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Removing tags from HTML prior to parsing

December 4, 2016
Ideally, the emails needed to be parsed come in plain text or using a very simple HTML formatting. This helps setting up Email Parser a lot but the most common scenario is that the emails you need to be parsed have many HTML tags, complex formatting, fancy fonts etc. This makes text capturing like digging for data. A very useful way to prepare the HTML body of an email to be parsed is to remove all the HTML tags first. We can do this creating the following field (called test here) in an email parser item:

We entered the regular expression:
Which basically means:
Take anything that starts with '<' and ends with a '>'
And we replaced here the matching text with a ‘-‘. You can put here anything, even nothing at all if you want the HTML tags to be removed. We used ‘-‘ to show you that the HTML tags have been actually removed.
Well, time for testing. Let’s take one of those fancy emails full of formatting:

  And we got tons of ‘-‘ as expected and also some readable text ready to be parsed. The next step is to create a field that takes this one as input (not the email body) and do the actual parsing. How? See multiple-step parsing. It is easier than it looks like! Note that you can also take the plain text version of the email body and you do not need to remove any tag. But if for any reason you prefer the HTML version of the email body, this is the way to go.

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