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An easy, HTML5, whitelisting HTML sanitizer.
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Bleach is an HTML sanitizing library designed to strip disallowed tags and attributes based on a whitelist, and can additionally autolinkify URLs in text with an extra filter layer that Django's urlize filter doesn't have.

Basic Use

The simplest way to use Bleach:

>>> from bleach import Bleach

>>> bl = Bleach()

>>> bl.clean('an <script>evil()</script> example')
'an &lt;script&gt;evil()&lt;/script&gt; example'

# to linkify URLs and email addresses, use
>>> bl.linkify('a url')
'a <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> url'

clean() also fixes up some common errors:

>>> from bleach import Bleach

>>> bl = Bleach()

>>> bl.clean('unbalanced <em>tag')
'unbalanced <em>tag</em>'

Advanced Use

Bleach is relatively configurable.

Clean - Advanced

clean() takes up to two optional arguments, tags and attributes, which are instructions on what tags and attributes to allow, respectively.

tags is a list of whitelisted tags:

>>> from bleach import Bleach

>>> bl = Bleach()

>>> TAGS = ['b', 'em', 'i', 'strong']

>>> bl.clean('<abbr>not allowed</abbr>', tags=TAGS)
'&lt;abbr&gt;not allowed&lt;/abbr&gt;'

attributes is either a list or, more powerfully, a dict of allowed attributes. If a list is used, it is applied to all allowed tags, but if a dict is use, the keys are tag names, and the values are lists of attributes allowed for that tag.

For example:

>>> from bleach import Bleach

>>> bl = Bleach()

>>> ATTRS = {'a': ['href']}

>>> bl.clean('<a href="/" title="fail">link</a>', attributes=ATTRS)
'<a href="/">link</a>'

Linkify - Advanced

If you pass nofollow=False to linkify(), links will not be created with rel="nofollow". By default, nofollow is True. If nofollow is True, then links found in the text will have their rel attributes set to nofollow as well, otherwise the attribute will not be modified.

Configuring linkify() is somewhat more complicated. linkify() passes data through different filters before returning the string. By default, these filters do nothing, but if you subclass Bleach, you can override them.

All the filters take and return a single string.


filter_url(self, url) is applied to URLs before they are put into the href attribute of the link. If you need these links to go through a redirect or outbound script, filter_url() is the function to override.

For example:

import urllib

from bleach import Bleach

class MyBleach(Bleach):
    def filter_url(self, url):
        return '' % urllib.quote(url)

Now, use MyBleach instead of Bleach and linkify() will route urls through your bouncer.


This filter is applied to the link text of linkified URLs.

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