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Mark Overmeer


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.



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", "perl5-porters@africa.nicoh.com");

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

$obj->format( [ADDRESSes] )

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 with 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, http://perl.overmeer.net/mailtools/.


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

Mail::Cap by Gisle Aas <aas@oslonett.no>. Mail::Field::AddrList by Peter Orbaek <poe@cit.dk>. Mail::Mailer and Mail::Send by Tim Bunce <Tim.Bunce@ig.co.uk>. For other contributors see ChangeLog.


Copyrights 1995-2000 Graham Barr <gbarr@pobox.com> and 2001-2007 Mark Overmeer <perl@overmeer.net>.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See http://www.perl.com/perl/misc/Artistic.html