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I need to do some complicated filtering on my View and it seems that contextual filters lack the operators (e.g. between, greater than) available within the exposed filter configuration. However, I don't want to user to be able to see or amend any filter widgets.

I can achieve this by setting the exposed filters to appear as a block and NOT assigning the block to the page. I can then invoke the View by constructing a path with whatever querystring I wish and the filters are applied appropriately (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/myview?field_range=10&field_color=red).

Is there anything inherently wrong with this approach to using views, or any disadvantages?

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Nothing wrong with your approach. i have used it myself a couple of times and seemed to have worked pretty well.

regarding the situation you faced, contextual filters are more sort of an argument rather than a filter so the miss the comparison operators.

The tool in view to use external input to filter is the exposed filter. that is what it is designed for and I think you can go ahead with this approach.

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