AngularJS Filters

This blog post describes AngularJS Filters

4/6/20242 min read

AngularJS, renowned for its declarative and comprehensive approach to building web applications, introduced developers to a multitude of features aimed at simplifying the development process. Among these, AngularJS filters stand out as a powerful feature for transforming the display of data in the view without altering the data itself. This essay delves into the concept of AngularJS filters, covering their definition, purposes, types, usage, custom filter creation, best practices, and the evolution of filtering mechanisms in subsequent frameworks.

Understanding AngularJS Filters

Filters in AngularJS are specialized functions that can be applied in view templates through declarative HTML-like syntax or in JavaScript code via the API. They are designed to format the data displayed to the user, making it possible to adjust date formats, uppercase or lowercase text, filter arrays based on specified criteria, and more. The primary goal of filters is to separate the concern of data formatting from the business logic, thereby adhering to the principles of separation of concerns and enhancing code readability and maintainability.

Purpose of AngularJS Filters

The core purpose of AngularJS filters is data transformation at the view level, ensuring that the underlying data model remains unchanged. This is particularly useful in scenarios where the same data needs to be presented in different formats across various parts of the application. Filters simplify the developer's task by encapsulating the formatting logic within reusable functions, thus promoting DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) principles and reducing the likelihood of errors.

Types of Filters

AngularJS provides a variety of built-in filters for common data formatting needs, including:

- currency: Formats a number as a currency.

- date: Formats a date according to a specified format.

- filter: Selects a subset of items from an array based on specified criteria.

- json: Formats an object into a JSON string.

- limitTo: Creates a new array or string containing only a specified number of elements or characters.

- lowercase: Converts a string to lowercase.

- number: Formats a number as a text.

- orderBy: Orders an array by an expression.

- uppercase: Converts a string to uppercase.

These built-in filters can be used in HTML templates by appending a pipe (`|`) character followed by the filter name and any necessary parameters to the expression that needs to be formatted.

Using Filters in AngularJS

Filters can be applied in two ways in AngularJS: in HTML templates and in JavaScript code. In HTML, filters are applied using the pipe syntax within data-binding expressions. For instance, to format a date within an HTML template, one might use:


{{ ctrl.someDate | date:'mediumDate' }}


In JavaScript, filters are applied by injecting the `$filter` service into controllers, directives, or services and then calling the relevant filter function. For example:


app.controller('MyController', ['$scope', '$filter', function($scope, $filter) {

var amount = 1234.56;

var formattedAmount = $filter('currency')(amount);

$scope.formattedAmount = formattedAmount;



Creating Custom Filters

While AngularJS provides a rich set of built-in filters, there are instances where custom filters are necessary to meet specific application requirements. Creating a custom filter involves defining a new filter factory function that returns the filter function. The filter function takes the input data as its first argument and any additional parameters as subsequent arguments.

app.filter('customFilter', function() {

return function(input, someParameter) {

// Transform the input based on someParameter and return it

return transformedInput;



This custom filter can then be applied in the same way as built-in filters, either in HTML templates or through the `$filter` service in JavaScript.


AngularJS filters represent a significant feature of the framework, providing a straightforward and declarative way to transform data within templates. They encapsulate formatting logic, ensuring that views remain clean and focused solely on presentation. As web development has evolved, the principles underpinning AngularJS filters have persisted, influencing newer frameworks and shaping best practices for data presentation. Understanding AngularJS filters not only aids in maintaining legacy AngularJS applications but also provides insights into effective data transformation strategies that are applicable across the spectrum of web development technologies.

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