Extensions – Advanced Filters

Ernest Benedito edited this page Feb 4, 2018 · 6 revisions

This page describes advanced use cases for the filters used with MessageHandler from telegram.ext.

Combining filters

When using MessageHandler it is sometimes useful to have more than one filter. This can be done using so called bit-wise operators. In python those operators are &, | and ~ meaning AND, OR and NOT respectively.


Message is either video, photo, or document (generic file)

from telegram.ext import MessageHandler, Filters

handler = MessageHandler(Filters.video | Filters.photo | Filters.document, 

Message is a forwarded photo

handler = MessageHandler(Filters.forwarded & Filters.photo, callback)

Message is text and contains a link

from telegram import MessageEntity

handler = MessageHandler(
    Filters.text & (Filters.entity(MessageEntity.URL) |

Message is a photo and it's not forwarded

handler = MessageHandler(Filters.photo & (~ Filters.forwarded), callback)

Custom filters

It is also possible to write our own filters. In essence, a filter is simply a function that receives a Message instance and returns either True or False. This function has to be implemented in a new class that inherits from BaseFilter, which allows it to be combined with other filters. If the combination of all filters evaluates to True, the message will be handled.

Say we wanted to allow only those messages that contain the text "python-telegram-bot is awesome", we could write a custom filter as so:

from telegram.ext import BaseFilter

class FilterAwesome(BaseFilter):
    def filter(self, message):
        return 'python-telegram-bot is awesome' in message.text

# Remember to initialize the class.
filter_awesome = FilterAwesome()

The class can of cause be named however you want, the only important things are:

  • The class has to inherit from BaseFilter
  • It has to implement a filter method
  • You have to create an instance of the class

The filter can then be used as:

awesome_handler = MessageHandler(filter_awesome, callback)
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