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SQL SELECT WHERE field contains words


Question

I need a select which would return results like this:

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE Column1 CONTAINS 'word1 word2 word3'

And I need all results, i.e. this includes strings with 'word2 word3 word1' or 'word1 word3 word2' or any other combination of the three.

All words need to be in the result.

2017/08/15
1
594
8/15/2017 6:35:04 PM

Accepted Answer

Rather slow, but working method to include any of words:

SELECT * FROM mytable
WHERE column1 LIKE '%word1%'
   OR column1 LIKE '%word2%'
   OR column1 LIKE '%word3%'

If you need all words to be present, use this:

SELECT * FROM mytable
WHERE column1 LIKE '%word1%'
  AND column1 LIKE '%word2%'
  AND column1 LIKE '%word3%'

If you want something faster, you need to look into full text search, and this is very specific for each database type.

2013/01/12
884
1/12/2013 6:27:42 AM

Note that if you use LIKE to determine if a string is a substring of another string, you must escape the pattern matching characters in your search string.

If your SQL dialect supports CHARINDEX, it's a lot easier to use it instead:

SELECT * FROM MyTable
WHERE CHARINDEX('word1', Column1) > 0
  AND CHARINDEX('word2', Column1) > 0
  AND CHARINDEX('word3', Column1) > 0

Also, please keep in mind that this and the method in the accepted answer only cover substring matching rather than word matching. So, for example, the string 'word1word2word3' would still match.

2014/09/05

Function

 CREATE FUNCTION [dbo].[fnSplit] ( @sep CHAR(1), @str VARCHAR(512) )
 RETURNS TABLE AS
 RETURN (
           WITH Pieces(pn, start, stop) AS (
           SELECT 1, 1, CHARINDEX(@sep, @str)
           UNION ALL
           SELECT pn + 1, stop + 1, CHARINDEX(@sep, @str, stop + 1)
           FROM Pieces
           WHERE stop > 0
      )

      SELECT
           pn AS Id,
           SUBSTRING(@str, start, CASE WHEN stop > 0 THEN stop - start ELSE 512 END) AS Data
      FROM
           Pieces
 )

Query

 DECLARE @FilterTable TABLE (Data VARCHAR(512))

 INSERT INTO @FilterTable (Data)
 SELECT DISTINCT S.Data
 FROM fnSplit(' ', 'word1 word2 word3') S -- Contains words

 SELECT DISTINCT
      T.*
 FROM
      MyTable T
      INNER JOIN @FilterTable F1 ON T.Column1 LIKE '%' + F1.Data + '%'
      LEFT JOIN @FilterTable F2 ON T.Column1 NOT LIKE '%' + F2.Data + '%'
 WHERE
      F2.Data IS NULL
2014/12/30

Instead of SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE Column1 CONTAINS 'word1 word2 word3', add And in between those words like:

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE Column1 CONTAINS 'word1 And word2 And word3'

for details, see here https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187787.aspx

UPDATE

For selecting phrases, use double quotes like:

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE Column1 CONTAINS '"Phrase one" And word2 And "Phrase Two"'

p.s. you have to first enable Full Text Search on the table before using contains keyword. for more details, See here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/search/get-started-with-full-text-search

2018/03/20

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE 
Column1 LIKE '%word1%'
AND Column1 LIKE '%word2%'
AND Column1 LIKE  '%word3%'

Changed OR to AND based on edit to question.

2013/01/12

If you are using Oracle Database then you can achieve this using contains query. Contains querys are faster than like query.

If you need all of the words

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE CONTAINS(Column1,'word1 and word2 and word3', 1) > 0

If you need any of the words

SELECT * FROM MyTable WHERE CONTAINS(Column1,'word1 or word2 or word3', 1) > 0

Contains need index of type CONTEXT on your column.

CREATE INDEX SEARCH_IDX ON MyTable(Column) INDEXTYPE IS CTXSYS.CONTEXT
2015/06/29