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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

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

  • 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 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.


  my $s = Mail::Message::Field::Full->parse($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("Perl5 Porters", "");

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

parse( LINE )

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


phrase ()

Return the phrase part of the object.

address ()

Return the address part of the object.

comment ()

Return the comment part of the object

format ()

Return a string representing the address in a suitable form to be placed on a To,Cc or Bcc line of a message

name ()

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

host ()

Return the address excluding the user id and '@'

user ()

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

path ()

Unimplemented yet but should return the UUCP path for the message

canon ()

Unimplemented yet but should return the UUCP canon for the message


Graham Barr. Maintained by Mark Overmeer <>


Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Mark Overmeer, 1995-2001 Graham Barr. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.