Tag Description:


<A> Anchor

Definition: The anchor element is represented with an <A>. It shows where a hypertext link starts and/or finishes. In early versions of HTML, the only way to define destination anchors within documents was through the use of this element, but now you can use any ID attribute as a destination anchor. This innovation means that you can create links to paragraphs, divisions, and most other elements.

Standard Attributes: CLASS, ID, LANG, MD



Implies that the anchor serves as the beginning of a hypertext link. The link's destination is designated by the HREF attribute's value as expressed in the notation of the URI (Universal Resource Identifier).


When creating a hypertext link, the NAME attribute can define a named anchor for use as the link's destination. The NAME attribute has been superseded by the IS attribute (see above). However, backwards compatibility with documents created with earlier versions of HTML should be supported by user agents.


SHAPE defines shaped hotzones for graphical hypertext links (see "figure element" for full details of SHAPE). Used within figures, it has an attribute value of a string taking one of these forms:

* "circle x, y, r": x and y define the center, and r is the radius.

* "rect x, y, w, h": w, h define the width and height, x, y define the upper left corner

* "default": defines a default link for the figure background

* "polygon x1, y1, x2, y2": Intersecting polygons utilize the non-zero winding rule to determine whether a point lies inside or outside a polygon. The polygon is also closed by a line that links the nth point to the first (when given n pairs of x, y coordinates).

SHAPE is useful in creating closely spaced hotzones. When two or more shapes are overlapping in an area when a pointer event occurs, then the closest of the overlapping shapes is chosen by computing the distance from the point to the center of gravity for each shape. Just as in IMG and image maps, the x coordinate increases to the right and the y coordinate increases downwards. The coordinates are seen as pixel offsets from the figure's upper left corner when both numbers are integers, but if the numbers are not integers, then the coordinates are interpreted as scaled values across the figure (in the range 0.0 to 1.0). The syntax does tolerate repeated white space characters between tokens.


TITLE can be used for object types that don't have titles, such as plain text, Gopher menus, and graphics. It's important to remember that it is solely informational and only describes the object that is specified with the HREF attribute.


REL is used to indicate the relationship that the HREF attribute has with the specified linked object. Although "Path" and "Node" are reserved for future use with guided tours or hypertext paths, the set of relationship names is not included in this specification. You can also use REL to support a search for links that serve particular relationships.


REV indicates a reverse relationship, meaning that a link from document X to Y with REV=relation has the identical relationship as a link from Y to X with REL=relation. REV=made can be used to identify a link to the author's homepage or the author's e-mail address. REV=ToC can be used in anchors for table of contents, and will allow software to insert page numbers when printing hypertext documents.

Context: It is legal to use <A> with

<ABBREV>, <ACRONYM>, <ADDRESS>, <AU>, <B>, <BANNER>, <BIG>, <BODY>, <BODYTEXT>, <CAPTION>, <CITE>, <CODE>, <CREDIT>, <DD>, <DEL>, <DFN>, <DIV>, <DT>, <EM>, <FIGTEXT>, <FN>, <FORM>, <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, <H4>, <H5>, <H6>, <I>, <INS>, <KBD>, <LANG>, <LH>, <LI>, <NOTE>, <P>, <PERSON>, <PRE>, <Q>, <S>, <SAMP>, <SMALL>, <STRONG>, <SUB>, <SUP>, <TD>, <TH>, <TT>, <U>, <VAR>

And you can use the following markup within <A>:

<A>, <ABBREV>, <ACRONYM>, <AU>, <B>, <BIG>, <BR>, <CITE>, <CODE>, <DEL>, <DFN>, <EM>, <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, <H4>, <H5>, <H6>, <I>, <IMG>, <INS>, <KBD>, <LANG>, <MATH>, <PERSON>, <Q>, <S>, <SAMP>, <SMALL>, <STRONG>, <SUB>, <SUP>, <TAB>, <TT>, <U>, <VAR>

Suggested style/usage: Close Tag: REQUIRED

Examples: <A HREF="http://impactonline.com/">IMPACT Online</A>


E-Mail: HTML for Dummies at html4dum@lanw.com
URL: http://www.lanw.com/html4dum/h4d2e/t0001.htm
Text - Copyright © 1995, 1996 Ed Tittel & Steve James.
For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo and Dummies Press are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wiley Publishing, Inc. Used with Permission.
Web Layout - Copyright © 1996, LANWrights
Revised -- May, 2002 [MCB]