Protecting your email address via SVG instead of JS

For a live demo of this accessible, no-javascript technique, see:

Email addresses published on webpages usually need to be protected from email-harvesting spambots.

Conventionally, email protection techniques utilise a combination of HTML, CSS and JS - though each approach is subject to its own pros and cons.

In general, approaches involving JS tend to be more sophisticated than alternatives based on HTML and / or CSS.

But the downside is that JS then becomes an unavoidable dependency of that page.

There is always benefit in considering the school of thought which advocates that while JS may enhance pages, ideally we should want all the essential functionality on those pages to work even while JavaScript is turned off.

The technique detailed on this page utilises an an approach entirely different from conventional email protection techniques, based on CSS, JS, CSS + JS etc.

Because this technique is based on SVG.

N.B. This technique - and any other email-protection technique utilising front-end-technologies - won’t protect your published email address from being harvested by the most determined and sophisticated spambots. But, as with many JS-based email-protection techniques, it will protect you nevertheless from a great many unsophisticated harvesters and keep your email successfully hidden from any simple or amateurish scripts trawling the web, seeking to copy any unprotected email addresses they find.

Three advantages of an SVG-based approach to protecting email addresses

1. Works with JavaScript turned off

The main advantage of this SVG-based approach to protecting emails, is that it involves no JavaScript.

As such, even when a human visitor has their JavaScript turned off, the email address displayed on the page remains usable, accessible and protected, while remaining secure and hidden from spambots.

Unlike other no-JavaScript-required approaches (e.g. obfuscating email addresses by inserting non-visible HTML Comments or inserting visible elements and subsequently hiding them via CSS), this SVG-based approach allows for standard mailto: links. The twist is: the mailto: link exists inside the external SVG document, not inside the referring HTML document.

3. Conceals content like an image; Copyable like text

A third advantage is that embedded SVGs are image-like but not images.

As replaced elements embedded within a hypertext document, SVGs may conceal an email address from spambots nearly as effectively as an image might.

But, strictly, SVGs are graphics documents rather than actual images.

Consequently, unlike with an image, a human visitor may still copy the email address by right-clicking on the <text> element in the embedded SVG.

This would not be possible with a conventional image.

Implementing the Code

In the example below there are two files.

The SVG graphics document is embedded in the HTML hypertext document via:

<object data="svg-email-protection.svg" type="image/svg+xml" /></object>

Note that the same SVG graphics document may be embedded in hypertext once - or multiple times.


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-GB">
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>SVG Email Protection</title>
.svg-email-protection {
  width: 180px;
  height: 24px;
  vertical-align: middle;


<p>This is my email: <object class="svg-email-protection" data="svg-email-protection.svg" type="image/svg+xml"></object></p>


SVG File

<svg xmlns=""
     viewBox="0 0 200 24">

  <title id="title">Email Us!</title>


  <style type="text/css"><![CDATA[

  rect {
    width: 200px;
    height: 24px;
    fill: rgb(255, 255, 255);

  a:focus rect,
  rect:hover {
    rx: 4px;
    ry: 4px;
    fill: rgb(0, 0, 255);

  text {
    font-size: 16px;
    fill: rgb(0, 0, 255);
    pointer-events: none;

  a:focus text,
  rect:hover + text {
    fill: rgb(255, 255, 255);
    font-weight: 900;
    text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);
    text-decoration: underline 1px solid rgb(255, 255, 255);
    text-underline-offset: 5px;



  <a href="mailto:myemail@mydomain.tld" aria-label="Email Us!">
    <rect />
    <text x="50%" y="50%" text-anchor="middle" dominant-baseline="middle">myemail@mydomain.tld</text>



As ever, it’s important to ensure that this setup remains as accessible as possible.

On this basis, note the following in the SVG graphics document:

To see a live demo of this accessible, no-javascript technique, go to: