Another writer on here sent me a message recently to ask if I knew how to add a link to another article into an article she’d already written by using the edit window. This can be easily done by typing in the html code manually but I realised that not everyone knows how to do this. Hence this little tutorial.
When you first write an article you do it in a window that has formatting controls such as bold and underline in a tool bar along the top. There is a button there for creating links, making it easy to insert them when you first write the article. But what if you want to go back to the article after it is posted and add another link then? You click the edit tab but now you are faced with a plain text box with no controls and any formatting changes you want to make have to be done by entering the html codes manually. This includes if you want to add a new link.
For those of you who don’t know, html is a way of inserting web page formatting into a plain text document. The formatting commands, known as html tags, are enclosed in pointed brackets < > and the reader’s web browser knows not to display what is inside these brackets but instead to use it to format the other text.
The html tag for creating a link is the anchor tag <a>. It is always paired with a closing anchor tag </a> and the pair sit around the text that you want to turn into a link.
Let’s have an example. Suppose I want to insert a link suggesting the reader look at another similar poem of mine and I want it to look like this:
You might also like my poem Ode to Downstairs.
where the title Ode to Downstairs becomes a link to the page that poem is on (but the rest of the text stays as plain text). What I’d need to do is put the words Ode to Downstairs between the anchor and closing-anchor tags:
You might also like my poem <a>Ode to Downstairs</a>.
So far so good. We’ve got tags that tell the reader’s browser that here is a link but there’s nothing to tell the browser where that link should take the reader when he or she clicks on it. To do that we have to insert the web address (URL in technical terms) within the opening anchor tag as a hypertext reference using the format href="WebAddressHere"
My poem Ode to Downstairs is at http://expertscolumn.com/content/ode-downstairs so the full hypertext reference becomes:
You insert the hypertext reference into the anchor tag by pasting the above text into the opening anchor tag just before the >. So the full anchor text in my example becomes:
You might also like my poem <a href="http://expertscolumn.com/content/ode-downstairs">Ode to Downstairs</a>.
There. Simple! Or if not, then it becomes so with a bit of practice!
Just one further point: how do you know the web address of the article you want to point to? Simple. Just open it and select (click and drag with your mouse) the address that appears in the web address box at the top. Copy this (control + C) and paste it (control + V) where you want it in the link text you are creating.
I hope this helps. Happy linking!