To view this page, you should have the most recent Java installed
32-bit JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.8.0_05.
This Applet will run online in your browser, but it is a hybrid you
can also download, install and run it on your own machine as standalone
application. It will start and run faster if you do that. It will also
work safely even if you have disabled Java in your browser.
Why Not Clickable?
The email addresses on this website are usually not clickable. They are slightly fuzzy images, not text. I do this
not to annoy you, but to discourage spam harvesters. You can use the same technique yourself with this Masker Applet.
The following signed Applet will produce *.png files (variable transparency background image
files similar to *.gifs, but smaller) that contain your email address. When you post them on
your website, it is harder for spammer to harvest them. It will let you make transparent a graphic email icon like
⇐ png graphic icon, not text.
If, Masker, the above Email masker signed Java Applet (that can also be run as an application) does not work…
Often problems can be fixed simply by clicking the reload button on your browser.
This signed Java Applet (that can also be run as an application) needs 32-bit or 64-bit Java 1.7 or later.
For best results use the latest 1.8.0_05.
In the Java Control Panel, configure medium security to allow vanilla unsigned applets to run.
It works under any operating system that supports Java e.g. W2K/XP/W2003/Vista/W2008/W7-32/W7-64/W8-32/W8-64/W2012/Linux/LinuxARM/LinuxX86/LinuxX64/Ubuntu/Solaris/SolarisSPARC/SolarisSPARC64/SolarisX86/SolarisX64/OSX
You should see the Applet hybrid above looking much like this screenshot. If you don’t, the following hints should help you get it working:
For this Applet hybrid to work, you must click grant/accept to give it permission to write the generated image files to disk.
If you refuse to grant permission, the program may crash with an inscrutable stack dump on the console complaining about AccessController.checkPermission.
If the above Applet hybrid appears to freeze-up, click Alt-Esc repeatedly to check for any buried permission dialog box.
If you have certificate troubles, check the installed certificates and remove or update any obsolete or suspected defective certificates. The only certificate used by this program is mindprodcert2014dsa.cer.
Especially if this Applet hybrid has worked before, try clearing the browser cache and rebooting.
To ensure your Java is up to date, check with Wassup. First, download it and run it as an application independent of your browser, then run it online as an Applet to add the complication of your browser.
If the above Applet hybrid does not work, check the Java console for error messages.
If the above Applet hybrid does not work, you might have better luck with the downloadable version available below.
If you are using Mac OS X and would like an improved Look and Feel, download the QuaQua look & feel from randelshofer.ch/quaqua. UnZip the contained quaqua.jar and install it in ~/Library/Java/Extensions or one of the other ext dirs.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9, try another browser. Seriously. Microsoft has taken great pains, over and over, to screw up Java and every other multi-platform standardisation.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9, you must click to allow blocked content permission for Active X to run. This also gives permission to Java to run. Click the Information bar, and then click Allow blocked content. Unfortunately, this also allows dangerous ActiveX code to run. However, you must do this in order to get access to perfectly-safe Java Applets running in a sandbox. This is part of Microsoft’s war on Java. Don’t put up with it! Use a different browser.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, makes sure the Java Plug-In SSV helper add-in is installed and enabled.
If it is not, try reinstalling the Java JRE.
If you have Windows 7 64-bit
and Internet Explorer 64-bit,
in theory you can use 64-bit Java,
but I never been able to get it to work.
Try upgrading to a more recent version of your browser, or try a different browser e.g. Firefox, SeaMonkey, Safari or Avant.
If you still can’t get the program working click HELP for more detail.
If you can’t get the above Applet hybrid working after trying the advice above and from the HELP button below, have bugs to report or ideas to improve the program or its documentation, please send me an email at.
Some browsers (i.e. IE) may not render the transparent background of the email address correctly.
embedded graphic on coloured background
email Roedy Green at
Some Some browsers (i.e. IE) may not render the transparent background of the email address correctly.
in a newsgroup
Roedy Green’s email address is posted at:
Roedy Green’s email address is posted at:
When you use the images embedded in small type you may have trouble getting them to align or to avoid creating excess blank space
between lines. Shrink the images to roughly the size of the type with the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) height parameter; then they will behave.
Internet Explorer 5 and 6 have a bug, (fixed in Internet Explorer 7+) in that they do not properly render the
transparent *.png files that Masker generates. If you look at this page with IE (Internet Explorer) 5/6, you
will can see that the undoctored images don’t display properly. You can massage them so they IE 5/6 can handle
them properly by using Corel PaintShop Pro X6. Load the image,
and flatten it with layers ⇒ merge ⇒ merge all
(flatten). Then use Image ⇒ palette ⇒ ⇒ set transparency ⇒ click on
some white in the background of the image and save. Not many people still use IE 5/6, so you can just ignore
the problem. For the technical details on the problem see the png
entry in the Java glossary.
For very old browsers that have no *.png support at all, you can save the images
as *.gifs. Doctoring this way will lose the nicely feathered transparency around the
letters. The images will look best on a pure white background, unlike the originals that will work on any colour. On
the other hand, doctored images are smaller.
Masker graphics can be read by humans, but it would be more difficult for automation to harvest the name for
spam lists. Masker makes the letters slightly fuzzy on purpose to deter automated spam harvesting of the
graphics. Some spammers have harvested emails created by masker, presumably using human labour.
No munging scheme is safe from that. You have to use a web form to collect your mail, where you don’t
reveal your email address in any form. You use a Captcha or similar scheme to discourage spam.
It is a balance between inconveniencing your legitimate correspondents and discouraging spam.
If you don’t like the font, size or colour, downloadMasker and
modify the configuration constants.
You want to give automated spam harvesters as few clues a possible:
Name your *.png file something that gives no hint of the fact it contains an email
Name your *.png file something completely unlike your actual email address.
Don’t give any clues to your actual email address in the alt parameter. You
might instead give a phone number for the blind.
Don’t put text nearby that hints this is an email address. Just leave it bald with the @ in the graphic as the only clue.
If you have a programmable webserver, (e.g. a Servlet
womb), never post your email address, even with Masker. Instead, make people fill in an HTMLFORM to send you the initial contact email.
Change your email address to a word not found in the dictionary or in
100,000 + Baby Names. Spammers will try sending to every
possible word, given name and surname on a given email host and remember what gets delivered for future
If can’t or don’t want to use a signed Java Applet like Masker or if you don’t have a server to
post the generated icon on the web, you could use the Nexodyne Email Icon Generator. Nexodyne stores the generated icon
for you on their webserver, so you can include a link to it in newsgroup postings, emails or blogs without having
your own webserver. With Masker, you have to upload the icon to some website before you can link to it. Nexodyne
generates opaque images. Masker generates transparent ones. Nexodyne limits your choice of mailservers. Masker does
not. Nexodyne is proprietary. Source is included free for Masker.
Masker is free. Full source included.
You may even include the source code, modified or unmodified
in free/commercial open source/proprietary programs that you write and distribute. Non-military use only.