Hyperlinks are one of the great things about the web and electronic content. With the click of a mouse, you can make connections to a related idea. In this module, learn how to make links that use natural language that's easy to understand.
To make a more meaningful hyperlink
Copy this link into a Word document:
Note: If you read this link, you might be able to spot the word "habitat" in the characters, and guess that the link goes to Habitat for Humanity. But someone who uses a screen reader will hear one character at a time, which is very hard to understand.
Select the whole URL, including the "http" at the beginning and the ".org" at the end, and then .
Right-click to open the context menu, then find and select Hyperlink.
In the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, look for a text box labeled Text to display. Type "Habitat for Humanity in my county".
Click OK, then review the link you just make. It now shows natural words that tell people where the link goes.
If you have hyperlinks in your document, changing their display text to ordinary language can make them much easier to understand for users who rely on screen-reading programs.
Here’s a typical URL in the text of a document. For a sighted user, this might seem fine. But if you rely on a screen reader or text-to-speech program, it might read the URL out one letter at a time, like this:
You can make hyperlinks more accessible by changing their display text to something more natural and meaningful.
Just right-click the hyperlink on the page and select Edit Hyperlink
When you select the link like this, Word automatically copies it into the Edit Hyperlink dialog. But we can change the display text to ordinary language that people -- and screen readers -- can more easily understand. In the Text to display box, we’ll type “National Park Reservations”. And we’ll click OK.
Now users who rely on screen-readers will have a much better idea of where this link is sending them.
One last thing to keep in mind: When adding display text, avoid phrases like “Click here” or “Learn more”. People who rely on screen readers often browse a list of the article’s links to get an idea of its content.
If the display text for all those links is the same generic phrase, it could sound something like this:
For more on creating accessible documents, visit aka.ms/accessible.