HTML <a> Tag
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Definition and Usage
The <a> tag defines a hyperlink, which is used to link from one page to another.
The most important attribute of the <a> element is the href attribute, which indicates the link's destination.
By default, links will appear as follows in all browsers:
- An unvisited link is underlined and blue
- A visited link is underlined and purple
- An active link is underlined and red
Tips and Notes
Tip: The following attributes: download, hreflang, media, rel, target, and type cannot be present if the href attribute is not present.
Tip: A linked page is normally displayed in the current browser window, unless you specify another target.
Tip: Use CSS to style links.
Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5
In HTML 4.01, the <a> tag could be either a hyperlink or an anchor. In HTML5, the <a> tag is always a hyperlink, but if it has no href attribute, it is only a placeholder for a hyperlink.
HTML5 has some new attributes, and some HTML 4.01 attributes are no longer supported.
= New in HTML5.
|charset||char_encoding||Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the character-set of a linked document
|coords||coordinates||Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the coordinates of a link
|download||filename||Specifies that the target will be downloaded when a user clicks on the hyperlink|
|href||URL||Specifies the URL of the page the link goes to|
|hreflang||language_code||Specifies the language of the linked document|
|media||media_query||Specifies what media/device the linked document is optimized for|
|name||section_name||Not supported in HTML5. Use the id attribute instead.
Specifies the name of an anchor
|Specifies the relationship between the current document and the linked document|
|rev||text||Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the relationship between the linked document and the current document
|Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the shape of a link
|Specifies where to open the linked document|
|type||MIME_type||Specifies the MIME type of the linked document|
The <a> tag also supports the Global Attributes in HTML.
The <a> tag also supports the Event Attributes in HTML.
Try it Yourself - Examples
How to create hyperlinks.
An image as a link
How to use an image as a link.
Open a link in a new browser window
How to open a link in a new browser window, so that the visitor does not have to leave your Web site.
Create a mailto link
How to link to a mail message (will only work if you have mail installed).
Create a mailto link 2
Another mailto link.
an element with a specified id
How to link to an element with a specified id within a page (the name attribute is not supported in HTML5).
HTML tutorial: HTML Links
HTML DOM reference: Anchor object
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