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We send out e-mails to our customers containing an order number. Unfortunately Gmail thinks these numbers are IP addresses and turns them into hyperlinks:

In a regular e-mail-client:

Your order number is: 08.12.2013-61

In Gmail:

Your order number is: <a href="tel:08.12.2013-16" value="+49812201316" target="_blank">08.12.2013-61</a>

I don't want to Gmail to add this HTML tag to the e-mail.

Is there anything I can do when creating or sending the e-mail to prevent this formatting error?

Edit There was a discussion if Google formats the number into a phone number or an IP number. That's not really important to me. It's neither type of number. I want to prevent Google from auto formatting our order number in any way.

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migrated from superuser.com Dec 8 '13 at 23:49

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I'm... not sure what is the difference between the two..? –  Darius Dec 8 '13 at 22:50
Are you sure it’s thinking they phone numbers and not IP addresses? Are you sure about the content and formatting of the resulting HTML that Gmail auto-adds? –  Synetech Dec 8 '13 at 23:36
@Synetech : if the tel: part in the hyperlink is added by gmail, then it must definitely think they are phone numbers, don't you think so ? –  Levans Dec 8 '13 at 23:46
Are you sending from Gmail? –  Franck Dernoncourt Dec 9 '13 at 0:33
@Levans, but the tel: part was not in the original post; you added that. Unless she reports back with the exact link that is added, we can only conjecture. The order number doesn’t really look like either an IP address or a phone number, it only looks kind of like both, so Gmail’s heuristic is throwing false-positives. Regardless, the answer would likely apply to all text that Gmail auto-interprets and auto-formats. –  Synetech Dec 9 '13 at 0:39

1 Answer 1

I think you can add a soft hyphen character. So, I would suggest using the following HTML code in your email body:

Your order number is: 08.&#173;12.&#173;2013-&#173;61
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Just make sure your email has the text-only version as well, where the soft hyphen is not present, because the customers that have their email clients set to plain text only will see it exactly like that, with “&#173;”. –  Alex Dec 10 '13 at 14:36

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