SQL MID() Function

The MID() Function

The MID() function is used to extract characters from a text field.

SQL MID() Syntax

SELECT MID(column_name,start,length) AS some_name FROM table_name;
Parameter Description
column_name Required. The field to extract characters from
start Required. Specifies the starting position (starts at 1)
length Optional. The number of characters to return. If omitted, the MID() function returns the rest of the text

Note: The equivalent function for SQL Server is SUBSTRING():

SELECT SUBSTRING(column_name,start,length) AS some_name FROM table_name;

Demo Database

In this tutorial we will use the well-known Northwind sample database.

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table:

CustomerID CustomerName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country

Alfreds Futterkiste Maria Anders Obere Str. 57 Berlin 12209 Germany
2 Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados Ana Trujillo Avda. de la Constitución 2222 México D.F. 05021 Mexico
3 Antonio Moreno Taquería Antonio Moreno Mataderos 2312 México D.F. 05023 Mexico

Around the Horn Thomas Hardy 120 Hanover Sq. London WA1 1DP UK
5 Berglunds snabbköp Christina Berglund Berguvsvägen 8 Luleå S-958 22 Sweden

SQL MID() Example

The following SQL statement selects the first four characters from the "City" column from the "Customers" table:


SELECT MID(City,1,4) AS ShortCity
FROM Customers;
Try it yourself »