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A hyperlink has several different parts.
Parts of a Hyperlink
The anchor of the hyperlink. This is the thing you see on a page, which you actually click on. Most of the time, the anchor is text. But it could also be:
- An image
- A part of an image
- An overlay on a video
- An area on a page
- A button
- An icon
The anchor gives the hyperlink element its name. If you ever look at the source code of a website, you’ll see that the hyperlinks are defined by the code that looks like
<a href="link address goes here">Anchor text here</a>.
The linked page, which is defined in the
href, is called the hyper reference. Think of the word reference just as you would in a research paper when you have to reference a source material. It’s called “hyper” because you can actually follow the reference to see the document being referred to.
Hyper references and hyper links are so important to the concept of the World Wide Web that they give their name to:
- The language used for creating web pages: Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)
- The protocol used in sending and responding to requests for web pages: Hyper Text Tranfer Protol (HTTP)
Hyperlinks can also have a Title. This shows up as a small popup “tooltip” when you hover over the anchor text or other anchor element.
Hyperlinks have a Target. The target is the window that the linked page is going to be opened into. By default, the current window is the target. That means that you will no longer see the current page, it will be replaced by the linked page. Website owners can also set the target to be a new window or browser tab, which will be opened next to the current one. The current page will then still be open and available.
Using Multiple Browser Tabs and Windows
As a user, you can open any link into a new browser tab or window if you want. Just right-click (or two-finger-tap) and select “Open in New Tab” from the contextual menu. (On some computers, clicking with the scroll wheel will make this happen in one step.)