Over the last two decades the preparation of pyrrole-based receptors for anion recognition has attracted considerable attention. In this regard porphyrins, phthalocyanines and expanded porphyrins have been used as strong and selective receptors while the combination of those with different techniques and materials can boost their applicability in different applications as chemosensors and extracting systems. Improvements in the field, including the synthesis of this kind of compounds, can contribute to the development of efficient, cheap, and easy-to-prepare anion receptors. Extensive efforts have been made to improve the affinity and selectivity of these compounds and the continuous expansion of related research makes this chemistry even more promising. In this review, we summarize the most recent developments in anion binding studies while outlining the strategies that may be used to synthesize and functionalize these type of macrocycles. © 2016 World Scientific Publishing Company.