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I am unable to get the results of the explain query in its normal tabular format or json format into a file.

select * from table_name into outfile 'file.format';
select trace from information_schema.optimizer_trace into outfile 'file.json' lines terminated by '';

The above queries work, and I get the file. But the following queries do not create the file.

explain select * from table_name into outfile 'file.txt';
explain format=json select * from table_name into out 'file.json' lines terminated by '';

Is there any way to achieve this? It is preferable if the tabular explain results are written in text file with column names and table borders.

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Using the syntax of EXPLAIN, no.

You can run the explain from the command line however:

mysql -e 'EXPLAIN ... ' > /tmp/myexplain.json

SQL isn't responsible for the pretty presentation of data, Workbench is one option.

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