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DreamweaverFAQ.com » Tutorials » Basics » Named Anchors

Q. How do I create a link that goes to a specific place in a page?

A. This can be done by creating a link to a Named Anchor.

Named Anchors

What a Named Anchor Does

Named Anchors are seen all over the place. When you click a ::back to top:: at the bottom of a page and get sent back to the beginning, that is a Named Anchor. When you click A | B | C | D | Etc. at the top of a page and get shot down the page to an area with corresponding letters, that is a Named Anchor at work as well. Named Anchors are simple and effective ways to help folks navigate through your site. Lets drop anchor and get started.

Create The Anchor

Decide where you want the anchor to be and either select text, a graphic, or insert your cursor.

Tip: You do not have to select text to apply an anchor, but if you decide to select text, the text will automatically be inserted in the Insert Named Anchor box.

Step One:

To create the anchor use one of the following options:

  1. From the Invisibles section of the Objects Panel Windows» Objects or Ctrl+F2 (PC), Command+F2 (Mac) then select Insert Named Anchor.
    Invisibles>> Insert Named Anchor Object
  2. Insert» Invisible Tags» Named Anchor.

  3. Ctrl+Alt+A (PC), Command+Option+A (Mac)

Step Two:

In the Select Named Anchor box, insert name of your choice then select OK.
Insert Named Anchor Dialog Window.


Alternative to Step One & Two:

In Code View type:

<a name="your_anchor_name_here"></a>

Note: Do not use the word "top" for your Named Anchor, also conform to rules that apply to file names used on the web such as; no spaces, only certain special characters such as underscore (_). Finally, do not put a Named Anchor inside another link. See the Additional References and Resources below for additional information to help prevent failure of anchors.

With Invisible Elements turned on, you will see an anchor symbol na03.gif in your Document window.

View>> Visual Aids>> Invisible Elements should be checkd for this tutorial.

When The Link (below) is selected, The Anchor will be placed as close to the top of the browser window as possible.

Create The Link to The Anchor

Creating The Link to The Anchor is just the same as creating a link to any other document. The tag in Code View would look like this:

<a href="#anchor">link</a>

Or if the link is going to a Named Anchor on a different page:

<a href="/another_directory/different_page.html#anchor">link</a>

Select the text or image that will link to your Named Anchor and give it a destination using one of the following methods:

  1. Type the Named Anchor name in the Link box of the Property Inspector.
    Type the # and the name of the anchor in the Properties Inspector.

  2. Use the target function on the Properties Inspector to point to your Named Anchor (make sure Preferences» Named Anchor is "checked" and Invisible Elements are turned on).
    Point directly to the anchor icon using the point to file method.

  3. Modify» Make Link, or Ctrl+L (PC), Command+L (Mac) and type # symbol followed by the Named Link name (without spaces) then choose Select (PC) or Open (Mac).

  4. Use the browse folder on the Properties Inspector and type # symbol followed by the Named Link name (without spaces) then choose Select (PC) or Open (Mac).
    You will need to type in the # and anchor name here.

  5. In Code View type
    <a href="#anchor">link</a>

Tip: You can use the target function even if the Named Anchor is in a separate document. You may even use method 2 above. Just make sure you have both documents open, and can point to the Named Anchor Symbol. Make sure Preferences» Named Anchor is "checked". For an example of linking to a separate document, my name above is a link to a Named Anchor on the Authors Page of this site.

Tip: If you use method 3 or 4 (above) for making the link, you must browse to the file and make sure the file type is inserted (.htm, .html etc.) then add the # symbol followed by the Named Link name (without spaces) before choosing Select (PC) or Open (Mac).

You will need to type in the # and anchor name here.

Beware: If you use the Named Anchor PI to rename your anchor, you must change all links to that anchor. Dreamweaver does not update Named Anchors automatically.

Named Anchor Propety Inspector

Named Anchors are a great tool. You should now be able to drop anchor all around your pages, and to specific places in your sites with ease.

Additional References and Resources

Macromedia Technote #15056
URL: http://www.macromedia.com/go/15056

HTML 4.01 - 12.2 The A element
URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/links.html#h-12.2

XHTML 1.0 - 4.10 The elements with 'id' and 'name' attributes
URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#h-4.01

::This page last modified 8/13/2013 at 04:37::

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