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PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 1 - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 716 pages
ISBN 0954612027
RRP £32.00 ($49.95)

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SELECT INTO -- define a new table from the results of a query


SELECT [ ALL | DISTINCT [ ON ( expression [, ...] ) ] ]
    * | expression [ AS output_name ] [, ...]
    INTO [ TEMPORARY | TEMP ] [ TABLE ] new_table
    [ FROM from_item [, ...] ]
    [ WHERE condition ]
    [ GROUP BY expression [, ...] ]
    [ HAVING condition [, ...] ]
    [ { UNION | INTERSECT | EXCEPT } [ ALL ] select ]
    [ ORDER BY expression [ ASC | DESC | USING operator ] [,
 ...] ]
    [ LIMIT { count | ALL } ]
    [ OFFSET start ]
    [ FOR { UPDATE | SHARE } [ OF table_name [, ...] ] [
 NOWAIT ] [...] ]


SELECT INTO creates a new table and fills it with data computed by a query. The data is not returned to the client, as it is with a normal SELECT. The new table's columns have the names and data types associated with the output columns of the SELECT.


If specified, the table is created as a temporary table. Refer to CREATE TABLE for details.
The name (optionally schema-qualified) of the table to be created.

All other parameters are described in detail under SELECT.


CREATE TABLE AS is functionally similar to SELECT INTO. CREATE TABLE AS is the recommended syntax, since this form of SELECT INTO is not available in ECPG or PL/pgSQL, because they interpret the INTO clause differently. Furthermore, CREATE TABLE AS offers a superset of the functionality provided by SELECT INTO.

Prior to PostgreSQL 8.1, the table created by SELECT INTO included OIDs by default. In PostgreSQL 8.1, this is not the case--to include OIDs in the new table, the default_with_oids configuration variable must be enabled. Alternatively, CREATE TABLE AS can be used with the WITH OIDS clause.


Create a new table films_recent consisting of only recent entries from the table films:

SELECT * INTO films_recent FROM films WHERE date_prod >=


The SQL standard uses SELECT INTO to represent selecting values into scalar variables of a host program, rather than creating a new table. This indeed is the usage found in ECPG (see Volume 2: ECPG - Embedded SQL in C) and PL/pgSQL (see Volume 2: PL/pgSQL - SQL Procedural Language). The PostgreSQL usage of SELECT INTO to represent table creation is historical. It is best to use CREATE TABLE AS for this purpose in new code.

See Also


ISBN 0954612027PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 1 - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition