This browser does not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's intended design. May we suggest that you upgrade your browser?

HTML Coding

Basics of Web Publishing: Linking Alternatives

Note: The HTML pages are out-of-date and will not be updated.

When you are preparing links for your Web sites (HTML files), be aware that you can link to Internet sites such as FTP, Gopher, and newsgroups as well as to non-Internet documents that you create, such as PDF and Word documents.

Below are some example sites that would involve using an alternate link:

return to topSpecial Considerations

When adding links to files other than HTML files, it is important to keep in mind the requirements for opening the links. The following table provides a summary of some types of alternative links and special requirements that may exist.

Type of Link Requirements
Gopher None
UseNet News None
FTP None
Telnet Telnet program and setup
(e.g., QVT Terminal or NCSA Telnet)
Email Special setup in Netscape
Word Microsoft Word and setup
Adobe Acrobat Adobe Acrobat Reader and setup

return to topReferencing the Link

To help reduce frustration for the user, we recommend that you alert the user of the type of link that you have provided if it does not open another Web site. The examples below provide two ways that you can alert the user of an alternative link to a telnet site:

return to topGopher

Gopher Link Examples

Code for Gopher Links

Sample for the Education Gopher:
<A HREF="gopher://">Education Gopher</A>

return to topUseNet News

UseNet News Link Example

Code for UseNet News Links

Sample for the UseNet Newsgroup Bionet Agroforestry:
<A HREF="news:bionet.agroforestry">Bionet Agroforestry Newsgroup</A>

return to topFTP (File Transfer Protocol)

When developing FTP links, you want to provide the user with sufficient information about the file that will be downloaded. For example, if you are going to provide a link to download software that has special requirements or installation instructions, you may want to also include a link to the Web page that has that information.

FTP Link Example

Code for FTP Links

Sample for the UWEC FTP Anonymous Login Site:
<A HREF="">UWEC FTP Anonymous Login</A>

return to topTelnet

For users to access a Telnet link, they must have the software installed on their computer and their browser must be configured to open the software when the link is accessed.

As some telnet sites require a username for connecting or have special instructions for disconnecting, you may want to include some tips for working with the site. For example, the UWEC library catalog requires users to press [Ctrl]+[D] twice to exit. The information is only displayed on one of the login screens.

Telnet Link Examples

Code for Telnet Links

Sample for the Library of Congress:
<A HREF="telnet://">Library of Congress</A>

return to topEmail Links for Mailto

Web users can contact you more efficiently via email with a mailto link, so you need to make a commitment to respond to the email messages frequently. To access mailto links, users must have email software installed on their computer and have their browser configured to open the software.

Since some users are unable to access mailto links, it is important to include the email address in your Web site (perhaps as the link itself).

Mailto Link Examples

Code for Mailto Links

Kathy Finder:
<A HREF=""></A>

return to topWord Documents

For users to access a Word link, they must have the right version of Word installed on their computer and their browser must be configured to open the software when the Word link is accessed.

Word Document Link Example

Code for Word Document Links

<A HREF=""> Travel Pocket Guide</A>

return to topAdobe Acrobat Files

For users to access an Adobe Acrobat link, they must have the right version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on their computer and their browser must be configured to open the software when the Adobe Acrobat link is accessed.

Adobe Acrobat Link Example

Code for Adobe Acrobat File Links

<A HREF="">Travel Guide</A>

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.