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SCULPT Links - describing hyperlinks helpfully

Writing links the right way

Links are an easy way to help users navigate through content on a website, in a document, or to signpost your readers to additional relevant sources of information.

They work best when written in a descriptive way.

Why do they need to be descriptive?

People who use screen readers sometimes might read the content of the page and then bring up a menu of the links separately to tab through and visit afterwards.

This menu would only show the list of link titles and they would be out of context away from the full text they were originally part of, and often presented in alphabetic order.

How you title your links plays an important part for accessibility and helping users finding what they need.

Do not use the full web address

A long web address link written like this:

Would read out on a screen reader menu as:

h t t p s colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot worcestershire dot gov dot uk forward slash info forward slash 2 0 7 9 4 forward slash sculpt underscore for underscore accessibility forward slash 2 2 2 9  forward slash sculpt underscore for underscore accessibility forward slash 5

If you had a long list of links that all read out in this way it would be very unhelpful and potentially not offer any clue as to where each link was going to.

Do not use repeated link titles such as 'click here' or 'find out more'

If you named all your links 'click here' or 'find out more' that is all a user would see or hear repeated in a menu of links.

Links therefore need to be given a clear and accurate title so they can be easily and individually identified. This also helps clearly indicate where each link is going to.

quick tip

Best practice is to describe a link and where it is going

Using the link we previously referred to above, if you were to describe to someone where it was going to you wouldn't say 'click here' you would say something like 'SCULPT for Accessibility Links (hyperlinks)'.

That is how you would title your link, as it clearly describes the page or content it is pointing to.

SCULPT for Accessibility Links (hyperlinks)


Here are some instructions to create accessible hyperlinks in Microsoft Word (opens in a new window)

Instructional video

Video: Create accessible links in Word

The transcript for this video is available from Microsoft Office create accessible links in Word (opens in a new window)

SCULPT Bite-sized guidance menu

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