Hyperlinks overview

A hyperlink links one web page to another. When a site visitor clicks the hyperlink, the destination page is displayed in a web browser. Hyperlinks can also link to pictures, multimedia files, particular locations in a web page, e-mail addresses, and programs. Besides being represented as text, hyperlinks can be pictures.

A hyperlink destination is encoded as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). A URL is an address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP), Web server, and file path, for example http://www.example.com/expression/default.htm. There are two types of URLs: absolute and relative.

An absolute URL contains a full address, including the protocol, the web server, the path, and the file name. A relative URL is missing one or more parts of the address. The web browser obtains the missing information from the page that contains the URL. For example, if the protocol and web server are missing, the web browser uses the protocol and domain of the current page.

It is common for pages in a website to use relative URLs that contain only a partial path and file name. If the files are moved to another server, any hyperlinks will continue to work as long as the relative positions of the pages remain unchanged. For example, if you have a hyperlink on Products.htm that points to a page named Apple.htm, and if both pages are moved to the same folder on a different server, the URL in the hyperlink will be correct.


If your website contains Microsoft Expression Web metadata, when you move or rename web pages and other files in your website, Expression Web automatically updates all associated hyperlinks for you automatically. For information about meta data, seeAdd or remove metadata.

A picture hyperlink is a picture to which you assign a destination URL. Hyperlinks on a picture are not always apparent. However, a site visitor can tell that a picture has a hyperlink by positioning the pointer over it. The pointer changes appearance, usually to a hand with one finger pointing upward. You can assign a hyperlink to a picture in one of the following two ways.

  • You can allocate the entire picture to be a hyperlink. In this case, the site visitor can click any part of the picture to display its destination. For example, a button is typically a picture with a hyperlink.

  • You can assign one or more hot spots (hyperlinked regions) to the picture. A picture that contains hot spots is called an image map. For example, an image map can be a picture that represents different parts of a website (such as the home page, a catalog page, and so on). The site visitor clicks a certain area of the image map to display the corresponding page.

Bookmarks (HTML anchors)

A bookmark is a location or content that you have marked on a web page. You use a bookmark as a destination for a hyperlink. For example, if you want the browser to go to a particular section of a web page, you add a bookmark to that section and then add a hyperlink that uses the bookmark as its destination. When the site visitor clicks the hyperlink, the browser scrolls to the part of the page that contains the bookmark.

See also


Create or modify a hyperlink

Add or modify a hotspot

Change the appearance of a hyperlink

Managing and repairing links