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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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10.2.1 Searching a Table

It is possible to do a full text search without an index. A simple query to print the title of each row that contains the word friend in its body field is:

SELECT title
FROM pgweb
WHERE to_tsvector('english', body) @@ to_tsquery('english',

This will also find related words such as friends and friendly, since all these are reduced to the same normalized lexeme.

The query above specifies that the english configuration is to be used to parse and normalize the strings. Alternatively we could omit the configuration parameters:

SELECT title
FROM pgweb
WHERE to_tsvector(body) @@ to_tsquery('friend');

This query will use the configuration set by default_text_search_config.

A more complex example is to select the ten most recent documents that contain create and table in the title or body:

SELECT title
FROM pgweb
WHERE to_tsvector(title || ' ' || body) @@ to_tsquery('create
 & table')
ORDER BY last_mod_date DESC

For clarity we omitted the coalesce function calls which would be needed to find rows that contain NULL in one of the two fields.

Although these queries will work without an index, most applications will find this approach too slow, except perhaps for occasional ad-hoc searches. Practical use of text searching usually requires creating an index.

ISBN 9781906966041The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition