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Mail::Address - parse mail addresses


 use Mail::Address;
 my @addrs = Mail::Address->parse($line);

 foreach $addr (@addrs) {
     print $addr->format,"\n";


Mail::Address extracts and manipulates email addresses from a message header. It cannot be used to extract addresses from some random text. You can use this module to create RFC822 compliant fields.

Although Mail::Address is a very popular subject for books, and is used in many applications, it does a very poor job on the more complex message fields. It does only handle simple address formats (which covers about 95% of what can be found). Problems are with

  • no support for address groups, even not with the semi-colon as separator between addresses;

  • limited support for escapes in phrases and comments. There are cases where it can get wrong; and

  • you have to take care of most escaping when you create an address yourself: Mail::Address does not do that for you.

Often requests are made to the maintainers of this code improve this situation, but this is not a good idea, where it will break zillions of existing applications. If you wish for a fully RFC2822 compliant implementation you may take a look at Mail::Message::Field::Full, part of MailBox.

. Example

  my $s = Mail::Message::Field::Full->new($from_header);
  # ref $s isa Mail::Message::Field::Addresses;

  my @g = $s->groups;          # all groups, at least one
  # ref $g[0] isa Mail::Message::Field::AddrGroup;
  my $ga = $g[0]->addresses;   # group addresses

  my @a = $s->addresses;       # all addresses
  # ref $a[0] isa Mail::Message::Field::Address;



Mail::Address->new( $phrase, $address, [ $comment ] )

Create a new Mail::Address object which represents an address with the elements given. In a message these 3 elements would be seen like:



 Mail::Address->new("Perl5 Porters", "");

Parse the given line a return a list of extracted Mail::Address objects. The line would normally be one taken from a To,Cc or Bcc line in a message


 my @addr = Mail::Address->parse($line);



Return the address part of the object.


Return the comment part of the object


Return a string representing the address in a suitable form to be placed on a To, Cc, or Bcc line of a message. This method is called on the first address to be used; other specified addresses will be appended, separated by commas.


Return the phrase part of the object.

Smart accessors


Return the address excluding the user id and '@'


Using the information contained within the object attempt to identify what the person or groups name is.

Note: This function tries to be smart with the "phrase" of the email address, which is probably a very bad idea. Consider to use phrase() itself.


Return the address excluding the '@' and the mail domain


This module is part of the MailTools distribution,


The MailTools bundle was developed by Graham Barr. Later, Mark Overmeer took over maintenance without commitment to further development.

Mail::Cap by Gisle Aas <>. Mail::Field::AddrList by Peter Orbaek <>. Mail::Mailer and Mail::Send by Tim Bunce <>. For other contributors see ChangeLog.


Copyrights 1995-2000 Graham Barr <> and 2001-2017 Mark Overmeer <>.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See