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Filters are a type of Hook allowing you to change or remove an existing function.

For example, you might want to insert another CSS class in an HTML element, or modify how the Layers breadcrumbs work.

Using filters reduces the need for copying whole templates or core files from Layers into your plugin or Child Theme and removes the dependency on you to constantly check for differences in parent updates.

See Using Actions, Filters & Hooks for a full overview of filtering in Layers

From the WordPress Codex: