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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Internal Anchor Links - Simplified

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia


Links within a blog are extremely useful, if the post is long, and has many different headings, or a variety of subjects discussed, and you want to direct a reader back, or forwards, to a salient point.

Links within a blog are referred to as Internal Anchor Links, and are not that different to External Anchor Links, which I discussed in my previous post.

The biggest difference is that you do NOT need to include the Post URL in your Trigger link.


The ANCHOR

With Internal Anchor Links, an Anchor point can be anywhere which you want to link-back to. The Anchors are 'blind' - you can't see them. For instance, if I wanted to link back to the first word in this post - Links - I would simply make it an Anchor point in one of two ways.

I could use the standard Anchor:
<a name="#Links">Links</a>
or ...

I could use the alternative:
<a name="#Linkhere1">Links</a>

Note: I have purposefully used the Anchor, #Links, so as not to confuse an already set anchor I have in this blog. You would not need to do that in your blog post. You could, as I have done a few times in different blogs, have multiple Anchors using Linkhere1, Linkhere2, Linkhere3, etc. It's up to you.


n.b. All links are Case-Sensitive. So, if you include Upper-Case letters in your Anchors, you MUST include the same Upper-Case letters in your Trigger, eg: 'Links', not 'links'!


Later in this post, I will set a Trigger point, which will demonstrate how the Anchor works. Watch out for it.


The TRIGGER

The Trigger point, or Trigger Link, for an Internal Anchor Link, as I stated earlier, does NOT have to include the URL of the Anchor. For instance, you would NOT make a trigger for an Internal Anchor Link like this:

<a href="http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net/2011/06/internal-anchor-links-simplified.html">Links</a>

It may well work, I don't remember ever trying it, but it is considered to be 'bad form'.


The correct, and far easier, way to make your Internal Anchor Link Trigger is like this:

<a href="#Linkhere">Links</a>

or, an alternative ...

<a href="#Linkhere1">Links</a>



Internal Anchor Links, as I suggested, are a great way to assist your readers, and to stress points of interest. The Anchor links, themselves, can't been seen, either. They are 'blind' anchors. Can you pick which word is the Anchor?

The hash sign (#) tells the browser that (the Anchor is within THIS post), and where to find it. It takes the place of the URL.

(Hash #) signs are normally only used with Internal Anchor links ! You can, for instance, use a hash (#) with and External Anchor Link, to Anchor to a certain point in the linked site - eg:

<a href="http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net#Linkhere> </a>.


Have fun!

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10 comments:

Amy said...

So far I think I am getting most of what you're saying, but I'm confused as to why it's linking back to my editing page.

All I am trying to do is jump from a list of states to an expanded list with more text, ie: from "Alabama" to "Alabama" with text below. Not sure if that makes sense. I am totally new at all this, so I just copied your links and changed the wording to fit my blog.

You've at least got me straightened out to know the difference between the "anchor" and "trigger"!

Bob said...

Hi Amy
Sounds like you may be switching from Edit HTML Editor to Compose Mode Editor, and back again? Bad choice.

When you click on the links, they take you to the Editor again?

I think, if you look at your links in the HTML Editor, you'll see some unwanted detail - such as your Blog and Post IDs. You have to take that out of the URL.

Amy said...

That does seem to be the case. Will it change every time I view the compose mode then? I'm doing all the editing in the HTML Editor mode.

Bob said...

Unfortunately, yes.
I will raise this with Blogger Engineers in September, when I am at their HQ, for the TC Summit, among other gripes and observations.

Since I had the same problem, ages ago, I only use the Preview and html Editor. I found it best.
see: This Post

Cheers!

Amy said...

Thanks Bob. I will have to figure out a way round that, I guess, because I don't know how to do anything else in the HTML Editor. You have been a huge help though, and I really appreciate it a lot.

Bob said...

Thank you, Amy - and you're most welcome.

One thing, if I may suggest it, is if you do persist with the Compose Mode Editor, do everything you need to BEFORE adding your Anchors in the html Editor, and don't go backwards! Make it the very last thing you do! hahaha - that'll fix it!

Amy said...

LOL Unfortunately these are pages that I will be continually adding on to and editing, so no luck there. Guess I will have to do my add on's in batches to avoid having to delete this constantly.

Penelope said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for this very useful post. Did anything come from the TC Summit with Blogger Engineers in September?

Cheers, penelope

Bob said...

Thanks, Penelope - I didn't make it to the Summit because of a stroke - a week before my birthday! Recovering - slowly.

Penelope said...

Yikes, Bob. I really hope you take it easy and recover little by little. I am sure the whole blogging community, which has learnt so much through your posts, is sending you good wishes.