One of our favorite features of PgAdmin is the graphical explain plan feature. While a graphical explain plan is not a complete
substitute for EXPLAIN or EXPLAIN ANALYZE text plans, it does provide a quick and easy to read view that can be used for further analysis.
In this article, we'll walk thru using
the explain plan to troubleshoot query performance.
To use the graphical explain plan feature in PgAdmin III - do the following
Launch PgAdmin III and select a database.
Click the SQL icon
Type in a query or set of queries, and highlight the text of the query you want to analyse.
Click the F7 button or go under Query->Explain or click the Explain Query icon .
If you see no graphical explain plan, make sure that Query->Explain options->Verbose is unchecked - otherwise graphical explain will not work
In terms of Explain option under the Query->Explain options-> you can choose Analyze which will give you the actual Explain plan in use and actual time and will take longer to run. Unchecking
this feature gives you the approximate explain plan and does not include time since its approximate. In terms of the graphical display - the raw display doesn't look too different between the 2, but if you click
on a section of the graph, a little tip will pop up showing the stats for that part of the graph. For analyze, you will see time metrics in the tip.