MYSQL Tutorial

MySQL CHAR_LENGTH() function

CHAR_LENGTH() function

MySQL CHAR_LENGTH() returns the length (how many characters are there) of a given string. The function simply counts the number characters and ignore whether the character(s) are single-byte or multi-byte. Therefore a string containing three 2-byte characters, LENGTH() function will return 6, whereas CHAR_LENGTH() function will returns 3.


CHAR_LENGTH (string)


Name Description
string A string whose length is to be retrieved.

Syntax Diagram:

MySQL CHAR_LENGTH() Function - Syntax Diagram

MySQL Version: 5.6

Video Presentation

Example: MySQL CHAR_LENGTH() function

The following MySQL statement will count the length of the string specified as an argument.


SELECT CHAR_LENGTH('test string');

Sample Output:

mysql> SELECT CHAR_LENGTH('test string');
| CHAR_LENGTH('test string') |
|                         11 | 
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Example of MySQL CHAR_LENGTH() function with where clause

The following MySQL statement will count how many characters are there in the names of publishers (pub_name) from the publisher table, and returns the name and number of characters in the names if the name has more than twenty characters.


SELECT pub_name,
CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)  AS 'character length' 
FROM publisher 
WHERE CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)>20;

Sample table: publisher

Sample Output:

mysql> SELECT pub_name,
    -> CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name) AS 'character length'
    -> FROM publisher
    -> WHERE CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)>20;
| pub_name                     | character length |
| New Harrold Publication      |               23 | 
| Summer Night Publication     |               24 | 
| Pieterson Grp. of Publishers |               28 | 
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

PHP script

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<title>example-char_length-function - php mysql examples | w3resource</title>
<meta name="description" content="example-char_length-function - php mysql examples | w3resource">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.5/css/bootstrap.min.css">
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-12">
<h2>List of publisher's name and its character length, only if the character length is more than twenty:</h2>
<table class='table table-bordered'>
<th>Publisher's Name</th><th>Character length</th>
$db = "your_dbname";
$dbh = new PDO("mysql:host=$hostname;dbname=$db", $username, $password);
foreach($dbh->query('SELECT pub_name,CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)
AS "character length"
FROM publisher
WHERE CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)>20') as $row) {
echo "<tr>";
echo "<td>" . $row['pub_name'] . "</td>";
echo "<td>" . $row['character length'] . "</td>";
echo "</tr>";

View the example in browser

JSP script

%@page contentType="text/html" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@ page import="java.sql.*" %>
<%@ page import="java.io.*" %>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
try {
String Host = "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/w3resour_bookinfo";
Connection connection = null;
Statement statement = null;
ResultSet rs = null;
connection = DriverManager.getConnection(Host, "root", "datasoft123");
statement = connection.createStatement();
String Data ="SELECT pub_name,CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name) AS 'character length' FROM publisher WHERE CHAR_LENGTH(pub_name)>20";
rs = statement.executeQuery(Data);
<TABLE border="1">
<tr width="10" bgcolor="#9979">
<td>Publisher's Name</td>
<td>Character length</td>
while (rs.next()) {
<TD><%=rs.getString("character length")%></TD>
<%   }    %>
} catch (Exception ex) {
out.println("Cant connect to database.");


We have already discussed in description section that LENGTH() function returns the length of the string calculated by number bytes whereas CHAR_LENGTH() function returns the length of the string calculated by numbers of characters. See the following example :

mysql> select length('§'), char_length('§');
| length('§')| char_length('§')|
| 2          | 1               |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

The section sign (§, Unicode U+00A7) occupies 2 bytes even though it is a single character.

All String Functions

MySQL String Functions, slide presentation

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