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

Hyperlinks are defined with the HTML <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 at the end of subfolder addresses, you might generate two requests to the server. Many servers will automatically add a forward slash to the end of 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 https://www....).


<a href="html_images.asp">HTML Images</a>
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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">HTML tutorial!</a>
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HTML Links - Image as a 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).

Button as a Link

To use an HTML button as a link, you have to add some JavaScript code.

JavaScript allows you to specify what happens at certain events, such as a click of a button:


<button onclick="document.location = 'default.asp'">HTML Tutorial</button>
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Tip: Learn more about JavaScript in our JavaScript Tutorial.

Link Titles

The title attribute specifies extra information about an element. The information is most often shown as a tooltip text when the mouse moves over the element.


<a href="" title="Go to W3Schools HTML section">Visit our HTML Tutorial</a>
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External Paths

External pages can be referenced with a full URL or with a path relative to the current web page.

This example uses a full URL to link to a web page:


<a href="">HTML tutorial</a>

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This example links to a page located in the html folder on the current web site:


<a href="/html/default.asp">HTML tutorial</a>

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This example links to a page located in the same folder as the current page:


<a href="default.asp">HTML tutorial</a>

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You can read more about file paths in the chapter HTML File Paths.

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

HTML Exercises

Test Yourself With Exercises


Use the correct HTML to make the text below into a link to "default.html".

>Visit our HTML tutorial.

Start the Exercise

HTML Link Tags

Tag Description
<a>Defines a hyperlink

For a complete list of all available HTML tags, visit our HTML Tag Reference.