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What Is Hypertext?

Many people confuse the term hypertext with navigation links. This mistake is not hard to make, because on the Web, hypertext and navigation links are both created with the same HTML code: <a>...</a>. But navigation links are what you use to move from topic to topic in a linear fashion on the Web. Hypertext, on the other hand, allows you to click a word, a phrase, or an image in a Web page and receive a more detailed explanation of that thing. In theory, hypertext allows a single page to include an infinite amount of information (Figures 20.3 and 20.4).

Figure 20.3. The Astronomy Picture of the Day site provides a good example of the difference between navigation and hypertext. The links in the main text offer access to a more detailed description of the term (hypertext), and the navigation links move the visitor to another item on the site.



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