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How to Format SQL Data Records

Reading time 1 min
Published Aug 9, 2017
Updated Oct 11, 2019

SQL FORMAT Function: Main Tips

  • This function is needed in order to format the display of a data field.
  •  Very popular when you need to be formatting dates.

Syntax for SQL FORMAT

SELECT FORMAT(col_name,format) FROM tbl_name;
Parameters Descriptions
col_name Needed. The data record field to have a format.
format Needed. Defines the formatting.

Demo Database

The example table "Products":

ID Name Supplier_ID Category_ID Unit Price Unit_in_stock Unit_on_order
1 Cucumber 3 3 5 crates 19 17 16
2 Tomato 3 3 6 crates 20 24 Null
3 Cheese 3 4 5 kg boxes 11 11 6
4 Milk 4 4 5 L bottles 22 56 12
5 Bread 4 4 36 boxes 26 26 1


In the code example below we pick the name of the product with its price for the present day in the table "Product" (YYY-MM-DD):

SELECT FORMAT(col_name,format) FROM tbl_name

SQLite Syntax: Example

SELECT strftime('%Y %m %d', date) AS new_date 
FROM orders;