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.

A hyperlink is a text or an image you can click on, and jump to another document.

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 (

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

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

Note The link text does not have to be text. It can be an HTML image or any other HTML element.
Note Without a trailing slash on subfolder addresses, you might generate two requests to the server. Many servers will automatically add a trailing 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 Links - Colors

When you move the mouse over a link, two things will normally happen:

  • The mouse arrow will turn into a little hand
  • The color of the link element will change

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.

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


<a href="" target="_blank">Visit W3Schools!</a>
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Target Value Description
_blank Opens the linked document in a new window or tab
_self Opens the linked document in the same frame 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

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.

HTML Links - Create a Bookmark

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

Bookmarks are practical if your website has long pages.

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