Office Watch

Office 2013

Office Mobile / iPad

Office 2010

Office 2007

Office 2003

Office XP

Office for Mere Mortals

Access

Email

Buying Office

Office 365

Winks

Office News Wire

Join us!

Our Ebooks

Mobile | PDA

RSS


Search

Command Finder


Microsoft Office Bookshop

About

Home




What can you put in your email address?

A simple question – what characters can you put in an email address? Like many things to do with the Internet the answer isn’t as simple or direct as you might think. We’ll look at what makes a valid email address, both in theory and in practice.

by Email Essentials

Bookmark and Share

  | Mobile | click for more article services     


A simple question - what characters can you put in an email address? Like many things to do with the Internet the answer isn't as simple or direct as you might think.

We'll look at what makes a valid email address, both in theory and in practice.

For daily use you don't need to know. If you simply copy the email address as you're given it, you should be OK.

But knowing a bit more about email addressing can help you work out if an email address is incorrect or identify why it doesn't work. Developers and programmers might be surprised to discover that their carefully written web pages or code aren't entirely correct.

Which ones are correct?

Which of these email address (all fake) is formatted correctly?

  • f.r.e.d.a.g.g@gmail.com
  • mailto:%22Frederick%20Dagg%22@freddagg.com
  • mailto:Fred sheepdip@freddagg.com
  • Fred*Dagg=funny@freddagg.com
  • FredO'Dagg@freddagg.com
  • mailto:Bruce%5eBayliss@freddagg.com
  • Prof~Taihape@freddagg.com
  • mailto:FD%7bProf%7d@freddagg.com
  • Pa$toral@freddagg.com

The answer is that they are all strictly valid though they might not be useable in practice.

Knowing a bit more about email addresses may well interested many readers of 'Email Essentials' who, like us, get intrigued by these details.  In keeping with the 'Essentials' part of our name, this is by no means a comprehensive look at email address formatting.  We've provided links to the various RFC specification documents if you're interested in the minutiae.

Local Address @ Domain

There are two parts to an email address - the 'Local Part' and the Domain - which are separated by the famous @ symbol.

For example fred@freddagg.com has 'fred' as the local part and 'freddagg.com' as the domain.

Historical note: back at the start of the internet, Ray Tomlinson developed the first simple email system to work between computers. He's the guy who chose the @ symbol to separate the name and domain name.

The two parts of an email address have different rules about what is permitted. Domains are much more limited than local parts.

Domain rules

A domain name can contain letters, digits and hyphens only, up to a maximum of 255 characters.

Each part of a domain name is separated by the .(aka dot, fullstop or period).

Domain naming is a whole article on its own - suffice it to say what we're used to domains like .com .edu etc but there are also country domain suffixes (Top Level Domains TLD's) like .au .uk and .us right down to obscure ones like.hm (for the usually uninhabited Heard and McDonald Islands). See here for a full list.

There's no consistency about domain suffixes. The commercial domain name is a good example. In the US it's .com as we all know.Australia clones that for .com.au but the UK uses .co.uk and New Zealand follows suit with .co.nz .

That's pretty straight-forward, the surprises come when you look at the part before the @ symbol …

Article posted: Friday, 15 September 2006

[1] 2 Next » [ View on Single Page ]

there's more ...

If you liked this article you'll LOVE our new ebooks.

Office 2013: the real startup guide

OFFICE 2013: the real startup guide Everything you need to know about Office 2013 but Microsoft won't tell you.

How to save money, install, configure and use the new features in Office 2013.  Get it today - click here.

Windows 8 for Microsoft Office users

Windows 8 for Microsoft Office users A practical guide the new, changed and unfamiliar in Windows 8

A focused and unvarnished look at Windows 8, especially written for the many people who use Microsoft Office  Get it today - click here.

ORGANIZING OUTLOOK EMAIL - tame your Outlook 2010 Inbox

100+ pages of practical tips and help to streamline, automate and search your Inbox.  Get more than you ever thought possible from Outlook.  Read it today - click here.

More from Office Watch:



Article Services sponsored by: Office Watch Ebooks - available now to download and read today.
RSS feed for this category Subscribe

Translate | Mobile | Links
 Add to: Bookmarks | | DiggThis | Yahoo! My Web


New & Popular
» Why is Gene Cernan ignored in Word?
» DropBox prices drop but is it enough?
» Sort by hidden column in Word
» How to hide a column in Word
» Sorting in Word
» Alphabetical order in Word


Office Watch, Office for Mere Mortals, Access Watch and all titles used within the publications are Copyright © 1996-2014 Office Watch.
Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Powerpoint and doubtless many other names are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Search  |  Sitemap |  Popular Topics | Privacy Statement |  Advertising |  Twitter |  Feedback / Contact Us
Office Watch is definitely not affiliated with Microsoft - and that's just one reason why we are so useful to Microsoft Office users around the world J (Erko).