. We can achieve this by using the following query:

SELECT * FROM employees WHERE name LIKE 'J%';

In this query, the ‘%’ wildcard character is used after the letter “J”, allowing us to match any sequence of characters that follow. This query will return all employees with names starting with “J”.

Read More:   How Many of You Have Learned How to Bake a Cake in Lockdown?

Advanced ‘LIKE’ Queries

Once you are comfortable with basic ‘LIKE’ queries, you can move on to more advanced techniques. Let’s explore some examples that involve multiple conditions and the use of other SQL operators in conjunction with ‘LIKE’.

Imagine we have a table called products, and we want to find all products that have “red” in their name and are priced above $50. We can achieve this by combining the ‘LIKE’ operator with the ‘AND’ operator:

SELECT * FROM products WHERE name LIKE '%red%' AND price > 50;

In this query, the ‘%’ wildcard character is used before and after the word “red” to match any sequence of characters that contain “red”. The ‘AND’ operator is used to combine this condition with the price condition, ensuring that only products meeting both criteria are returned.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

To address common queries and concerns related to using the ‘LIKE’ operator in PostgreSQL, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions:

Q: Are ‘LIKE’ queries case-sensitive in PostgreSQL?

A: By default, ‘LIKE’ queries in PostgreSQL are case-sensitive. However, you can use the ‘ILIKE’ operator instead of ‘LIKE’ to perform case-insensitive searches.

Q: Are there any performance considerations when using ‘LIKE’ queries?

A: Yes, ‘LIKE’ queries can be resource-intensive, especially when used with wildcard characters at the beginning of the search pattern. It is advisable to use ‘LIKE’ judiciously and consider indexing or alternative methods for improved performance.

Q: What are some best practices for using ‘LIKE’ queries?

A: To optimize ‘LIKE’ queries, consider using specific patterns rather than excessively relying on wildcard characters. Additionally, ensure that your database is properly indexed, as this can significantly improve query performance.

Read More:   How to Naturally Wake Your Brain Up? My Brain Feels Like It's Asleep Most of the Time


Congratulations! You have now gained a solid understanding of how to use the ‘LIKE’ operator in PostgreSQL. This beginner’s guide has equipped you with the knowledge to perform pattern matching queries and find specific patterns within your database.

Remember to experiment with different combinations of wildcard characters and SQL operators to refine your ‘LIKE’ queries further. By mastering this essential skill, you will be able to harness the power of PostgreSQL to its full potential.

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the endless possibilities offered by the ‘LIKE’ operator in PostgreSQL today!

Back to top button