If I want to see the table, should I use Excel?


This question is coming from someone who has been struggling to understand the first day of the Sitepoint PHP/MySQL course for weeks.

It is my perception (am I wrong?) that when a person wants to make a table or insert or edit the data in a cell of the table, it is done in MySQL via commands that the writer needs to memorize, and typed in piece by piece. It would take an inept person like me an unworkable amount of time to do that. It’s hard for me to work on things where I can’t really see what I’m doing and I have to remember a bunch of commands the whole time.

Apparently MySQL can accept csv files from Excel, where I can write cell data and actually see the cells all lined up and next to each other. This would be a much more feasible method for me.

What I want to end up with is trivial. I want to make an HTML page of text articles in one container that are selected for view by a list of links in another container. It could be short rants or recipes or plot summaries or some such things.

Is Excel the dummy tool that I need?

Thank you kindly


not really :slight_smile:

go get yourself HeidiSQL and give it a try

this is a comprehensive “front end app” that acts as a user-friendly interface between you (the person) and mysql

of course, there are others (e.g. the mysql query browser, navicat, sqlyog, etc.), but i like this one the best

Yes, you need strong programming skills to use PHP and MySQL. However, phpMyAdmin is replacement of PHP and MySQL for non-programmer. It offers a simple way to manage / optimize the fields and tables of your database. See an example Optimize Database Table

when i mentioned front end apps for mysql, i left phpmyadmin out on purpose


Well, I got that Heidi thing and I can’t make head nor tail of it. Maybe in five or ten years when I understand this better.

But phpMyAdmin has an insert tab that seems to provide a usable framework for entering stuff.


in heidisql, you insert new data like this –

  1. use the left pane to navigate to the table

  2. click on the Data tab – this allows you to browse through the rows in the table

  3. look for the round buttons at the top – a green one with a plus sign and a red one with a minus sign – these are for inserting a row or deleting a row