Zach Margolis


Link Styles

Thursday November 20th, 2008

I happened to come across a blog today,, and I really dig the style. The links are highlighted, not underlined, and have a really obvious “hover” state, so you know when you've moused over them. This is slightly unconventional, but makes a lot of sense. I think underlinining links is nice, but it might be too subtle. In print, people use underlining for emphasis, but on the web we‘re not really allowed to, because that would be confusing.

The coolness of highlighted links is compounded by the fact that highlighting links doesn't clash with anything else. Sure, you might think, “Well what if I want to print out and highlight an article that has links in it? Will that overlap?” Well it could be confusing, but if your print stylesheet hides the highlighting, when a page is printed, there won't be any links. It's not like hyperlinks are useful on the printed page, so that would actually be an amazing degradation.

What's more is that you could turn links into footnotes, since links and footnotes are essentially analogous. I'm not saying they're the same, but they're closely related. With a little bit of thinking ahead, you could add a superscript number using CSS after every link, and then put the link's address at the bottom of a page with that same number, just like a real footnote. This would be very functional. The one snag is that currently, print styles are not supported very well across browsers, but of course, in the future that will not be a problem. The future fixes everything, duh.

But basically, highlighted links are really cool. Using media-specific stylesheets, we can make them fit in their most natural way, like as big flashy link on an interactive web page, or simple footnotes used for reference in print. For the next revision of my site, I think I'll try to implement those kinds of links.

Tags: internet ramblings


No comments yet.

Leave a Comment

Captcha. Click for audio equivalent Refresh Captcha
Allowable HTML tags are <a>, <p> and <br>


Categorized Posts
View the distribution of all tags.


Complete Archives
View a list with all of the blog entries.