HubSpot Ideas


Special characters validation rule should permit hyphens and dots

When the "Don't allow special characters" validation rule is enabled for a property, it permits alphanumeric characters and spaces, but is overly restrictive in banning punctuation (like hyphen and dot/period) that may appear in contact names like:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • George W. Bush
  • Dr. Seuss

These characters (hyphen and period) are occur so commonly that they are permitted to appear unescaped in virtual all contexts, e.g.:

  • In URLs, they are part of the unreserved character set
  • In email addresses, they may appear in either the domain or the local part (see the dot-atom definition)
  • In HTML/XML, they are not special like <> & or single/double quotes.
  • In JSON/JS, they may appear unescaped in string literals, unlike single/double quotes.
  • In Windows/Unix file systems, they are considered part of the filename, unlike slash/backslash, colon, and other characters.

(By contrast, the special characters validation rule permits the space character, which breaks in several of the contexts I've listed.)


The special characters validation rule seems to exist for the purpose of preventing the inclusion of characters that may cause problems (esp. security-related) when processing property values in later contexts.  This is a valuable and useful function, but its overly restrictive nature here forces HubSpot users that want to use hyphens and/or dots to disable the rule and accept that the property may contain much more dangerous characters that do require special treatment.


For what it's worth, neither the HubSpot UI nor the linked documentation mention either of these characters as being on the exclusion list, which makes it seems like their current exclusion was an unforeseen side-effect rather than an intentional decision.


1 Reply

Completely agree with this need.