I'm working on a custom search page, which will search through the fields of the Project object. I use dynamic SOQL query similar to that:

String query = 'SELECT Name, Status__c ... 
    FROM Project__c WHERE Name LIKE \'%' + String.escapeSingleQuotes(name)
     +'%\' + ' OR Status__c = \'' + String.escapeSingleQuotes(status) +'\'';
List<Project__c> projects = Database.query(query);

But when I try to add to filter criteria Description__c field, which is Long Text Area, get the following error:

System.QueryException: field 'Description__c' can not be filtered in query call

How can I use Long Text Area fields in filtering of results?

  • What values are in that field that you want to filter on ? Possible it shouldn't be a long text field, or you could optimize your data model and process by creating additional fields. – Samuel De Rycke Oct 29 '14 at 12:01

You can not use text area fields in SOQL and SOSL filter criterias.

Try this approach:

List<Project__c> projects = new List<Project__c>();
for(Project__c proj : [SELECT Name, Status__c, Description__c FROM Project__c WHERE Name LIKE '%' + String.escapeSingleQuotes(name) +'%' + OR Status__c = String.escapeSingleQuotes(status)]) {
    if(proj.Description__c.contains('filter string')) {

There is an Idea to Allow filtering on Long Text Area, so you can't. In a pinch you could iterate over your results in a for loop and use String methods to filter out/in the desired results. Of course, that may not be reasonable depending on the number of records and whether or not what you are doing is needed in real time.


I just discovered a work around for this here. Create a Formula field that uses the LEFT formula and filter on that. You cannot filter on the ENTIRE long text but you can filter on part of it:

Legal_Street__c is a long text area. I created a formula field called StreetConc__c:

LEFT(Legal_Street__c, 40)

I then created a dummy record and put the text 'testingthis' in the Legal_Street__c field. From here I filtered on this formula field.

System.debug('answer = ' + [SELECT Name FROM Account WHERE StreetConc__c LIKE 'testing%']);

You should be able to apply this to both SOQL and SQL.

  • 2
    Can you still get this to work? It does not work for me, I'm getting a message telling me that I cannot use fields of type Long Text Area in a formula. – rael_kid Mar 22 '16 at 6:51
  • I dont think this is possible, are you sure your field Legal_Street__c is long text and not text area? – manza Jul 1 '17 at 5:53
  • 1
    An variant of this is to create a formula that 'implements the where clause' (or part of it). E.g if you have WHERE longtextarea__c like '%TEST%', you can create a formula field x__c with formula CONTAINS(longtextarea__c, "TEST") and make the query WHERE x__c = TRUE . – Legolas Dec 7 '17 at 13:25

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