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H60: Using the link element to link to a glossary


HTML 4.x, XHTML 1.x

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

Some user agents provide an optional navigation bar which will display the information specified in the link element. Current versions of the Mozilla and Opera browsers provide this functionality. IE 6.0 and Firefox 1.5 do not offer this feature but it may be available through extensions or add-ons. See The 'link'-Element in (X)HTML for more information on browser support for the link element.


The objective of this technique is to provide a mechanism for locating a glossary. When terms in the content are defined on a separate glossary page, the glossary is referenced using a link element in the head element of the document that uses the glossary. The rel attribute of the link element is set to "glossary", and the href attribute contains the URI of the glossary page. User agents can then assist users in accessing the glossary quickly and easily.


Example 1: The WCAG 2.0 Glossary.

<link rel="glossary" href="">


Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

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For any set of words and their definitions that are meant to serve as a glossary:

  1. Check that the head section of the Web page that contains words, phrases or abbreviations defined in a glossary contains a link element

  2. Check that the link element has attribute rel="glossary"

  3. Check that the href attribute of the link element refers to the glossary page.

Expected Results

Note: The definition of abbreviation used in WCAG is : "shortened form of a word, phrase, or name where the original expansion has not been rejected by the organization that it refers to and where the abbreviation has not become part of the language."