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In this post, we will go through everything you need to know about Vue.js filters, from how to use them in your Vue.js application to how to create your own filters.

Filters? Like Instagram Filters? ✌🙄🤳 Euh… 😓NO! Sorry.

🤓 Filters are actually a feature provided by Vue.js that lets you apply common text formatting to your data. Filters do NOT change the data itself but rather change the output to the browser by returning a filtered version of that data.

I bet that said this way you’re like, “Okay, thanks for the FYI!” But to get a sense of how useful they are, let me tell you what I most like to use them for: price formatting, capitalizing data coming from an API or even specifying some common fallback for a given variable. The list goes on and on as they can be used in a myriad of ways.

I bet I got your attention now! 😉

We will go through everything you need to know about Vue.js filters, from how to use them in your Vue.js application to how to create your own filters. 🤪Exciting, isn’t it?

How to Use Filters in a Vue.js App

👵🏼There was a time when filters were a built-in function in Vue.js. Although built-in filters were useful, they lacked flexibility. So our lord and savior, Evan You, decided to remove them from Vue 2.0. ☝🏼 So be wary, my dear friends, of old tutorials!

Now, here is how we can use filters: either in mustache interpolations Hey {{ username | capitalize }} OR in a v-bind expression (notice the pipe in both of them).

<!--  With  mustache  interpolations  -->
<h1>{{  article.title  |  uppercase }}</h1>

<!--  With  v-bind  expression  -->
<title-component  :title="article.title  |  uppercase"  />

You can define a filter as global (available in all components) or local (only in the component it is defined in). Here is how you would define a local filter:

export  default  {
  filters:  {
    capitalize:  function(value)  {
      if  (!value)  {
        return  "";
      }
      value  =  value.toString();
      return  value.charAt(0).toUpperCase()  +  value.slice(1);
    }
  }
};

⚠️ A local filter with the same name as a global filter will always prime.

How to Write Your Own Global Filters

Making your own filter is pretty easy if you understand what we’ve seen so far. But we’ll go through the steps together so you can have a clear idea of how to do it.

Because creating a local filter is pretty straightforward, we’re creating a global filter first for Vue.js and then for Nuxt.js. This filter will format an article preview text in two ways: first capitalize the first letter and then truncate the text.

Let’s get to work! 👊

Defining a Global Filter in Vue.js

Create a separate file where you store your filters. For small projects, I usually stored them in a folder named helpers.

//  src/helpers/filters.js
//  NPM
import  Vue  from  "vue";

Vue.filter("capitalize",  function(value)  {
  if  (!value)  {
    return  "";
  }
  value  =  value.toString();
  return  value.charAt(0).toUpperCase()  +  value.slice(1);
});

Vue.filter("cutText",  function(value,  length,  suffix)  {
  if  (value.length  >  length)  {
    return  value.substring(0,  length)  +  suffix;
  }  else  {
    return  value;
  }
});

Then, just import this file in your Vue entrypoint (usually: main.js).

//  src/main.js
import  "@/helpers/filters";
//  ...

Remember: This is a global filter. Thus, it will be defined in every single one of your components if you do not override it with a local filter with the same name.

Defining a Global Filter in Nuxt.js

For Nuxt, it is not that different. We use a plugin to store them.

//  plugins/filters.js
//  NPM
import  Vue  from  "vue";

Vue.filter("capitalize",  function(value)  {
  if  (!value)  {
    return  "";
  }
  value  =  value.toString();
  return  value.charAt(0).toUpperCase()  +  value.slice(1);
});

Vue.filter("cutText",  function(value,  length,  suffix)  {
  if  (value.length  >  length)  {
    return  value.substring(0,  length)  +  suffix;
  }  else  {
    return  value;
  }
});

And we import it in our nuxt.config.js file.

//  nuxt.config.js
module.exports  =  {
  plugins:  [{  src:  "@/plugins/filters.js"  }]
};

Introducing Neat Filter Option Number One: 🥁 Chaining

But what should I do if I want to use two filters (let’s go crazy: or more) instead of just one filter? Easy peasy lemon squeezy my friends: You chain them, ⛓ simply by repeating the pipe syntax like this: hey {{ username | fallback | capitalize }}!

⚠️ Keep in mind that the order in which your filters are used is important. In the example above, we will first fetch the username, then we apply the filter fallback (that replaces the word username with a fallback word like “there” if we can’t retrieve a username from the API). Then, AND ONLY THEN, the filter capitalize will be applied.

Introducing Neat Filter Option Number Two: 🥁Arguments

🤓 FYI: because filters are simply JavaScript functions, you can take your filters one step further and add one argument or more to them.

In the example above, we have article.preview as the first argument of the truncate filter (the value). Then 200 is here to define the length as the filter’s 2nd argument, and so on with "..." being used as the 3rd argument as the suffix.

<template>
<h2>{{ article.title }}</h2>
<p>{{ article.preview | capitalize | truncate(200, '...') }}</p>
</template>
<script>
export default {
  data() {
    return {
	  article: {
	    title: 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.'
	    preview: 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Feugiat vivamus at augue eget arcu dictum. Nibh ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam id. Lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus purus in massa tempor nec feugiat. Scelerisque in dictum non consectetur. Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet. Viverra justo nec ultrices dui sapien. Feugiat in ante metus dictum at. In massa tempor nec feugiat nisl pretium fusce id. Maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis volutpat est velit. Facilisis magna etiam tempor orci eu lobortis. Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit duis. Vel risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan. Id neque aliquam vestibulum morbi blandit.'
	  }
    }
  }
}
</script>

Some Useful Filters from the Vue.js Community

As we mentioned, Vue.js doesn’t have built-in filters anymore and maybe you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own filters. The Vue.js community has you covered as usual! 😁

Aleksandr Statciuk has made this AMAZING package that offers us 12 of the most commonly used filters.

📖 You can find even more helpful filters made by the community here in the awesome-vue GitHub repository (in the section about filters).

My homeboy Rachid Laasri (curious? 😜 it’s Rabat ) shares with us 11 more super duper Vue.js filters in his article that you can use in your project.

Another filter I use quite often is vue-moment. It will let you format your string with moment.js in a snap!

Another one I like: vue-numeral-filter. It will let you format your numbers with numeral.js.

How to Access a Global Filters in Your Component JavaScript?

Sometimes you have to handle complex logic and you may be using computed properties. You can still use a filter inside. It is a bit verbose, but all your filters will be available inside the this.$options.filters object.

export  default  {
  computed:  {
    formatting()  {
      let  result  =  "hello  ";
      if  (this.user)  {
        result  +=  this.user.name;
      }  else  {
        result  +=  this.generateARandomName();
      }
      return  this.$options.filters.capitalize(result);
    }
  }
};

Et Voilà! 😎

One Last Thought…

👩🏼‍🏫As Sarah Drasner has pointed out in her article, filters are not the perfect solution to solve every problem. First, they need to rerun on every single update. Like she said, if you have something like an input that updates every time you type, it won’t be performant. A computed property will be a better fit as it will cache the results based on their dependencies and will be reevaluated only when those dependencies change.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach me in the comments below or to reach out to me on Twitter @RifkiNada. 🤠


Nada Rifki
About the Author

Nada Rifki

Nada is a JavaScript developer who likes to play with UI components to create interfaces with great UX. She specialises in Vue.js and loves sharing anything and everything that could help her fellow front-end web developers. Nada also dabbles in digital marketing, dance and Chinese.

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