Permitted Context: %text
Content Model: %text, but no nested anchors
The anchor <A> element is used to define the start
and/or destination of a hypertext link. In previous versions of HTML it provided
the only means for defining destination anchors within documents, but you
can now use any ID attribute as a destination anchor so that
links can now be made to divisions, paragraphs and most other elements.
The <A HREF="http://www.w3.org/">World Wide Web Organization</A>
provides information on Web related standards, mailing lists
and freeware tools.
The text between the start and end tag defines the label for the link.
Selecting the link takes the reader to the document specified by the HREF
attribute, in this case, the W3O home page. The label can include
graphics defined with IMG elements.
For FIG elements, the anchor element
serves a dual role. Non-graphical user agents interpret it as a
conventional text-based hypertext link, while graphical user agents
interpret the anchor's SHAPE attribute as a graphical hotzone on the
- An SGML identifier used as the target for hypertext
links or for naming particular elements in associated style sheets.
Identifiers are NAME tokens and must be unique within the scope of the
current document. This attribute supercedes the "NAME" attribute, see
For example, the following paragraph is defined as an anchor named
<P ID="potomac">The Potomac river flows into Boston harbour,
and played an important role in opening up the hinterland
to early settlers...
Elsewhere, you can define a link to this paragraph, as follows:
<A HREF="#potomac">Boston</A> is a historic city and
a thriving center of commerce and higher education.
The reader can select the link labelled "Boston" to see further
information on the Boston area.
- This is one of the ISO standard language abbreviations,
e.g. "en.uk" for the variation of English spoken in the United Kingdom.
It can be used by parsers to select language specific choices for
quotation marks, ligatures and hypenation rules etc. The language
attribute is composed from the two letter language code from ISO 639,
optionally followed by a period and a two letter country code from ISO
- This a space separated list of SGML NAME tokens and is
used to subclass tag names. By convention, the class
names are interpreted hierarchically, with the most general class on
the left and the most specific on the right, where classes are
separated by a period. The CLASS attribute is most commonly used to
attach a different style to some element, but it is recommended that
where practical class names should be picked on the basis of the
element's semantics, as this will permit other uses, such as
restricting search through documents by matching on element class
names. The conventions for choosing class names are outside the scope
of this specification.
- The HREF attribute implies that the anchor acts as the
start of a hypertext link. The destination is designated by the value of
the HREF attribute, which is expressed in the Universal Resource
Identifier (URI) notation.
- Specifies a message digest or cryptographic checksum for the
linked document designated by the HREF attribute. It is used when you
want to be sure that a linked object is indeed the same one that the
author intended, and hasn't been modified in any way. For instance,
MD="md5:jV2OfH+nnXHU8bnkPAad/mSQlTDZ", which specifies an MD5 checksum
encoded as a base64 character string. The MD attribute is generally
allowed for all elements which support URI based links.
- This attribute is used to define a named anchor for use as
the destination of hypertext links. For example, the following defines an
anchor than can be used as the destination of a jump into a description
of the Boston area.
The <A NAME="potomac">Potomac river</A> flows into Boston
Note: the NAME attribute has been superceded by the ID
attribute. User agents should include support for NAME to
ensure backwards compatibility with legacy documents produced using
previous versions of HTML.
- This attribute is used within figures to
define shaped hotzones for graphical hypertext links. Full details of how to use this
feature will be given with the description of the figure element.
The attribute value is a string taking one of the following forms:
- Used to define a default link for the figure background.
- "circle x, y, r"
- Where x and y define the center and r specifies the radius.
- "rect x, y, w, h"
- Where x, y define the upper left corner and w, h define the width
and height respectively
- "polygon x1, y1, x2, y2, ..."
- Given n pairs of x, y coordinates, the polygon is closed by a line
linking the n'th point to the first. Intersecting polygons use the non-zero
winding number rule to determine if a point lies inside the polygon.
If a pointer event occurs in a region where two or more shapes
overlap, the distance from the point to the center of gravity of each
of the overlapping shapes is computed and the closest one chosen. This
feature is useful when you want lots of closely spaced hotzones, for
example over points on a map, as it allows you to use simple shapes
without worrying about overlaps.
Note: The x coordinate increases to the right, and the y
coordinate increases downwards in the same way as IMG and image maps. If both
numbers are integers, the coordinates are interpreted as pixel offsets
from the upper left corner of the figure. Otherwise, the coordinates
are interpreted as scaled values in the range 0.0 to 1.0 across the
figure. Note the syntax is tolerant of repeated white space characters
- This is informational only and describes the object
specified with the HREF attribute. It can be used for object types that
don't possess titles, such as graphics, plain text and Gopher menus.
- Used to describe the relationship of the linked object
specified with the HREF attribute. The set of relationship names is not
part of this specification, although "Path" and "Node" are reserved
for future use with hypertext paths or guided tours. The REL attribute
can be used to support search for links serving particular relationships.
- This defines a reverse relationship. A link from document A
to document B with REV=relation expresses the same relationship
as a link from B to A with REL=relation. REV=made is sometimes
used to identify the document author, either the author's email address
with a mailto URI, or a link to the author's home page. Tables
of contents can use anchors with REV="ToC" to allow software to insert
page numbers when printing hypertext documents. The plain text version
of this specification was generated in this way!