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Hypertext vs. Hyperlink: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 8, 2023
Hypertext refers to text containing hyperlinks, enabling non-linear navigation. A hyperlink is a clickable element directing users to another location or document.

Key Differences

Hypertext and hyperlink are terms intrinsically linked with the digital age, especially with the advent and widespread use of the internet. Hypertext, as its name suggests, refers to "text" that is "hyper" or enhanced. This enhancement typically takes the form of embedded hyperlinks, which allow for non-linear navigation through content. Hyperlink, on the other hand, is the actual clickable element within the hypertext that directs users to another location, document, or even another part of the same document.
At its core, hypertext revolutionized how we interact with information. Instead of reading a document from start to finish, hypertext enables readers to jump between sections, documents, or even websites, crafting their own path of information consumption. Hyperlink is the tool that makes this possible. It acts as the bridge or portal, leading users to related content, further readings, sources, or any other relevant information, based on their interest or the path they choose to take.
The concept of hypertext isn't confined to just the internet. It has applications in various digital platforms and software. For instance, a PDF document or an eBook can have hypertext. Here, hyperlinks might lead readers to a glossary, an appendix, or a cited source. Meanwhile, the hyperlink remains consistent in its function—acting as the conduit for this non-linear navigation, whether on a webpage, in a digital document, or any other platform supporting such interactivity.
Fundamentally, hypertext represents a shift from linear to dynamic text interaction, offering readers choices and pathways in their reading journey. Hyperlink facilitates this by being the actionable element, the door to myriad destinations. Without hyperlinks, hypertext would be just regular text, and without hypertext, hyperlinks would have no context or purpose.

Comparison Chart


Text containing links for non-linear navigation
Clickable element directing to another location


Allows dynamic, non-linear content interaction
Enables redirection to content or locations


Can exist in various digital formats
Exists within hypertext or graphical elements


Textual context for links
Actual element that's clicked or activated


Contains hyperlinks
Exists within hypertext or standalone

Hypertext and Hyperlink Definitions


Text with embedded links allowing interactive, non-linear navigation.
Modern eBooks often use hypertext to provide readers with instant definitions or related content.


A clickable element in a digital document directing to another location.
She clicked the hyperlink and was redirected to the source of the information.


Textual content in which readers can choose their path.
His thesis was presented in hypertext format, enabling evaluators to dive into specific sections.


An electronic link providing direct access to additional content.
By hovering over the hyperlink, he could see the URL it pointed to.


Enhanced text that provides dynamic reading experiences.
The hypertext in the digital article allowed readers to explore related topics in-depth.


A tool enabling redirection within or between digital documents.
Inserting a hyperlink in the presentation allowed quick access to the referenced data.


Text in digital documents that contain clickable links.
The hypertext in the user manual directed users to troubleshooting sections.


An interactive component within text or graphics facilitating digital navigation.
The image had a hidden hyperlink that led to a surprise giveaway.


A method of presenting information allowing user-driven exploration.
Hypertext revolutionized the way students access and engage with online course materials.


See link1.


Digital text that contains hyperlinks to other texts.


To make a hypertext link in (an electronic document or file).


(uncountable) Digital text in which the reader may navigate related information through embedded hyperlinks.


To follow a hypertext link to an electronic document or file.


(countable) A hypertext document.


Some text or a graphic in an electronic document that can be activated to display another document or trigger an action.
Click the hyperlink to go to the next page.


Machine-readable text that is not sequential but is organized so that related items of information are connected;
Let me introduce the word hypertext to mean a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not conveniently be presented or represented on paper


(by extension) The URL or other address that defines a hyperlink's target or function.
Copy the hyperlink and paste it into an email.


(of a hypertext document) To point to another document by a hyperlink.


To add a hyperlink to a document.


To use a hyperlink to jump to a document.


A link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on the screen


A connection between two digital locations or pieces of content.
The document contained a hyperlink leading to the company's homepage.


Is all online text hypertext?

Not necessarily. While much online content uses hypertext, not all text on the internet contains hyperlinks.

Can a hyperlink point to a location within the same document?

Yes, a hyperlink can redirect to another section of the same document.

Can an image act as a hyperlink?

Yes, images can be embedded with hyperlinks leading to other content or locations.

Does hypertext always contain hyperlinks?

Hypertext typically contains hyperlinks, which allow for its dynamic, non-linear nature.

How did hypertext change reading habits?

Hypertext introduced non-linear reading, allowing users to jump between related content based on interest.

Can a hyperlink lead to a downloadable file?

Yes, hyperlinks can be set to initiate file downloads.

What's the purpose of underlining text in hypertext?

Underlining often indicates the presence of a hyperlink, signaling users that it's clickable.

Are hypertext and hyperlink terms from the digital age?

Primarily, yes. They gained prominence with digital documentation and the advent of the internet.

Is hypertext exclusive to the internet?

No, hypertext can be found in various digital formats like eBooks and PDFs.

Can hyperlinks be harmful?

Yes, malicious links can lead to harmful sites or download malware. Caution is advised.

How do I create a hyperlink in a document?

Most word processors and content editors have an "insert link" or "add hyperlink" function.

Why are hyperlinks often blue?

Blue became a convention for hyperlinks to distinguish them from regular text, though this can be customized.

What's the visual indicator of a hyperlink?

Often, hyperlinks are underlined and/or colored differently, but styling can vary.

Can hypertext exist without any hyperlinks?

While it's counterintuitive, hypertext can exist without active hyperlinks but loses its dynamic nature.

Can hyperlinks be hidden?

Yes, hyperlinks can be embedded in elements without obvious visual indicators, though this can confuse users.

Can hypertext include multimedia elements?

Yes, hypertext can integrate multimedia elements, including images, audio, and video with or without hyperlinks.

Can you remove a hyperlink from text?

Yes, hyperlinks can be removed, making the text static.

What's the relationship between hypertext and HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and is used to structure hypertext in web pages.

Is there a limit to the number of hyperlinks in hypertext?

Technically, no. Hypertext can contain numerous hyperlinks as long as it serves the content's purpose and user experience.

Is hypertext interactive?

Yes, hypertext is interactive, allowing users to engage with content in a non-linear fashion.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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