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Anchors and Hyperlinks


Anchor tags are commonly used to link separate webpages, but they can also be used to link between different places in a single document, often within table of contents or even launch external applications. This topic explains the implementation and application of HTML anchor tags in various roles.


  • <a href="URL or anchor">Link Text</a>


hrefSpecifies the destination address. It can be an absolute or relative URL, or the name of an anchor. An absolute URL is the complete URL of a website like A relative URL points to another directory and/or document inside the same website, e.g. /about-us/ points to the directory “about-us” inside the root directory (/). When pointing to another directory without explicitly specifying the document, web servers typically return the document “index.html” inside that directory.
hreflangSpecifies the language of the resource linked by the href attribute (which must be present with this one). Use language values from BCP 47 for HTML5 and RFC 1766 for HTML 4.
relSpecifies the relationship between the current document and the linked document. For HTML5, the values must be defined in the specification or registered in the Microformats wiki.
targetSpecifies where to open the link, e.g. in a new tab or window. Possible values are _blank, _self, _parent, _top, and framename (deprecated). Forcing such behaviour is not recommended since it violates the control of the user over a website.
titleSpecifies extra information about a link. The information is most often shown as a tooltip text when the cursor moves over the link. This attribute is not restricted to links, it can be used on almost all HTML tags.
downloadSpecifies that the target will be downloaded when a user clicks on the hyperlink. The value of the attribute will be the name of the downloaded file. There are no restrictions on allowed values, and the browser will automatically detect the correct file extension and add it to the file (.img, .pdf, etc.). If the value is omitted, the original filename is used.

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