I read this post, but it doesn't answer my question:

I have noticed that it seems to be possible to include a name along with an email address, even for names/emails that are not in my address book. After the email is sent, looking at the header shows blue bubbles with the correct name for each email address.

However, when I try to paste multiple email addresses along with names, I can't tell what Mail.app is going to do with them. It doesn't turn them into the blue bubbles that make it intuitive. (It seems to only do this after the email is sent.)

Example of the format I'm talking about:

Joe Blow [email protected]
Jimmy Dean [email protected]
Sally May [email protected]

By contrast, when a list formatted like the following is pasted into a recipient field, all the email addresses immediately turn into individual blue boxes that indicate how Mail.app will separate them:

[email protected],[email protected],[email protected]

Possibly related; when I saved a draft that included multiple email addresses in the BCC field formatted like this, and opened the draft later, I found all but two emails (out of about fifteen) had disappeared from the BCC field.

Is there a correct standard format for pasting multiple names and email addresses into a recipient field? (Not names from the address book.)

If so, what is it?

1 Answer 1


The expected format for multiple e-mail address is:

Joe Blow <[email protected]>
Jimmy Dean <[email protected]>
Sally May <[email protected]>

Copying and pasting this into Mail.app on macOS 10.12 works as expected. Three people are added to the e-mail; each with their name associated with the e-mail address.

Individual entries can be separated by a comma:

Joe Blow <[email protected]>, Jimmy Dean <[email protected]>, Sally May <[email protected]>

The angle bracket format originates from RFC 822 Section-6.1. This Request For Comment (RFC) defined the basis of the e-mail standard used on the Internet.

  • 1
    Perfect, thank you! And for anyone else, the command for the conversion is sed -E -i '.bak' 's/[^[:space:]]+@[^[:space:]]+/<&>/' list_of_people.txt.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 8:08

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