HTML <a> Tag


A link to :

<a href="">Visit!</a> 
Execute Code

Definition and Usage

The <a> tag defines a hyperlink, which is used to link from one page to another.

The most important attribute of the <a> element is the href attribute, which indicates the link's destination.

By default, links will appear as follows in all browsers :

  • An unvisited link is underlined and blue
  • A visited link is underlined and purple
  • An active link is underlined and red

Browser Support

Element Chrome Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera
<a> Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Tips and Notes

Tip : The following attributes: download, hreflang, media, rel, target, and type cannot be present if the href attribute is not present.

Tip : A linked page is normally displayed in the current browser window, unless you specify another target.

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5

In HTML 4.01, the <a> tag could be either a hyperlink or an anchor. In HTML5, the <a> tag is always a hyperlink, but if it has no href attribute, it is only a placeholder for a hyperlink.

HTML5 has some new attributes, and some HTML 4.01 attributes are no longer supported.


Smiley face = New in HTML5.

Attribute Value Description
charset char_encoding Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the character-set of a linked document
coords coordinates Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the coordinates of a link
download Smiley facefilename Specifies that the target will be downloaded when a user clicks on the hyperlink
href URL Specifies the URL of the page the link goes to
hreflang language_code Specifies the language of the linked document
media Smiley facemedia_query Specifies what media/device the linked document is optimized for
name section_name Not supported in HTML5. Use the global id attribute instead.
Specifies the name of an anchor
rel alternate
Specifies the relationship between the current document and the linked document
rev text Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the relationship between the linked document and the current document
shape default
Not supported in HTML5.
Specifies the shape of a link
target _blank
Specifies where to open the linked document
type media_type Specifies the media type of the linked document

Default CSS Settings

Most browsers will display the <a> element with the following default values :

a:link, a:visited 
    color: (internal value);
    text-decoration: underline;
    cursor: auto;

a:link:active, a:visited:active 
    color: (internal value);