Categories:
Conversion Functions

TO_CHAR , TO_VARCHAR

Converts the input expression to a string. For NULL input, the output is NULL.

These functions are synonymous.

Syntax

TO_CHAR( <expr> )
TO_CHAR( <numeric_expr> [, '<format>' ] )
TO_CHAR( <date_or_time_expr> [, '<format>' ] )
TO_CHAR( <binary_expr> [, '<format>' ] )

TO_VARCHAR( <expr> )
TO_VARCHAR( <numeric_expr> [, '<format>' ] )
TO_VARCHAR( <date_or_time_expr> [, '<format>' ] )
TO_VARCHAR( <binary_expr> [, '<format>' ] )

Arguments

Required:

expr
An expression of any data type.
numeric_expr
A numeric expression.
date_or_time_expr
An expression of type DATE, TIME, or TIMESTAMP.
binary_expr
An expression of type BINARY or VARBINARY.

Optional:

format

The format of the output string:

Usage Notes

  • For VARIANT, ARRAY, or OBJECT inputs, the output is the string containing a JSON document or JSON elementary value (unless VARIANT or OBJECT contains an XML tag, in which case the output is a string containing an XML document):
    • A string stored in VARIANT is preserved as is (i.e. it is not converted to a JSON string).
    • A JSON null value is converted to a string containing the word “null”.

Examples

select to_varchar('2013-04-05 01:02:03'::timestamp, 'mm/dd/yyyy, hh24:mi hours');

+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| TO_VARCHAR('2013-04-05 01:02:03'::TIMESTAMP, 'MM/DD/YYYY, HH24:MI HOURS') |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 04/05/2013, 01:02 hours                                                   |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
select to_varchar('03-May-2013'::date);

+---------------------------------+
| TO_VARCHAR('03-MAY-2013'::DATE) |
|---------------------------------|
| 2013-05-03                      |
+---------------------------------+
select to_varchar('03-May-2013'::date, 'yyyy.mm.dd');

+-----------------------------------------------+
| TO_VARCHAR('03-MAY-2013'::DATE, 'YYYY.MM.DD') |
|-----------------------------------------------|
| 2013.05.03                                    |
+-----------------------------------------------+
select to_varchar(log(3,4));

+----------------------+
| TO_VARCHAR(LOG(3,4)) |
|----------------------|
| 1.261859507          |
+----------------------+
select column1 as orig_value,
   to_char(column1, '">"$99.0"<"') as D2_1,
   to_char(column1, '">"B9,999.0"<"') as D4_1,
   to_char(column1, '">"TME"<"') as TME,
   to_char(column1, '">"TM9"<"') as TM9,
   to_char(column1, '">"0XXX"<"') as X4,
   to_char(column1, '">"S0XXX"<"') as SX4
from values (-12.391), (0), (-1), (0.10), (0.01), (3987), (1.111);

+------------+----------+------------+-------------+------------+--------+---------+
| ORIG_VALUE | D2_1     | D4_1       | TME         | TM9        | X4     | SX4     |
|------------+----------+------------+-------------+------------+--------+---------|
|    -12.391 | >-$12.4< | >   -12.4< | >-1.2391E1< | >-12.391<  | >FFF4< | >-000C< |
|      0.000 | >  $0.0< | >      .0< | >0E0<       | >0.000<    | >0000< | >+0000< |
|     -1.000 | > -$1.0< | >    -1.0< | >-1E0<      | >-1.000<   | >FFFF< | >-0001< |
|      0.100 | >  $0.1< | >      .1< | >1E-1<      | >0.100<    | >0000< | >+0000< |
|      0.010 | >  $0.0< | >      .0< | >1E-2<      | >0.010<    | >0000< | >+0000< |
|   3987.000 | > $##.#< | > 3,987.0< | >3.987E3<   | >3987.000< | >0F93< | >+0F93< |
|      1.111 | >  $1.1< | >     1.1< | >1.111E0<   | >1.111<    | >0001< | >+0001< |
+------------+----------+------------+-------------+------------+--------+---------+