HTML Links

Links are found in nearly all web pages. Links allow users to click their way from page to page.

HTML Links - Hyperlinks

HTML links are hyperlinks.

You can click on a link and jump to another document.

When you move the mouse over a link, the mouse arrow will turn into a little hand.

Note: A link does not have to be text. It can be an image or any other HTML element.

HTML Links - Syntax

In HTML, links are defined with the <a> tag:

<a href="url">link text</a>


<a href="">Visit our HTML tutorial</a>
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The href attribute specifies the destination address ( of the link.

The link text is the visible part (Visit our HTML tutorial).

Clicking on the link text will send you to the specified address.

Note: Without a forward slash on subfolder addresses, you might generate two requests to the server. Many servers will automatically add a forward slash to the address, and then create a new request.

Local Links

The example above used an absolute URL (A full web address).

A local link (link to the same web site) is specified with a relative URL (without http://www....).


<a href="html_images.asp">HTML Images</a>
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HTML Link Colors

By default, a link will appear like this (in all browsers):

  • An unvisited link is underlined and blue
  • A visited link is underlined and purple
  • An active link is underlined and red

You can change the default colors, by using styles:


a:link    {color:green; background-color:transparent; text-decoration:none}
a:visited {color:pink; background-color:transparent; text-decoration:none}
a:hover   {color:red; background-color:transparent; text-decoration:underline}
a:active  {color:yellow; background-color:transparent; text-decoration:underline}
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HTML Links - The target Attribute

The target attribute specifies where to open the linked document.

The target attribute can have one of the following values:

  • _blank - Opens the linked document in a new window or tab
  • _self - Opens the linked document in the same window/tab as it was clicked (this is default)
  • _parent - Opens the linked document in the parent frame
  • _top - Opens the linked document in the full body of the window
  • framename - Opens the linked document in a named frame

This example will open the linked document in a new browser window/tab:


<a href="" target="_blank">Visit W3Schools!</a>
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Tip: If your webpage is locked in a frame, you can use target="_top" to break out of the frame:


<a href="" target="_top">HTML5 tutorial!</a>
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HTML Links - Image as Link

It is common to use images as links:


<a href="default.asp">
  <img src="smiley.gif" alt="HTML tutorial" style="width:42px;height:42px;border:0;">
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Note: border:0; is added to prevent IE9 (and earlier) from displaying a border around the image (when the image is a link).

HTML Links - Create a Bookmark

HTML bookmarks are used to allow readers to jump to specific parts of a Web page.

Bookmarks can be useful if your webpage is very long.

To make a bookmark, you must first create the bookmark, and then add a link to it.

When the link is clicked, the page will scroll to the location with the bookmark.


First, create a bookmark with the id attribute:

<h2 id="tips">Useful Tips Section</h2>

Then, add a link to the bookmark ("Useful Tips Section"), from within the same page:

<a href="#tips">Visit the Useful Tips Section</a>

Or, add a link to the bookmark ("Useful Tips Section"), from another page:


<a href="html_tips.html#tips">Visit the Useful Tips Section</a>
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Chapter Summary

  • Use the <a> element to define a link
  • Use the href attribute to define the link address
  • Use the target attribute to define where to open the linked document
  • Use the <img> element (inside <a>) to use an image as a link
  • Use the id attribute (id="value") to define bookmarks in a page
  • Use the href attribute (href="#value") to link to the bookmark

Test Yourself with Exercises!

Exercise 1 »  Exercise 2 »  Exercise 3 »  Exercise 4 »  Exercise 5 »

HTML Link Tags

Tag Description
<a>Defines a hyperlink