Check the telethon package if you’re looking for the methods reference instead of this tutorial.

The TelegramClient is the central class of the library, the one you will be using most of the time. For this reason, it’s important to know what it offers.

Since we’re working with Python, one must not forget that we can do help(client) or help(TelegramClient) at any time for a more detailed description and a list of all the available methods. Calling help() from an interactive Python session will always list all the methods for any object, even yours!

Interacting with the Telegram API is done through sending requests, this is, any “method” listed on the API. There are a few methods (and growing!) on the TelegramClient class that abstract you from the need of manually importing the requests you need.

For instance, retrieving your own user can be done in a single line:

myself = client.get_me()

Internally, this method has sent a request to Telegram, who replied with the information about your own user, and then the desired information was extracted from their response.

If you want to retrieve any other user, chat or channel (channels are a special subset of chats), you want to retrieve their “entity”. This is how the library refers to either of these:

# The method will infer that you've passed an username
# It also accepts phone numbers, and will get the user
# from your contact list.
lonami = client.get_entity('lonami')

The so called “entities” are another important whole concept on its own, but for now you don’t need to worry about it. Simply know that they are a good way to get information about an user, chat or channel.

Many other common methods for quick scripts are also available:

# Note that you can use 'me' or 'self' to message yourself
client.send_message('username', 'Hello World from Telethon!')

# .send_message's parse mode defaults to markdown, so you
# can use **bold**, __italics__, [links](, `code`,
# and even [mentions](@username)/[mentions](tg://user?id=123456789)
client.send_message('username', '**Using** __markdown__ `too`!')

client.send_file('username', '/home/myself/Pictures/holidays.jpg')

# The utils package has some goodies, like .get_display_name()
from telethon import utils
for message in client.get_message_history('username', limit=10):
    print(utils.get_display_name(message.sender), message.message)

# Dialogs are the conversations you have open
for dialog in client.get_dialogs(limit=10):
    print(utils.get_display_name(dialog.entity), dialog.draft.message)

# Default path is the working directory

# Call .disconnect() when you're done

Remember that you can call .stringify() to any object Telegram returns to pretty print it. Calling str(result) does the same operation, but on a single line.

Available methods

The reference lists all the “handy” methods available for you to use in the TelegramClient class. These are simply wrappers around the “raw” Telegram API, making it much more manageable and easier to work with.

Please refer to Accessing the Full API if these aren’t enough, and don’t be afraid to read the source code of the InteractiveTelegramClient or even the TelegramClient itself to learn how it works.

See the mentioned telethon package to find the available methods.