String Formatting

The Markup class can be used as a format string. Objects formatted into a markup string will be escaped first.

Format Method

The format method extends the standard str.format() behavior to use an __html_format__ method.

  1. If an object has an __html_format__ method, it is called as a replacement for the __format__ method. It is passed a format specifier if it’s given. The method must return a string or Markup instance.

  2. If an object has an __html__ method, it is called. If a format specifier was passed and the class defined __html__ but not __html_format__, a ValueError is raised.

  3. Otherwise Python’s default format behavior is used and the result is escaped.

For example, to implement a User that wraps its name in a span tag, and adds a link when using the "link" format specifier:

class User(object):
    def __init__(self, id, name): = id = name

    def __html_format__(self, format_spec):
        if format_spec == "link":
            return Markup(
                '<a href="/user/{}">{}</a>'
            ).format(, self.__html__())
        elif format_spec:
            raise ValueError("Invalid format spec")
        return self.__html__()

    def __html__(self):
        return Markup(
            '<span class="user">{0}</span>'
>>> user = User(3, "<script>")
>>> escape(user)
Markup('<span class="user">&lt;script&gt;</span>')
>>> Markup("<p>User: {user:link}").format(user=user)
Markup('<p>User: <a href="/user/3"><span class="user">&lt;script&gt;</span></a>

See Python’s docs on format string syntax.

printf-style Formatting

Besides escaping, there’s no special behavior involved with percent formatting.

>>> user = User(3, "<script>")
>>> Markup('<a href="/user/%d">%s</a>') % (,
Markup('<a href="/user/3">&lt;script&gt;</a>')

See Python’s docs on printf-style formatting.