anchor ⇝

hypertext link

<hypertext>

(Or "hyperlink", "button", formerly "span", "region", "extent") A pointer from within the content of one hypertext node (e.g. a web page) to another node. In HTML (the language used to write web pages), the source and destination of a link are known as "anchors". A source anchor may be a word, phrase, image or the whole node. A destination anchor may be a whole node or some position within the node.

A hypertext browser displays source anchors in some distinctive way. When the user activates the link (e.g. by clicking on it with the mouse), the browser displays the destination anchor to which the link refers. Anchors should be recognisable at all times, not, for example, only when the mouse is over them. Originally links were always underlined but the modern preference is to use bold text.

In HTML, anchors are created with <a..>..</a> anchor elements. The opening "a" tag of a source anchor has an "href" (hypertext reference) attribute giving the destination in the form of a URL - usually a whole "page". E.g.

	<a href="http://foldoc.org/">
	Free On-line Dictionary of Computing</a>

Destination anchors can be used in HTML to name a position within a page using a "name" attribute. E.g.

	<a name="chapter3">

The name or "fragment identifier" is appended to the URL of the page after a "#":

	http://fairystory.com/goldilocks.html#chapter3

Last updated: 2008-12-10

Nearby terms:

hypertexthypertext linkHypertext Markup LanguageHypertext Transfer Protocol

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