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Linking within a page

From: HTML Essential Training (2012)

Video: Linking within a page

In HTML it is possible to link to a part of a page, causing the browser to scroll to that point. Let's open up fragments.html. We're not making a working copy because we're not really going to edit this. This is a very large document. It is about 207 Kbytes, and it has 4798-- or 99, if you count the blank line at the end--lines of HTML in it. So it is a very large file. And when we open it in the browser here, you notice that it's just a very long file.

Linking within a page

In HTML it is possible to link to a part of a page, causing the browser to scroll to that point. Let's open up fragments.html. We're not making a working copy because we're not really going to edit this. This is a very large document. It is about 207 Kbytes, and it has 4798-- or 99, if you count the blank line at the end--lines of HTML in it. So it is a very large file. And when we open it in the browser here, you notice that it's just a very long file.

There is a lot of stuff in there. What this is, it's a list of countries and cities with their populations inside of the countries. Now I got this out of a public domain database and I wrote a little script that generated the HTML. I did not actually type all these 4,700 and some odd lines of HTML. So how do you navigate around a file that's this big? Well, the way you do this is with fragments. Remember we talked about URLs, there is a piece of the URL at the end that's introduced by a hash mark or a pound sign or a number sign, like this, and that's actually a link.

You notice it's in the a link tag to a place within a file. And at the other end of that--we scroll down here to one of our cities-- you see this id element; that is the target. Of course id is also used as a selector in CSS, so this is a convenient double use for this. In earlier versions of HTML the a tag would be used. It would do something like this, a name="BOL." And the target would be to that.

But it was an inconvenient use of a. It was an overloading of a. It was such a very different use of it that it didn't make a lot of sense. And we already have this other unique identifier available for CSS called id, so it made a lot of sense to use that instead. So in HTML5, that other use of the a tag is obsolete. It's no longer allowed. Well, of course it still works because browsers are very liberal in what they accept, but the use of the id attribute is standardized.

So let's see how this works. We'll come over here in the browser and we'll just click on one of these. Let's say Canada. When I click on Canada you notice it's scrolled down partway through the file, and it takes me to the Canada id. You notice my URL now has this entire URL. Let's find Canada here. This actually qualifies as a relative URL. So the browser is going to take the rest of the URL and tag this on the end of it and that's what's it done up here.

The URL now reads the whole file URL to the location of the file with #CAN at the end of it. And if we do a find in here for CAN in quotes, so it can find it, there is our h1 id=CAN, and that's where we found it in the file. Now notice that there is this link to top here and it's the same thing: a href="#top." And that will take us, if we go back up to the beginning of the file, you'll notice that the first thing here, this outer div, has an id of top. And it's the very first thing in the file, so when I click on that, it takes us all the way up to the top of the file you notice that our fragment analysis has #top.

So scrolling around in this file would be really difficult, to put it mildly. I mean, this is a huge file. If I was going to try and find something in particular, well, I'd have to use a search for it really. Fragments make this possible. It makes it doable. It makes it easy. Now I'm not recommending that you put 200K files out on the web, but sometimes there is a legitimate need to do something like that, or even a file with a hundred lines in it, using fragments makes it a lot easier to navigate. And if you pay attention to the URLs that you see, I'm sure you'll find some sites actually using this feature.

So fragments are used for linking to a section of a page. In this example, I've showed you a very large file that becomes navigable only by using the fragments. This is a common usage for this technique.

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This video is part of

Image for HTML Essential Training (2012)
HTML Essential Training (2012)

82 video lessons · 105125 viewers

Bill Weinman
Author

 
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you need to know about this course
      2m 51s
  2. 22m 0s
    1. What is HTML?
      4m 12s
    2. Examining the structure of an HTML document
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding tags and containers
      6m 4s
    4. Exploring content models in HTML5
      2m 23s
    5. Looking at obsolete elements
      1m 31s
  3. 27m 19s
    1. Understanding whitespace and comments
      3m 53s
    2. Displaying text with paragraphs
      3m 37s
    3. Applying style
      8m 5s
    4. Using block and inline tags
      6m 34s
    5. Displaying characters with references
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 36s
    1. Exploring the front matter of HTML
      2m 9s
    2. Applying CSS to your document
      3m 59s
    3. Adding scripting elements
      4m 54s
    4. Using the meta tag
      3m 34s
    5. Optimizing your page for search engines
      2m 0s
  5. 24m 59s
    1. Controlling line breaks and spaces
      2m 46s
    2. Exploring phrase elements
      1m 44s
    3. Using font markup elements
      1m 5s
    4. Highlighting text with mark
      1m 29s
    5. Adding headings
      1m 38s
    6. Using quotations and quote marks
      3m 2s
    7. Exploring preformatted text
      1m 45s
    8. Formatting lists
      2m 28s
    9. Forcing text direction
      3m 49s
    10. Suggesting word-break opportunities
      2m 29s
    11. Annotating East Asian languages
      2m 44s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Introducing CSS
      55s
    2. Understanding CSS placement
      6m 55s
    3. Exploring CSS syntax
      10m 34s
    4. Understanding CSS units of measure
      3m 3s
    5. Some CSS examples
      7m 48s
  7. 22m 5s
    1. Using images
      4m 13s
    2. Flowing text around an image
      4m 55s
    3. Breaking lines around an image
      3m 3s
    4. Aligning images
      5m 25s
    5. Mapping links in an image
      4m 29s
  8. 22m 28s
    1. Understanding URLs
      2m 41s
    2. Working with hyperlinks
      3m 28s
    3. Using relative URLs
      4m 20s
    4. Specifying a base URL
      2m 19s
    5. Linking within a page
      4m 12s
    6. Using image links
      5m 28s
  9. 17m 2s
    1. Exploring list types
      3m 52s
    2. List elements in depth
      7m 44s
    3. Using text menus with unordered lists
      5m 26s
  10. 15m 30s
    1. Introduction to HTML semantics
      4m 9s
    2. Exploring an example
      4m 56s
    3. Marking up figures and illustrations
      2m 33s
    4. Creating collapsible details
      3m 52s
  11. 11m 18s
    1. Embedding audio
      5m 19s
    2. Embedding video
      5m 59s
  12. 11m 53s
    1. Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute
      4m 53s
    2. Displaying relative values with meter
      2m 57s
    3. Creating dynamic progress indicators
      4m 3s
  13. 4m 49s
    1. Overview of HTML5 microdata
      1m 8s
    2. Exploring an example with microdata
      3m 41s
  14. 7m 3s
    1. Understanding outlines
      52s
    2. A demonstration of outlining
      6m 11s
  15. 13m 1s
    1. Table basics
      7m 29s
    2. Exploring the semantic parts of a table
      2m 32s
    3. Grouping columns
      3m 0s
  16. 9m 55s
    1. Frames overview
      54s
    2. Using traditional frames
      4m 26s
    3. Exploring inline frames using iframe
      2m 7s
    4. Simulating frames with CSS
      2m 28s
  17. 53m 7s
    1. Introducing forms
      10m 24s
    2. Using text elements
      10m 12s
    3. Using checkboxes and radio buttons
      2m 37s
    4. Creating selection lists and dropdown lists
      5m 14s
    5. Submit and button elements
      8m 48s
    6. Using an image as a submit button
      2m 15s
    7. Keeping context with the hidden element
      3m 0s
    8. Setting tab order
      2m 7s
    9. Preloading an autocomplete list using the datalist feature
      5m 26s
    10. Displaying results with output
      3m 4s
  18. 19m 47s
    1. Touring a complete site
      2m 14s
    2. Touring the HTML
      8m 44s
    3. Touring the CSS
      8m 49s
  19. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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