Can someone explain how Filters are created in the Stackexchange v2 API?

The documentation mentions the following for /filters/create:

It is not expected that many applications will call this method at runtime, filters should be pre-calculated and "baked in" in the common cases.

Not sure what this means. Would be really helpful if someone constructed an example URL to make this call.

1 Answer 1


Filters are created by sending include, exclude, and base to /filters/create. You can use GET for rapid prototyping, or POST when the amount of data you're sending grows too large for a GET.

base specifies a filter to use as a template. It is the "default" filter, by default. A blank slate can be achieved by using "none".

include and exclude contain semi-colon delimited lists of fields to add or remove from the base filter. For example, include=.total;question.body says to return the total field on the common wrapper object and question bodies (provided you call a method that returns questions, naturally).

We provide a utility in the console on every method page (see /questions for example) to make building filters easier.

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When you save, the created filter will be placed where the "editing..." box is.

...filters should be pre-calculated and "baked in" in the common cases

Simply means that the vast majority of applications shouldn't call /filters/create as part of their normal operation. An apps developer should have pre-calculated the filters the app needs, and hard-coded them in basically. Note, filters are immutably and non-expiring so this "bake in" is perfectly safe.

  • 1
    Is it possible to Name these saved filters instead of resorting to the pre-configured name? Oct 12, 2012 at 6:41
  • @kevin-montrose I think it would be helpful if the docs on this page mentioned the part about using a semicolon as a delimiter in the create call
    – chb
    Jun 18, 2013 at 3:38

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