Guidance for writing descriptive link text

Use descriptive link text that is helpful to the reader.

When referencing the interface, be consistent between application and documentation. If a link in the system is capitalised, and you’re referencing it, format it in bold and capitalise it – no quote marks.

Examples

Do:

Make additions to metadata

Most of the data on the proposal comes from the metadata page. If data are missing, such as pages and word counts, and you want them to appear on the proposal, click on Metadata, add them in, then return to this page. You can also jump directly to the relevant part of the metadata page by clicking Edit on the dropdown.

Don’t:

Make additions to Metadata

Most of the data on the proposal comes from the Metadata page. If data are missing, such as Pages and Words count, and you want them to appear on the proposal, click on ‘Metadata’, add them in, then return to this page. You can also jump directly to the relevant part of the metadata page by clicking ‘Edit’ on the dropdown.

When writing link text, use a phrase that describes what the reader will see after following the link. That can take either of two forms:

  • The exact title of the linked-to page, capitalised the same way the title is capitalised.

  • A description of the linked-to page, capitalized like ordinary text instead of like a title.

A couple of specific things to not do in link text:

  • Don’t use the phrase click here. (It’s bad for accessibility and bad for scannability.)

  • Don’t use phrases like this document. (It’s easy to read this as meaning the one you’re reading now rather than the one I’m pointing to.)

  • Don’t use a URL as link text. Instead, use the page title or a description of the page.