Accent characters

postgres, elixir, accent – Aug 25 2018

Postgres comes with many default extensions and they have one for dealing with accent characters.

• • •

Dealing with Accents

You might have a need to remove accents from names or words from your application. Especially if you are trying to create a slug out of that name.

Postgres comes with so many default extensions that are turned off. And they have an extension that deals with accents called unaccent

Just log into your postgres console and type this query

> psql
> select * from pg_available_extensions;

You will see a long table of available extensions.

As usual, reading the documentation is the best way to understanding how the extension works. In this example we want the unaccent extension.

The Postgres documentation explains how it works.

Creating a migration

If I want to run a migration in postgres or Phoenix to turn this on, I would create the following migration.

defmodule Pomotv.Repo.Migrations.AddAccentExtension do
  use Ecto.Migration

  def change do
    execute """
      CREATE EXTENSION unaccent;

  def down do
    execute """
    DROP EXTENSION unaccent;


In your migration: file when you want to perform database specific actions you need to use the execute function as shown above.

As always make sure your down function is able to undo, just in case you need to rollback.

Follow on Twitter
Follow on Github