35

I'd like to use a LIKE %text% statement while still using the WordPress $wpdb class to sanitize and prepare input.

SELECT column_1 from `prefix_my_table` WHERE column_2 LIKE '%something%';

I've tried something like this to no avail:

$wpdb->prepare( "SELECT column_1 from `{$wpdb->base_prefix}my_table` WHERE column_2 LIKE %s;", like_escape($number_to_put_in_like));

How do you properly prepare a %LIKE% SQL statement using the WordPress database class?

50

The $wpdb->esc_like function exists in WordPress because the regular database escaping does not escape % and _ characters. This means you can add them in your arguments to wpdb::prepare() without problem. This is also what I see in the core WordPress code:

$wpdb->prepare(" AND $wpdb->usermeta.meta_key = '{$wpdb->prefix}capabilities' AND $wpdb->usermeta.meta_value LIKE %s", '%' . $this->role . '%');

So your code would look like:

$wpdb->prepare(
    "SELECT
        column_1
    FROM
        `{$wpdb->base_prefix}my_table`
    WHERE
        column_2 LIKE %s;",
    '%' . $wpdb->esc_like($number_to_put_in_like) . '%'
);

You can also add %% in your query to get a literal % (wpdb::prepare() uses vsprintf() in the background, which has this syntax), but remember that your string will not be quoted, you must add the quotes yourself (which is not what you usually have to do in wpdb::prepare().

  • what are the {} for ? – Francisco Corrales Morales Aug 20 '14 at 22:39
  • @FranciscoCorralesMorales: To indicate that everything inside it should be considered a variable expression, otherwise it would only see $wpdb, and ignore the ->prefix after it. – Jan Fabry Aug 21 '14 at 15:14
  • 1
    @JanFabry Close. I would correct the comment to say: "... otherwise it would see all of $wpdb->base_prefixmy_table and try to to look up base_prefixmy_table property instead of just base_prefix. – Flimm Oct 10 '17 at 9:24
3

You need to double percent so they are no treated like fragment markers by wpdb->prepare():

$wpdb->prepare( "SELECT column_1 from `{$wpdb->base_prefix}my_table` WHERE column_2 LIKE %%%s%%;", $wpdb->esc_like( $number_to_put_in_like));

PS not sure this is best/only way to do it.

2

This is one way to do it that I've checked and it works:

$search_text = "%" . $_GET['some_text'] . "%";

$user_count = $wpdb->get_var( 
    $wpdb->prepare( 
        "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM mix_library WHERE ml_setting_name LIKE %s", 
        $search_text 
    ) 
);

Replace variables to suit your needs.

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