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PHP : Function Reference : Multibyte String Functions : mb_send_mail


Send encoded mail (PHP 4 >= 4.0.6, PHP 5)
bool mb_send_mail ( string to, string subject, string message [, string additional_headers [, string additional_parameter]] )

Code Examples / Notes » mb_send_mail

ran hamada rhamada

You may not use mb_encode_mimeheader() with mb_convert_encoding() to make subject as follows. It causes mojibake in several strings.
mb_encode_mimeheader( mb_convert_encoding($strMailSubj, "JIS", "EUC-JP") )
Set mb_internal_encoding() to *subject's* encoding and call mb_encode_mimeheader.
   $__lang = mb_language();
   $__enc = mb_internal_encoding();
   mb_internal_encoding( mb_detect_encoding($subject) );
   #mb_internal_encoding( "EUC-JP" ); #just do when you know encoding of $subject
   mb_internal_encoding( $__enc );


Yes, as far as I understood the function encodes the entrire message body with base64 and that's why it can be used to send messages with attachments.


There is another way of encoding Japanese language to send email without worrying about mb_functions:
Download PHP Jcode from
and use JcodeConvert function with base64_encode function for the e-mail header and the subject.
$email_to = "";
$_POST["name"] = strip_tags(trim($_POST["name"]));
$name = "=?ISO-2022-JP?B?". base64_encode(JcodeConvert($_POST["name"], 2, 3)). "?=";
$_POST["email"] = strip_tags(trim($_POST["email"]));
$_POST["subject"] = strip_tags(trim($_POST["subject"]));
$email_subject = "=?ISO-2022-JP?B?". base64_encode(JcodeConvert($_POST["subject"], 2, 3)). "?=";
$_POST["body"] = strip_tags(trim($_POST["body"]));
$email_header = "From: $name <". $_POST["email"] .">\n";
$email_header .= "Reply-To: ". $_POST["email"] ."\n";
$email_header .= "Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit\n";
$email_header .= "Content-type: text/plain; charset=\"iso-2022-jp\"\n\n";
$email_body = "blah blah blah.\n"
mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_body, $email_header);

no dot email dot address

Tested with PHP 4.2.2 on Linux: Please note that if you're using Unicode (mb_language("uni")) and you attempt to send mail with mb_send_mail(), you will need to base64_encode() the message body - mb_send_mail() doesn't do that for you. It does, however, issue the correct message headers, so you don't need to worry about that.
Also note that neither mb_language() nor mb_send_mail() is able to convert your message to UTF-8. *You* need to provide the UTF-8-encoded (and base64-encoded) message, and then mb_send_mail() will issue the correct message headers.
Here's an example of sending an UTF-8-encoded message with mb_send_mail():
$body = chunk_split(base64_encode("International characters"));
mb_send_mail("", "Subject", $body);
If the receiving mail client supports UTF-8 properly, you will be able to send messages that contain a mix of all kinds of characters (e.g., you could send Thai, Chinese, and Danish characters in the same message). Not all mail clients support UTF-8, though. At the time of writing, some of the more popular Windows email clients - Eudora and Pegasus Mail - don't. There are a number of email clients with working support for UTF-8. These include Outlook Express, KMail, Mozilla, Netscape 6/7, Sylpheed, Evolution and others.


Make sure that if you're using a form to type in the mail, that your form page has the right encoding, like if I want to send out a japanese email, by filling out a form, the form page needs this in the header:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=SHIFT-JIS">


If your server doesn't have mb_send_mail() enabled but you want to use non-ascii (multi-byte) chars in an email's subject or name headers, you can use something like the following:
$charset = "iso-2202-jp"; // japanese
$to = encode("japanese name 01", $charset) . " <>";
$from = encode("japanese name 02", $charset) . " <>";
$subject = encode("japanese text", $charset);
$message = "does not need to be encoded";
mail($to, $subject, $message, $from);
function encode($in_str, $charset) {
   $out_str = $in_str;
   if ($out_str && $charset) {
       // define start delimimter, end delimiter and spacer
       $end = "?=";
       $start = "=?" . $charset . "?B?";
       $spacer = $end . "\r\n " . $start;
       // determine length of encoded text within chunks
       // and ensure length is even
       $length = 75 - strlen($start) - strlen($end);
       $length = floor($length/2) * 2;
       // encode the string and split it into chunks
       // with spacers after each chunk
       $out_str = base64_encode($out_str);
       $out_str = chunk_split($out_str, $length, $spacer);
       // remove trailing spacer and
       // add start and end delimiters
       $spacer = preg_quote($spacer);
       $out_str = preg_replace("/" . $spacer . "$/", "", $out_str);
       $out_str = $start . $out_str . $end;
   return $out_str;
// for details on Message Header Extensions
// for Non-ASCII Text see ...


I was trying to send japanese email and had a hell of a time getting it to work. I finally stumbled across mb_send_mail() and it did everything I wanted *except* that it only send plain text emails ... sending HTML contents was impossible.
I finally whipped this up. I'm posting in case someone finds it useful.
function send_japanese_mail($to, $subject, $body, $from, $from_email, $is_html_content=false) {
  $headers  = "MIME-Version: 1.0\\n" ;
  $headers .= "From: $from <$from_email>\\n";
  $headers .= "Reply-To: $from <$from_email>\\n";

 /* If the body  is HTML or plain text set the Content-Type header accordingly */
  if ($is_html_content) {
    $headers .= "Content-Type: text/html;charset=ISO-2022-JP\\n";
    /* turn all line breaks into BR tags */
    $body = nl2br($body);
    else {
    $headers .= "Content-Type: text/plain;charset=ISO-2022-JP\\n";
 /* need to convert body to same encoding as stated in Content-Type header above */
 $body = mb_convert_encoding($body, "ISO-2022-JP","AUTO");
 /* set any sendmail params, optional ... */
 $sendmail_params  = "-f$from_email";
  The subject is actually a "header" and can/will get mangled
  if it contains non-ASCII characters. So we need to convert
  the subject to something containing only ASCII characters.
  First we convert the subject to the same encoding as the
  body, then we use mb_encode_mimeheader() to make the subject
  line all ASCII characters.
  $subject = mb_convert_encoding($subject, "ISO-2022-JP","AUTO");
  $subject = mb_encode_mimeheader($subject);
  mail($to, $subject, $body, $headers, $sendmail_params);

re: n03l in japan

I have to use Japanese hankaku (single byte kana in (S)JIS) in mail subject and message,
so I tried the way that NO3L in Japan said, but I found there's a big problem.
In that way, mb_encode_mimeheader drop escape sequence from the head of encoded string from second line.
if you use long letter in subject, and if it includes multi byte string, It must crashed.
Therefore, if you want to use Japanese hankaku in mail subject, you might try like this.
Encoded subject letters in one line is not just 76 letters, so it is not based on RFC, but it work.
$intSubjectLength  = mb_strlen($strSubject);
$intSeparateLength = 10;
for ($i=0; $i<ceil($intSubjectLength / $intSeparateLength); $i++) {
   $arrSeparatedSubject[$i] = mb_substr($strSubject, $intIndex, $intSeparateLength);
   $arrSeparatedSubject[$i] = mb_encode_mimeheader(mb_convert_encoding($arrSeparatedSubject[$i], "JIS", "EUC-JP"));
   $intIndex = $intIndex + $intSeparateLength;
$strSubject = join("\n ", $arrSeparatedSubject);

n03l in japan

First of all, don't use nl2br in newer php versions unless you WANT to write'll get <br /> tags.
Secondly, you should use JIS, not ISO-2022-JP as the convert TO encoding.  If you use ISO... mb_encode_mimeheader seems to fail. They're the same charset anyway.
Now here's why I am really writing.  I just discovered that mb_send_mail and mb_encode_mimeheader cannot support hankaku (single byte kana in (S)JIS) at all.  If you are making apps for the keitai (mobile) market, this won't do.  Therefore, undo your overloading on the mail function and use regular mail and convert everything yourself like this.  This is what we did.  It seems to work for us.  Your mileage may vary.
$strMBS = mb_convert_encoding($strMailBodySend, "JIS", "EUC-JP");
$strMS  = mb_encode_mimeheader( mb_convert_encoding($strMailSubj, "JIS", "EUC-JP") );
mail($strToMail, $strMS, $strMBS, $strFrom);

sohel taslim

Easy and simple....
Send an email with Japanese contain.
    * @name                    : sendMail
    * @author Taslim Mazumder Sohel
    * Function for sending email
    *with Japanese Email Body, Subject, Sender Name.
    * @param String $to       : Receiver mail address.
    * @param String $subject   : email subject.
    * @param int    $body     : mail body text.
    * @param array  $from_email    : Sender mail address.
    * @param array  $from_name   : Sender Name.
function sendMail($to, $subject, $body, $from_email,$from_name)
$headers  = "MIME-Version: 1.0 \n" ;
$headers .= "From: " .
  "".mb_encode_mimeheader (mb_convert_encoding($from_name,"ISO-2022-JP","AUTO")) ."" .
  "<".$from_email."> \n";
$headers .= "Reply-To: " .
  "".mb_encode_mimeheader (mb_convert_encoding($from_name,"ISO-2022-JP","AUTO")) ."" .
  "<".$from_email."> \n";

$headers .= "Content-Type: text/plain;charset=ISO-2022-JP \n";

/* Convert body to same encoding as stated
in Content-Type header above */

$body = mb_convert_encoding($body, "ISO-2022-JP","AUTO");

/* Mail, optional paramiters. */
$sendmail_params  = "-f$from_email";

$subject = mb_convert_encoding($subject, "ISO-2022-JP","AUTO");
$subject = mb_encode_mimeheader($subject);
$result = mail($to, $subject, $body, $headers, $sendmail_params);
return $result;


30-jan-2007 12:53

Be careful, mb_send_mail chokes if you try and send a multipart e-mail.


As others say, mb_encode_mimeheader() seems to have a bug with JIS(ISO-2022-JP) encording. Token indicating start and end of multibyte char is inserted only before start of encoding and after the all.
We need the tokens at start and end of *all* encoded-text.
# PHP 4.3.2
So, we needs some workaround.
The post by "gordon at kanazawa-gu dot ac dot jp" seems to work well, but it doesn't. JIS nees some special tokens and base64_encode does'nt output them, so the code cannot used.
The post "RE: N03L in Japan", which simply splitting words in eash 10 chars is good enough in most case, there are some problem left. When there are some splited parts starting with ascii chars, 1 additional space will be inserted.
# RFC2047 only say within 76 words, shorter is not bad.
Additionally, thought it is really rare case, when we use "=?charset?" as literal string, we have to escape them.
# Some mailer can actually send this without escape and header will be broken. :(
Now, a little non-smart but maybe more accurate code is below function. I tested only with ISO-2022-JP, only in costomized phpBB2.0.5, only some cases.
As far as my test this code worked well, but I'm not sure.
# $str: source text
# $indent: ex. for "Subject: " header, give 9 and first line will be shorter than 76-1-9=66
# $encoding: source text encoding
# $mail_encoding: $str will be converted into this before base64 encode
function encode_mimeheader($str, $indent = 0, $encoding = 'utf-8', $mail_encoding = 'iso-2022-jp')
 $start_delimiter = strtoupper("=?$mail_encoding?B?");
 $start_pattern   = strtoupper("=\\?$mail_encoding\\?B\\?");
 $end_delimiter   = '?=';
 $str = mb_convert_encoding($str, $mail_encoding, $encoding);
 $length  = mb_strlen($str, $mail_encoding);
 $max_part_length = 20; // enough short in most case (you can change this default value)

 for ($i=0, $index=0; $index<$length; $i++) {
   $part_length = $max_part_length;
   $s = mb_substr($str, $index, $part_length, $mail_encoding);
   // workaround for literally used start delimiter (without below, subject may break)
   // note: mb_encode_mimeheader() don't encode ascii including start delimiter
   if (preg_match('/^' . $start_pattern . '/i', $s))
     $lines[$i] = $start_delimiter . base64_encode($start_delimiter) . "?=";
     $index += strlen($start_delimiter);
   $lines[$i] = mb_encode_mimeheader($s, $mail_encoding);
   while (strlen($lines[$i]) > 76-1 - ($i?0:$indent)) { // max par line - first space - indent (first line only)
     $part_length = floor($part_length * (76-1 - ($i?0:$indent)) / strlen($lines[$i])); // at least 1 decrement
     $s = mb_substr($str, $index, $part_length, $mail_encoding);
     $lines[$i] = mb_encode_mimeheader($s, $mail_encoding);

   // workaround for starting new line with ascii (without below, 1 space may cut in)
   // note: mb_encode_mimeheader() starts encode after encounterring multibyte char
   if ($i > 0 && !preg_match('/^' . $start_pattern . '/i', $lines[$i]))
     $p = strpos($lines[$i], $start_delimiter); //never 0 (false when not found)
     $p = $p ? $p : strlen($lines[$i]);
     $lines[$i] = $start_delimiter . base64_encode(substr($lines[$i], 0, $p)) . "?=";
     $part_length = $p;
   $index += $part_length;
 $str = join("\r\n ", $lines); // RFC 2047,822 say newline must be ^\r\n, not only\n
 return $str;

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