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What is a Hyperlink?

Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer, David Whitsett
  • Author
    Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

    Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has been teaching math for over 9 years. Amy has worked with students at all levels from those with special needs to those that are gifted.

  • Instructor
    David Whitsett

    David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

Explore hyperlinks and see the hyperlink definition and examples. Learn about the purpose of hyperlinks and discover what happens when a hyperlink is clicked. Updated: 01/05/2022

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Hyperlinks are found everywhere on the internet. What is a hyperlink? Hyperlinks are used to navigate around a website, and hyperlinks can be used within a document to make navigating around the document easier. Hyperlinks are also called links as they link to other places.


Hyperlinks are used to navigate websites

What is a link? Hyperlinks are used to navigate websites


Coding used to create hyperlinks is called hypertext. The text that appears as the link is referred to as the anchor text. For example, at the end of this lesson, there are two hyperlinks with anchor texts of Print Lesson and Next Lesson. Hover over them with the mouse, and an underline appears. Click on these links, and they direct to another page. The Print Lesson hyperlink directs to the Print dialog window while the Next Lesson hyperlink directs to the lesson that follows. At the very top of this page is an image of the Study.com logo and name. This is an image that is a hyperlink. Click on this, and it directs to the homepage of Study.com.

Hyperlinks are usually underlined in blue if the page has not been visited yet. The links turn purple if they have already been visited. Hyperlinks in documents or PDF documents stored on a computer can be used without the internet.

Hyperlink Definition

The formal hyperlink definition is either some text or an image that can be clicked which directs to another location either on the same page or on another page. There are specific types of hyperlinks as well. Each serves a particular purpose.

Inline links are hyperlinks that are part of a sentence. As a particular subject is being talked about, a hyperlink is inserted into the text that directs to another destination about that particular subject.

Anchor hyperlinks are hyperlinks that direct to an anchor on the same page. For example, some pages have a table of contents of sorts. Certain parts of the page have an invisible marked spot called an anchor. Anchor hyperlinks directly to these spots on the page. A link in the table of contents will direct to one of these anchor spots.

Fat links are links that have several destinations. For example, a link that opens up a drop-down menu where several options are presented is a fat link.

Hyperlinks are directional, meaning once clicked, they direct only one way. The direction of a hyperlink is always from the page it is on pointing to its final destination.

What are Hyperlinks Used for?

Hyperlinks are used for many necessary functions on the World Wide Web, the internet. Without hyperlinks, it is impossible to go from one page to another on the internet. After performing an internet search using a search engine such as Google, hyperlinks show up as results. These hyperlinks direct to pages that contain the information being searched for.

Wikis are websites that contain reference information, and these use hyperlinks to link to other pages on its site that show relevant information. Virtual world networks are similar to wikis in that hyperlinks are used to link to internal pages within the network.

Permalinks are permanent hyperlinks. These links are meant to stay active for many years. Most times, permalinks are links that are easy to remember and not too long. For example, a page on a website about a cherry pie recipe might have a permalink that looks like this.

  • www.website.com/cherrypierecipe

It's not too long, and it's easy to remember.

Hyperlinks can also be found in PDF documents. Hyperlinks in these documents make navigating the PDF document easier and quicker. There may be a table of contents with hyperlinks that link to each chapter. There may be hyperlinks that link to other parts of the same document with the chapters. Within a PDF document, there can also be external hyperlinks that link to internet resources or other online PDF resources.

Hyperlinks are created with hypertext using HTML. A similar programming language called XML has XML links similar to hyperlinks. These perform the same function as hyperlinks, directing to another relevant destination either within the same XML document or to an external source.

Hyperlink Examples

Let's look at some hyperlink examples.

  • Hyperlinks in a website about growing plants hydroponically.

A hyperlink on the homepage of the site might use an anchor text of dwarf tomatoes that directs to another page on the same website about growing dwarf tomatoes hydroponically without soil. Clicking on the anchor text of dwarf tomatoes changes the webpage to one specifically about dwarf tomatoes on the same website.

  • Hyperlinked tabs in a digital PDF planner.

A PDF digital planner is a planner in digital PDF form. The tabs on such a document act as virtual monthly tabs. The hyperlinked monthly tabs direct to the beginning of each month in the PDF planner. Clicking on the MAR hyperlinked tab changes the page to the beginning of the March section of the PDF planner. Hyperlinks in documents can be used without the internet.

  • Hyperlinked videos on a video-sharing site.

A video-sharing site uses hyperlinks with images of the videos on its site. Clicking on a video directs to that video to watch it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a link?

An example of a link is the links that appear as search results on the internet. Each result is a hyperlink that directs to the page that has the information being searched for.

What is a hyperlink used for?

Hyperlinks are used for navigating the internet and for navigating documents. They are links leading to anything. They can link to another document or another website, picture, or even print dialog.

What is a link in a computer system?

A link in a computer system usually links to a local file or document. Some links can be network links that link to files and documents on a network.

What is the difference between a link and a hyperlink?

Links and hyperlinks are interchangeable terms. They refer to the same links that appear on the web and in documents.

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