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A python script for extracting email addresses from text files. You can pass it multiple files. It prints the email addresses to stdout, one address per line. For ease of use, remove the .py extension and place it in your $PATH (e.g. /usr/local/bin/) to run it like a built-in command.
#!/usr/bin/env python
# Extracts email addresses from one or more plain text files.
# Notes:
# - Does not save to file (pipe the output to a file if you want it saved).
# - Does not check for duplicates (which can easily be done in the terminal).
# (c) 2013 Dennis Ideler <>
from optparse import OptionParser
import os.path
import re
regex = re.compile(("([a-z0-9!#$%&'*+\/=?^_`{|}~-]+(?:\.[a-z0-9!#$%&'*+\/=?^_`"
def file_to_str(filename):
"""Returns the contents of filename as a string."""
with open(filename) as f:
return # Case is lowered to prevent regex mismatches.
def get_emails(s):
"""Returns an iterator of matched emails found in string s."""
# Removing lines that start with '//' because the regular expression
# mistakenly matches patterns like '' as '//'.
return (email[0] for email in re.findall(regex, s) if not email[0].startswith('//'))
if __name__ == '__main__':
parser = OptionParser(usage="Usage: python %prog [FILE]...")
# No options added yet. Add them here if you ever need them.
options, args = parser.parse_args()
if not args:
for arg in args:
if os.path.isfile(arg):
for email in get_emails(file_to_str(arg)):
print email
print '"{}" is not a file.'.format(arg)

parable commented May 2, 2013

So This is great, being new to python and not very good at writing regex, say I had a file containing lot's of e.mails not addresses but actual e.mails with html mark up and lot's of good stuff.
But all I want is the domain -> "From:" e.mail address of each e.mail ...


dideler commented May 10, 2013

@parable I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. Can you rephrase your question?

If you have an email address like, do you just want the part?

diek commented Jun 4, 2014

works very nicely


sp3234 commented Aug 31, 2015

Can I extract fields From and their correspodning To with this code

work nice, thanks :)

you saved a lot of stupid work

This is genius, thanks!

Holly-L commented Jun 16, 2016

Great work here. Thank you! Just wondering why you didn't use \w (the metacharacter for word characters) in the regex instead of [a-z0-9]?

so useful... thanks!

I can't really make out where it pulls the txt file in? what are the variables that define which file is being converted to a string? terminal just returns Usage: python [FILE]...

baxeico commented Mar 7, 2017

Save in a file, then chmod +x Then use like this to remove duplicate email addresses:

./ file_to_parse.txt | sort | uniq

if the email starts with a ' like '', it does not trim it.

Hello Dideler,

I am looking for Email Data Extractor

From Selected Folder
From Selected dates between
The data information i need between selected From & To emails only

Kindly share the script for same, so i can use it in Google spread sheet to track those mails data for my daily use

Thank You

wrystal commented Oct 6, 2017

There are small amount of wrong matching cases,such as:
online at
A kind of stupid way is to adjust it is:

pattern = re.compile("([a-z0-9!#$%&*+\/=?^_`{|}~-]+(?:\.[a-z0-9!#$%&'*+\/=?^_`"

samayia commented Nov 23, 2017

Emails within placeholders should be remove.

e.g. placeholder=""

This will generally give dummy and wanted value.

Thanks a bunch, you just saved me 30 minutes! Merci beaucoup!

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