I search for a simple way to select all columns except one in psql.

With psql I mean the interactive command line.

I would be happy with a tool that expands to * to a list of quoted column names. Then I could remove the column to remove by hand.

My question is just about the interactive usage of psql. It is not a duplicate of questions of people unhappy with the sql standard and who want to execute something like "select *-foo".

  • 3
    There isn't one, sorry. You can query information_schema via a pl/pgsql function to generate a list pretty easily, but that way it'd be two queries. Sep 11, 2015 at 12:50
  • 2
    Most GUI tools can do that. But if you want to (or have to) stick to the command line, maybe this will help: github.com/dbcli/pgcli
    – user1822
    Sep 15, 2015 at 9:54
  • @a_horse_with_no_name I would like to accept your "answer". Could you please post an answer and explain the usage of the pgcli tool solving the question.
    – guettli
    Sep 16, 2015 at 11:15
  • except which column? the last one? the first one? Or random one?
    – BAE
    Sep 16, 2015 at 14:02
  • 1
    @ChengchengPei: there is no desc command in psql
    – user1822
    Sep 16, 2015 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


To get the list of columns in default order, without the bad column:

SELECT string_agg(quote_ident(attname), ', ' ORDER BY attnum)
FROM   pg_attribute
WHERE  attrelid = 'myschema.mytable'::regclass
AND    NOT attisdropped  -- no dropped (dead) columns
AND    attnum > 0        -- no system columns
AND    attname <> 'bad_column'  -- case sensitive!

Or just WHERE attrelid = 'mytable'::regclass if you trust the search path to resolve to the right schema.

quote_ident() adds double-quotes where necessary.

I asked the same question in 2007 on pgsql-general. It was Postgres 8.2 back then. Sweet memories ...


  • 1
    It sounds like a to-do item, to add a backslash command to psql which will emit a string which is a list of all the columns for a table, appropriately quoted. And you could have it omit any columns which were included as extra arguments to the command. So hypothetically \dq thetable bad_column.
    – jjanes
    Sep 17, 2015 at 17:40
  • @jjanes: I am not sure it can generate enough demand to convince core developers to allocate the free letter q for the task. Maybe a general option to the whole family of \d commands to show a bare list of concatenated names? Like \d- tbl (mnemonic: the opposite of \d+, which shows more details). This would allow to get basically any bare list of objects. Tables in a schema: \dt- public.*, functions starting with "f_foo": \df- f_foo* etc. - or columns in a table: \d- mytbl. Similar to what the shell command ls does ... Sep 17, 2015 at 22:53
  • I give you the bounty. But something built-in into psql would be really a nice feature. Thank you Erwin :-)
    – guettli
    Sep 21, 2015 at 15:32

I think I have found what you are looking for but I have not tested it myself.

There is a software called SequelPro that would allow you to select the fields from a given table but its only for MySQL. Please read from the below from somewhere in the middle of the page:


There is another software called PSequel which only runs on Mac and it claims it is of type SequelPro built for Postgres:


Hope this helps.

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