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You apply a filter just like calling a function, with parentheses:

  • My name is {{ uppercase(name) }} would render My name is ARTHUR, provided with "Arthur" as a name.

  • Filters can chain: {{ uppercase(reversed(name)) }} would render RUHTRA.

  • Filters can apply to compound key paths: {{ uppercase( }}.

  • You can extract values from filtered values: {{ last(persons).name }}.

  • You can filter sections as well : {{^ isEmpty(people) }}...{{/ isEmpty(people) }} renders if the people collection is not empty.

    For brevity's sake, closing section tags can be empty: {{^ isEmpty(people) }}...{{/}} is valid.

  • Filters can take several arguments: {{ formatDate(date, format) }}.

Standard filters library

GRMustache ships with a bunch of already implemented filters:

  • isEmpty

    Returns YES if the input is nil, [NSNull null], or an empty enumerable object, or an empty string. Returns NO otherwise.

  • isBlank

    Returns YES if the input is nil, [NSNull null], or an empty enumerable object, or a string made of zero or more white space characters (space, tabs, newline). Returns NO otherwise.

  • capitalized

    Given "johannes KEPLER", it returns "Johannes Kepler".

  • lowercase

    Given "johannes KEPLER", it returns "johannes kepler".

  • uppercase

    Given "johannes KEPLER", it returns "JOHANNES KEPLER".

Defining your own filters

You can implement your own filters with objects that conform to the GRMustacheFilter protocol.

This protocol defines a single required method:

@protocol GRMustacheFilter <NSObject>
- (id)transformedValue:(id)object;

You can for instance declare a filter that outputs numbers as percentages:

@interface PercentFilter : NSObject<GRMustacheFilter>

@implementation PercentFilter
- (id)transformedValue:(id)object
    NSNumberFormatter *percentNumberFormatter = [[NSNumberFormatter alloc] init];
    percentNumberFormatter.numberStyle = kCFNumberFormatterPercentStyle;
    return [numberFormatter stringFromNumber:object];

id percentFilters = [[PercentFilter alloc] init];

The protocol comes with a GRMustacheFilter class, which provides a convenient method for building a filter without implementing a full class that conforms to the protocol:

id data = @{
    @"gain": @0.5,
    @"percent": [GRMustacheFilter filterWithBlock:^id(id object) {
        NSNumberFormatter *numberFormatter = [NSNumberFormatter new];
        numberFormatter.numberStyle = kCFNumberFormatterPercentStyle;
        return [numberFormatter stringFromNumber:object];

// Enjoy your 50% productivity bump!
NSString *templateString = @"Enjoy your {{ percent(gain) }} productivity bump!";
NSString *rendering = [GRMustacheTemplate renderObject:data

Variadic filters

A variadic filter is a filter that accepts a variable number of arguments.

You create a variadic filter with the variadicFilterWithBlock: method:


    {{ dateFormat(date, format) }}
    {{ dateFormat(date, format) }}


id data = @{
    @"object1": @{
        @"format": @"yyyy-MM-dd 'at' HH:mm",
        @"date": [NSDate date]
    @"object2": @{
        @"format": @"yyyy-MM-dd",
        @"date": [NSDate date]
    @"dateFormat": [GRMustacheFilter variadicFilterWithBlock:^id(NSArray *arguments) {
        // first argument is date
        NSDate *date = [arguments objectAtIndex:0];

        // second argument is format
        NSDateFormatter *dateFormatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init];
        dateFormatter.dateFormat = [arguments objectAtIndex:1];

        // compute the result
        return [dateFormatter stringFromDate:date];

NSString *rendering = [GRMustacheTemplate renderObject:data

Final rendering:

2012-10-28 at 17:10

Filters namespaces

Just as you can provide an object hierarchy for rendered values, and extract from it, you can provide filters as an object hierarchy, and "namespace" your filters. For instance, let's declare the math.abs filter, and render {{ math.abs(x) }}:

NSString *templateString = @"{{ math.abs(x) }}";
GRMustacheTemplate *template = [GRMustacheTemplate templateFromString:templateString error:NULL];

id data = @{
    @"x": @(-1),
    @"math": @{
        @"abs": [GRMustacheFilter filterWithBlock:^id(id object) {
            return @(abs([object intValue]));

// 1
NSString *rendering = [template renderObject:data error:NULL];

Filters exceptions

Should a filter be missing, or should the matching object not conform to the GRMustacheFilter protocol, GRMustache will raise an exception of name GRMustacheRenderingException.

The message describes the exact place where the error occur has occurred:

Missing filter for key `f` in tag `{{ f(foo) }}` at line 13 of /path/to/template.

Object for key `f` in tag `{{ f(foo) }}` at line 13 of /path/to/template does not conform to GRMustacheFilter protocol: "blah"

Compatibility with other Mustache implementations

The Mustache specification does not have any concept of "filters".

The topic is under discussion with other implementors of Mustache. A detailed explanation of the ideas behind the filtering API described above is available at

If your goal is to design templates that remain compatible with other Mustache implementations, do NOT use filters.

Sample code

Custom filters are used by the Formatted Numbers and Collection Indexes sample codes. Go check inspiration there.

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