Learn More About Hyperlinks and How They Work

Also see how to use them and how to make your own hyperlink

What are hyperlinks?

 Marvin Tolentino / Unsplash

A hyperlink is simply a link on the web to some other resource. It uses a special kind of command that jumps you to some other content in your web browser, usually to another page. 

Uses of Hyperlinks

Most web pages are filled with dozens of hyperlinks, each sending you to some related web page or picture/file. Search results are another easy way to observe hyperlinks; search for anything in Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo, or your favorite search engine, and every result you see is a hyperlink to the different web pages that show up in the results.

A hyperlink can even point you to a specific section of a web page (and not just the primary page) using what's called an anchor.

You'll know that something is a hyperlink when your mouse pointer changes to a pointing finger. Nearly all the time, hyperlinks appear as images or as underlined words or phrases. Sometimes, hyperlinks also take the shape of drop-down menus or tiny animated movies or advertisements.

No matter how they appear, all hyperlinks perform the same basic function.

How to Use a Hyperlink

Clicking a hyperlink is all it takes to activate the jump command. When you click on the pointing finger mouse shape, the hyperlink commands your web browser to load the target web page.

If you like the target page, you stay and read it. If you want to reverse back to the original web page, simply click the back button in your browser, or press the Backspace key. Indeed, hyperlinking and reversing is the daily routine of browsing the web.

Most web browsers also support the Ctrl+Link function to open the link in a new tab. That way, instead of the link possibly opening in the same tab and removing what you're doing, you could hold down the Ctrl key as you click the link to make it open in a new tab.

How to Make a Hyperlink

Hyperlinks can be made manually by adjusting the web page's HTML content to include a link to a URL. However, lots of web editors, email clients, and text editing tools, let you make a hyperlink using built-in tools.

For example, in Gmail, you can add a hyperlink to some text by highlighting the text and then clicking the Insert link button from the bottom of the editor, or by pressing Ctrl+K. You'll then be asked where you want the link to point to, which is where you can enter a URL to another web page, to a video, an image, etc.

The other way is to actually edit the HTML file that the text exists on, something that the creator of the web page has authority to do. That is, to insert a line like this into the page:


In that example, you can modify the LINK GOES HERE to actually include a link, and the TEXT GOES HERE to be the text that the link is wrapped up in.

Copy the code above and modify it to work it into your own project. You can also play around with this code over at JSFiddle.