Describe the column structure of a MySQL table

Posted December 14, 2003 by Quinn McHenry in MySQL

The SQL command ‘describe’ allows you to view the column structure of a MySQL table. It provides a listing of the columns of a table, the type of each column, and additional information on each column.

To view the structure of a MySQL table called ‘recipes’ use the following SQL command:

describe recipes;

The command can be issued from any SQL source including an application with database connectivity (i.e., PHP, Java, etc.) or directly from mysql command (see Connect to a MySQL server using the mysql command for more information).


About Quinn McHenry

Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.
View more articles by Quinn McHenry

The Conversation

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  • Niladri

    What is the alternate command of describe ??

    • Michael de Silva

      desc table_name

      This works too 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Dude,
    Thats what I was looking for all day 🙂

  • Ankit Singhania

    Thanks a lot for this..

  • M D


  • aRGon

    can also do,

    show columns from table;