If you are tied of reading the old “text-only” output of MySQL Explain, then you will enjoy the new MySQL Visual Explain feature of MySQL Workbench (works with MySQL 5.6+).
I had hoped to learn enough about mysql explain that the query wouldn't be needed. Alas, it seems that you can't get enough information from the explain statement and you need the raw SQL. Query :
MySQL Explained is our first self-published book and is a clear, step-by-step guide to MySQL. This book is going to help you to understand how your data is being stored and give you the ability to design your own custom applications!
The explain plan shows the operations MySQL performs when it runs SQL statements. This information can help optimize SQL performance. MySQLWorkbench Visualize Explain plans graphically show and highlight how SQL statements execute within MySQL. By showing developers costs and tuning hints, MySQL Workbench improves and simplifies SQL statement performance tuning.