CITEXT Data Type 2.0.2

This distribution creates a custom PostgreSQL data type, CITEXT, a locale- aware, case-insensitve TEXT type for PostgreSQL 8.3. Essentially, it internally calls LOWER() when comparing values. Otherwise, it behaves exactly like TEXT.

The standard approach to doing case-insensitive matches in PostgreSQL has been to use the LOWER() function in your queries, something like this:

FROM tab
WHERE lower(col) = LOWER(?);

This works reasonably well, but has a number of drawbacks:

  • It makes your SQL statements verbose, and you always have to remember to use LOWER() on both the column and on the query value (so that both use the same collations).
  • It won't use an index, unless you create a functional index using LOWER().
  • You can't have a case-insensitive primary key without creating two unique indexes, one for the primary key (implicitly created) and a functional index using LOWER().

The CITEXT data type allows you to replace all the calls to LOWER() in client code that wants to perform case-insensitive queries, while also allowing a primary key to be case-insensitive. CITEXT is multibyte aware, just like TEXT, which means that the comparison of uppercase and lowercase characters is dependent on the rules in the LC_COLLATE locale setting. Again, this behavior is identical to the use of LOWER() in queries. But because it's done in C and is transparent, you don't have to remember to do anything special in your queries.


Once you've installed the CITEXT data type, you can start using it in your database.

    nick CITEXT,
    pass TEXT

INSERT INTO users VALUES ( 'larry',  md5(random()::text) );
INSERT INTO users VALUES ( 'Tom',    md5(random()::text) );
INSERT INTO users VALUES ( 'Damian', md5(random()::text) );
INSERT INTO users VALUES ( 'NEAL',   md5(random()::text) );
INSERT INTO users VALUES ( 'Bjørn',  md5(random()::text) );
INSERT INTO users VALUES ( '☺唐鳳☻', md5(random()::text) );

If you ever need to install the data type into another database, you'll find citext.sql in the share/contrib subdirectory of your PostgreSQL server directory. This file,, will be in the doc/contrib subdirectory.


David E. Wheeler

Inspired by CITEXT 1.0 by Donald Fraser.

Copyright and License

Copyright (c) 2008-2011 David E. Wheeler.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the PostgreSQL License.

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies.

In no event shall David E. Wheeler be liable to any party for direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, including lost profits, arising out of the use of this software and its documentation, even if David E. Wheeler has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

David E. Wheeler specifically disclaim any warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The software provided hereunder is on an "as is" basis, and David E. Wheeler have no obligations to provide maintenance, support, updates, enhancements, or modifications.